Dan Pacholke

Dan  Pacholke
Dan Pacholke
Senior Research Scholar / Litmus

Dan Pacholke is a Senior Research Scholar in the Litmus program at NYU’s Marron Institute. Mr. Pacholke served in WADOC for 33 years, starting as a correctional officer and retiring as Secretary. He worked in one of the first intensive management units (IMUs) in Washington and later led the effort to reduce the use of IMUs, yielding a 52% reduction in the use of segregation, described in a DOJ brief, More than Emptying Beds: A Systems Approach to Segregation Reform. Earlier, he specialized in emergency management and containment strategies, advising throughout the country during the rise of mass incarceration in the 1990s and 2000s. In 2004, as a prison superintendent, he launched a series of ecological, environmental-restoration, and conservation projects that expanded to a national network, the Sustainability in Prisons Project. In 2008 he engaged in focused strategies to reduce violence in prisons yielding a 30% reduction in inmate violence. Following the murder of a WADOC correctional officer in 2011, he implemented multiple innovative staff-safety practices, described in Keeping Prisons Safe: Transforming the Correctional Workplace. In 2014, he gave a TED Talk, How Prisons Can Help Inmates Live Meaningful Lives. Mr. Pacholke has a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from The Evergreen State College.