Kevin Kempf, a 19-year employee of the Idaho Department of Correction, was named the department's new director today by the state Board of Corrections. Kempf most recently was deputy director; he's worked as a prison guard, parole officer, investigator, warden and more. He replaces Brent Reinke, who unexpectedly resigned Nov. 25 after eight years in the post.
Robin Sandy, board chair, said, “Kevin’s extensive experience in corrections makes him uniquely qualified to serve as director. As he has risen through the ranks, his focus has remained on the front lines where correctional staff has the difficult and often dangerous job of managing felony offenders.” Kempf said, "My absolute top priority is the safety of the people of the state of Idaho. "I look forward to working with the board to assure that offenders are held accountable while offering the tools they need to those who are ready to change and become law-abiding citizens.”
Kempf's selection was announced after a special meeting of the board today. Click below for the board's full announcement.
Idaho Department of Correction
Kempf to lead Idaho Department of Correction
BOISE, December 3, 2014 – The Idaho Board of Correction today named Kevin Kempf director of the Idaho Department of Correction.
Kempf has been with the department for 19 years. He started as a correctional officer at Pocatello Women’s Correctional Center. He went on to serve in a variety of positions including parole officer, investigator, section supervisor, district manager, warden, chief of prisons and most recently as IDOC’s deputy director.
“Kevin’s extensive experience in corrections makes him uniquely qualified to serve as director,” says Robin Sandy, chairman of the Idaho Board of Correction. “As he has risen through the ranks, his focus has remained on the frontlines where correctional staff has the difficult and often dangerous job of managing felony offenders.”
In 2006, Kempf was appointed to the Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision. The commission is the national organization that oversees the transfer and relocation of felony offenders across state lines. During Kempf’s six years as Idaho’s representative, his peers twice elected him to leadership positions. He first served as treasurer and later as vice president of the organization.
“My absolute top priority is the safety of the people of the state of Idaho,” Kempf says. “I look forward to working with the board to assure that offenders are held accountable while offering the tools they need to those who are ready to change and become law-abiding citizens.”
IDOC employs nearly 2,000 corrections professionals. They are responsible for the incarceration and community supervision of 22,000 felony offenders.
As director, Kempf will oversee the entirety of IDOC’s operations including its nine prisons, four community re-entry centers and seven probation and parole districts. The department has an annual budget of $220 million.
Kempf is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He came to Idaho in 1990 to attend what is now BYU-Idaho. Kempf and his wife have three young children. They live in Canyon County where Kempf serves as a bishop for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints