Governor Lamont Announces Correction Commissioner Rollin Cook to Depart Service With the State of Connecticut
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that Department of Correction Commissioner Rollin Cook plans to depart his position with the State of Connecticut effective July 1, 2020. Prior to joining the Lamont administration in January 2019, Commissioner Cook most recently served as executive director of the Department of Corrections in his home state of Utah and relocated to Connecticut for the position. The commissioner said that his decision to leave the agency was based solely for personal reasons.
Governor Lamont appointed Commissioner Cook to serve as the head of Connecticut’s correctional system in large part due to his 30 years of correctional experience, his passion and national recognition regarding the advancement of prison reforms, and for his core belief of treating everyone with dignity and respect.
“Commissioner Cook has been a reliable, steady hand at our Department of Correction since I came into office, and I am grateful for his service and leadership,” Governor Lamont said. “He helped guide our prison system through a challenging and unprecedented time during this pandemic, and I can’t thank him enough for all of the work and thoughtfulness he has brought to the position.”
“This decision was driven purely out of the love I have for my family and the fact is I miss them dearly,” Commissioner Cook said. “I view today as bittersweet having to leave the people that essentially became my family, while knowing in my heart that returning home to my wife and children is the right choice. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity I was given to work side-by-side with the amazing men and women of the Connecticut Department of Correction. This agency is truly remarkable and my time spent here will forever be a part of who I am. I’m thankful for the support Governor Lamont showed since the day I arrived. Thank you all.”
Under Commissioner Cook’s leadership at the Connecticut Department of Correction, he continued the state’s legacy as being a leader in correction and criminal justice policy. Connecticut’s correctional system achieved one of the largest reductions in its incarcerated offender population in the nation. With nearly 2,200 fewer offenders incarcerated today than on March 1, 2020, Connecticut’s prison system has recently seen one of the five largest reductions across the nation.
Commissioner Cook is also credited with significant enhancements to the correctional health care system, including the establishment of a solid leadership team. Under his direction, the agency increased its health care staff, which now has more than 70 additional health services staff members than it did just one year ago – with upwards of 40 health care employees being hired since March 1, 2020.
Commissioner Cook began his career as a correctional officer, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, and chief deputy in the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office in Utah. He served as executive director of the Utah Department of Corrections from 2013 to 2018.
His resignation will be effective July 1, 2020. Governor Lamont has appointed Angel Quiros, the Connecticut Department of Correction’s Deputy Commissioner of Operations and Rehabilitative Services, to serve as Acting Commissioner while he conducts a national search to permanently fill the position.