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Pringle says JRCC is on the right course

John M. Steiner / The Sun Chad Pringle was recently named the new warden at the James River Correctional Center, a medium security state prison in Jamestown.

Jamestown High School grad Chad Pringle is the new warden of James River Correctional Center.

Pringle, who was previously the deputy warden at JRCC, replaces Warden Don Redmann, who was promoted to director of facility operations for the North Dakota State Penitentiary system.

“I feel pretty lucky to be able to take over here, at such a well-run prison,” Pringle said.

He grew up in Jamestown and earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at Moorhead State University.

His work in corrections began with an internship with the juvenile corrections facility Home on the Range, and after he graduated he worked at a Home on the Range group home in Fargo.

Pringle has worked at JRCC since it opened in 1998, starting out as a correctional officer before being promoted to correctional case worker, then case manager, then unit manager and, two years ago, deputy warden.

Now that he’s warden, Pringle plans to continue the work already in progress at JRCC, which houses 420 prisoners, all men.

“I can’t see us changing course. We’re on a great course right now,” Pringle said. “My goal would be to continue our goal to reduce recidivism.”

His goals and the ones Redmann has for his new position were quite similar.

“We’re going to continue to work on our rehabilitative programs and reducing risk for the community, and by doing that, also by reducing our recidivism rate,” Redmann said. “We’ve got too many inmates coming back to prison.”

Less crime means fewer victims, he added.

Part of reducing recidivism involves treating inmates as people — while both holding them accountable when they do something wrong and supporting them when they do something right, Pringle said.

In order to help inmates, JRCC offers addiction treatment, cognitive programs that help them in “Thinking for Change,” educational programs, work programs and programs for sex offenders, Pringle said. Inmates are assessed for the risks they pose and put in programs to help them address those risks.

Another component is how their correctional officers interact with them on a daily basis, and reinforce positive behaviors.

One challenge JRCC will likely face in the future is the growing population of North Dakota, which will likely bring with it a growing population of people in prison, Pringle said. The challenge will be to keep the positive prison culture JRCC currently has.

“It’s a very rewarding career, and a very rewarding job,” Pringle said of working in corrections. “… we do impact a lot of people’s lives.”

Redmann praised Pringle’s dedication.

“(Pringle) did the best job in the interview, but he really demonstrated how well he prepared himself for the next level,” Redmann said. “And it wasn’t that the other people didn’t — he just clearly demonstrated that he was ready for that position, and I’m very proud of him.” ­

Redmann said he was confident that Pringle would do a great job for the state of North Dakota.

 In a separate interview, Pringle praised Redmann for doing “a great job of establishing JRCC.”

Both men praised the 200-person staff at James River Correctional Center.

Pringle said he and the rest of the JRCC staff is “waiting for the dust to settle” after the staffing changes to get the new team built up again.

“It’s different being in the warden’s seat, but it’s very, very exciting, and I’m looking forward to the challenge,” Pringle said.

Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at (701) 952-8453                 or by email at