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Former Kansas prisons chief takes Colorado interim post

Updated: 2013-04-17T04:57:41Z

The Associated Press

— Roger Werholtz, who retired in 2010 as Kansas corrections secretary, was named Tuesday as an interim replacement to Colorado corrections director Tom Clements, who was fatally shot in his home nearly a month ago.

Werholtz started work in Kansas prisons in 1982, serving as the first director of the Wyandotte County Community Corrections Program. He is to serve in Colorado through July, when officials hope to have a long-term prisons chief in place.

Werholtz’s top job will be reviewing Colorado’s troubled parole system, which was faulted for failing to keep track of parolee Evan Ebel, the only suspect in Clements’ murder. Ebel died in a Texas shootout.

Werholtz also will review prison usage in Colorado, which has closed two prisons in the last two years because of a declining prison population.

“I look forward to continuing the work begun by Tom Clements,” Werholtz said in a statement.

As head of the Kansas department, Werholtz saw a 48 percent reduction in monthly revocation rates for offenders and a 31 percent reduction in absconder rates, the Colorado governor’s office said.

He also taught at the University of Kansas and led the Kansas Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.

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