State prison system introduces new mental health leadership

The Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice today introduced two clinicians who are assuming key leadership positions in the state prison mental and behavioral health system.

Dr. Karen Steinour is the new health services compliance officer, a position that was established to provide oversight of the state’s correctional mental health and health services system, ensuring coordinated adherence to national standards, best practices and established policies and across all health services disciplines.  Her professional experience includes 20 years in clinical and management positions with the Federal Bureau of Prisons.   She most recently led the Commitment and Treatment Program for Sexually Dangerous Persons at the Federal Correctional Complex in Butner, also holding roles there as chief psychologist and staff psychologist.  She has served as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserves and as dean of students at Duke University where she obtained a PhD in counseling psychology

Dr. Gary Junker is the new director of behavioral health.   Dr. Junker holds doctoral and master’s degrees in counseling psychology and has more than 25 years of clinical and managerial experience in correctional mental health, including more than 20 years in mental health services with the Federal Bureau of Prisons.  He most recently served as behavioral health clinical director for Corizon Health.  He will provide clinical leadership to all psychiatry, psychology, social work and behavioral treatment staff.

“The department remains committed to providing a safe, secure and humane environment to all of those in our care and control,” DPS Secretary Frank L. Perry said. “I am confident this new leadership team will inspire and lead us in better addressing needs and concerns that the department has identified, and those communicated to us by mental health advocacy groups.”

“We sought and found leaders that have the expertise and knowledge of nationally recognized best practices for treating those with mental or behavioral health needs in correctional settings and the community,” said W. David Guice, commissioner of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice. “Most importantly they have passion, compassion and a desire for efficacy that will help build on the reforms already being implemented in the system.”

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