Scott Semple State of Connecticut photo
Scott Semple
Scott Semple State of Connecticut photo

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has nominated Scott Semple to serve as commissioner of the state Department of Correction, an agency he has overseen on an acting basis since August.

In announcing the nomination, Malloy cited Semple’s work supervising and treating inmates with mental health needs and his experience with the department, which began in 1988 as a correction officer.

“Scott has extensive experience and knowledge of the inner workings of the Connecticut Department of Correction, including a number of years serving as a frontline correction officer, gaining a broad familiarity on best practices in handling offenders and finding ways to reduce recidivism,” Malloy said in a written statement.

Semple has been acting commissioner since James E. Dzurenda retired in August. Before that, he was a deputy commissioner, warden of Garner Correctional Institution and a frontline officer at Cheshire Correctional Institution.

Sen. John A. Kissel, an Enfield Republican whose district includes six correctional facilities, praised the selection.

“Scott thoroughly understands the agency,” said Kissel, the ranking member of the legislature’s Judiciary Committee. “Scott knows the needs of the men and women who serve on the agency’s front lines, and he has a good working relationship with the state legislature. I am confident he will do an excellent job.”

Malloy has not yet named second-term commissioners of banking, developmental services or insurance. The departments of education and veterans’ affairs are currently being led by interim commissioners.

Arielle Levin Becker covered health care for The Connecticut Mirror. She previously worked for The Hartford Courant, most recently as its health reporter, and has also covered small towns, courts and education in Connecticut and New Jersey. She was a finalist in 2009 for the prestigious Livingston Award for Young Journalists, a recipient of a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship and the third-place winner in 2013 for an in-depth piece on caregivers from the National Association of Health Journalists. She is a 2004 graduate of Yale University.

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