WisPolitics.com is profiling some of the newly announced state agency heads.
Our fourth installment features Department of Corrections Secretary Kevin Carr.
Carr is a career law enforcement officer, most recently holding the position of U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Before that, he served in the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office, working his way up the ranks from deputy sheriff to inspector.
61 years old, born in Milwaukee.
Served in law enforcement for 39 years. Spent the first 30 years in the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office, where he held nearly every rank in the agency expect sheriff. Was second-in-command for eight years under former Sheriff David Clarke and was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the agency. Was appointed U.S. Marshal by then-President Barack Obama.
Holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice management from Concordia University. Has attended executive law enforcement management courses at Northwestern University, as well as the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va. Received certificates for post-graduate work at Harvard University.
Married. Met his wife in 1977 and has been with her ever since. Two adult children, Andrew and Marissa.
Favorite non-work interest?
Volunteering at the St. Ben’s community meal program in Milwaukee. Enjoys fishing, reading and working in his yard and garden. Avid sports fan who supports the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, and Milwaukee Bucks.
Why the interest in being in the Evers administration?
“What really interests me about joining this administration is the governor’s vision of a Wisconsin for all. I believe that his vision for this state — to improve health care, criminal justice reforms, infrastructure for everyone in this state — is exactly just what this state needs at this particular time. The governor is an inspiration leader, and his view of what criminal justice can look like in this state is very compatible with mine.”
What are your priorities for the agency under your leadership?
“The priorities for the Department of Corrections and my vision for this agency is for us to improve the outcomes we achieve by improving the level of re-entry services we provide, drug treatment, mental health services, job training and wrap-around services to those in our care that are being supervised in the community. I believe that that can have a significant impact in reducing recidivism and lowering the population of those we care for in our facilities. I also believe there are other strategies we can implement that have been proven successful around the country in reducing the overall prisoner population in our facilities.”
What should the agency be doing differently?
“I’m very proud of the people who work in this organization and I think there’s a number of things they’ve been doing right that the public is just not aware of. I think we can do a much better job of promoting the things that are going on in this agency that are extremely positive that are untold stories. That’s one I’d really like to do differently.”
What’s the best advice you’ve received since getting the job?
“Trust your instincts.”
“Why did you take that job? Don’t take it!”