Arkansas Division of Correction Director
Get to Know the Director
Dexter Payne was appointed to the position of Director of the Division of Correction by the Arkansas Board of Corrections on July 26, 2019. What began in September 1990, as a short-term job as a Correctional Officer at the Department’s Diagnostic Unit, ended up turning into a full-fledged career. His journey over the next 30 years provided the experiences and knowledge to form him into an exceptional leader with a firm but fair approach. Mr. Payne’s diligence and strong work ethic guided his steady rise through the promotional ranks, first as a Correctional Sergeant at the Diagnostic Unit on March 2, 1996 and then as a Lieutenant at the Wrightsville Unit in March 2002. His promotions to Captain at the Tucker Unit in April 2005, and Chief of Security at the Grimes Unit in March 2006, while short-lived, paved the way for him to be named Deputy Warden at the Grimes Unit in March 2007. In May 2013, he was promoted to the position of Warden for the Wrightsville Complex, where he remained until he was named Deputy Director of Institutions by ADC Director Wendy Kelley in July 2015.
Director Payne earned a bachelor’s of arts degree in Criminology from Arkansas State University in 2007 and a master’s degree in Criminal Justice from ASU in 2012. In his spare time, Director Payne enjoys spending
time with family, attending sporting events, and traveling.
Message from the Director
It is a tremendous honor and privilege to serve as the Director of the Division of Correction for the great State of Arkansas. It is in this role that I have been entrusted to lead the people who I consider to be the best correctional professionals in the nation as they work tirelessly to provide secure confinement and rehabilitative services to the more than 17,000 inmates in our custody.
As outlined in our mission, it is the responsibility of the Division of Correction to:
· Provide public safety by carrying out the mandates of the courts
· Provide a safe humane environment for staff and inmates
· Strengthen the work ethic through the teaching of good habits
· Provide opportunities for staff and inmates to improve spiritually, mentally, and physically
Our force of over 4,000 employees is dedicated to abiding by this mission while always adhering to policies and procedures for guidance. Our Correctional Officers are committed to keeping the citizens of Arkansas safe and their fellow officers from harm. There are also many Non-Security Employees who diligently serve, whether they are in medical, mental health, or substance abuse areas, by providing treatment to our inmate population. Our Field Force focuses on the practice of strengthening the work ethic of inmates through the teaching of good habits. Staff in the various Administrative Departments within the Division effectively deal with the day-to-day operations to keep things running smoothly. Together, with integrity and accountability, each entity plays an important role in returning productive citizens to the community, which is our ultimate goal.
I am committed to nothing less than excellence for the Division as we serve the citizens of the state and I welcome your feedback.