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New warden named for Menard prison

New warden named for Menard prison

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CHESTER -- Kim Butler, a 20-year veteran of the Illinois Department of Corrections, was named warden of Menard Correctional Center on Wednesday.

She is the first woman to serve as warden at the maximum-security prison in Chester. 

“Kim is an outstanding professional with an excellent record of performance at all levels of corrections. With such a varied list of accomplishments, she has earned this new assignment, and I have full confidence in her ability to continue the fine work being done at Menard Correctional Center,” IDOC Director Salvador A. “Tony” Godinez said in a news release.

A graduate of SIU, she majored in administration of justice with a double minor in criminal justice and psychology.

Butler joined IDOC as a correctional counselor. She later worked as a correctional officer, Bureau of Identification supervisor, hostage negotiator, casework supervisor and clinical services supervisor. Butler has been assistant warden of programs at Menard since 2012.

She is a veteran of the first Gulf War and a lifelong member of the VFW. Her volunteer work includes the American Red Cross, with assistance after recent natural disasters in and near Randolph County.

“At all times, my first and foremost thoughts are of staff safety and the well-being of everyone at Menard," Butler said in a news release. “Running Menard is one of the biggest challenges I have had in my life. At any prison, each day presents new matters to deal with and the great officers, sergeants, lieutenants, majors and staff help us meet any challenge. We’ve been successful in running a safe and secure facility, and I have no doubt that will continue, thanks to this team.”

Butler succeeds the retiring Rick Harrington, who capped a 20-year career with IDOC by running Menard for 17 months.

She is the second woman to be appointed warden of an all-male, maximum security prison in Illinois history.

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