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Rick Raemisch, Executive Director

Date appointed: 6/14/13

Senate Committee hearing date: 1/13/14

Senate Committee hearing vote: Confirmed, 5-0

Senate vote date: 1/16/14

Senate vote: Confirmed - Unanimous, 32-0


“Rick is a nationally recognized expert in corrections and has a very diverse background in criminal justice,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said. “He has a great understanding of crime and the criminal mind from his work as a sheriff and prosecutor. He also understands that most people who are incarcerated will return to our communities and need job skills and treatment.”


Rick Raemish was appointed in 2013 by Gov. John Hickenlooper as Executive Director of the Department of Corrections.


Raemisch’s career spans three decades as a deputy sheriff, prosecutor, elected sheriff and head of the Wisconsin’s Department of Corrections, where he was responsible for more than 22,000 inmates, more than 73,000 probation and/or parolees and approximately 1,000 juveniles in institutions or on supervision.


His career began as a deputy sheriff at the Dane County Sheriff's Office in Madison, Wisconsin in 1976 and transitioned to an undercover narcotics detective. After earning his law degree he joined the county district attorney's office where he served as an assistant district attorney. In 1989, Raemisch served as an assistant U.S. Attorney.


In 1990 he was appointed sheriff of Dane County and was reelected four more times before entering the private sector in 1997.


Raemisch joined the Wisconsin Department of Corrections in 2003 as the division administrator of community corrections, overseeing 68,000 probation and parolees, and then deputy secretary. He was named the head of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections in 2007 where he built strong re-entry initiatives that saw positive results.


Since 2011, Raemisch has worked as Dean of the School of Human and Protective Services at Madison College in Madison. He oversees programs in Emergency Medical Services, Criminal Justice, Fire, Human Services and Early Childcare Education. Raemisch earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a J.D. with honors from the University of Wisconsin Law School. He has received numerous honors throughout his career including being named the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Executive of the Year by Wisconsin Attorney General Jim Doyle.


About the Department of Corrections

The DOC is responsible for managing and operating 19 secure prison facilities and the Youthful Offender System (YOS). The facilities are designed to supervise offenders in five custody levels: minimum; minimum restrictive; medium; close; and administrative segregation. The YOS program is operated separately from the adult prison system by the Division of Adult Parole, Community Corrections and YOS (APCC).

The department is also responsible for the safe supervision of offenders in appropriate community placements. The APCC division oversees transitional offenders in community corrections programs, and offenders on parole. The division's professionals are specifically trained to ensure public safety by utilizing best correctional and evidence based practices to supervise and support offenders reintegrating back into the community.