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Chief of Women's Division

Carolyn Gurski | Chief Public Safety Officer

Carolyn Gurski was named chief of women’s division on January 1, 2018. In her new position, she oversees the Decatur and Logan Correctional Centers, as well as Fox Valley Adult Transition Center. She provides direction and guidance on gender responsive policies, practices, programs, services and training that are implemented in a manner that is considered relational, culturally competent, family centered, holistic, strength based and trauma informed. Gurski has received nationally recognized training in research based and gender informed services from the National Institute in Corrections. She began working with incarcerated women in 2002 at the Decatur Correctional Center.​

​Prior to her most recent position, Gurski served as the Chief Public Safety Officer since April 2016, where she oversaw and assisted with the director’s initiatives regarding the Crime Reduction Act, statewide recidivism reduction and core curriculum correctional practices for staff. In addition, she provided direction to the Transfer Coordinator’s Office, Training Academy and the Supplemental Sentence Credit program.

​A veteran employee of the Illinois Department of Corrections, Gurski began her career as a correctional officer at Illinois River Correctional Center in May 1989. While at that facility, she promoted through the ranks of sergeant, lieutenant and captain, working in a variety of positions that included institutional trainer, statewide screener, audit liaison, American Correctional Association (ACA) accreditation manager, adjustment committee chairperson and shift commander.

In October 2002, she was named chief of security at Decatur Correctional Center. She served as a member of the Overtime Review Team in 2003, reviewing all facilities, work camps and transition centers to streamline the utilization of staffing and minimize the use of overtime. Gurski was named warden at Lincoln Correctional Center in July 2004, where she became the department’s liaison to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. She also assisted in the expansion of the Mom and Me Camp Program to include Decatur Correctional Center to help incarcerated mothers bond with their children through a day camp experience.​

Gurski was named warden of Dwight Correctional Center in January 2009. In her position there, she worked to reduce overtime expenditures by one-third, implemented safety procedures for staff and worked on incentive plans for offenders placed in segregation. Later, on June 16, 2015, she was named as warden of Jacksonville Correctional Center, where she additionally oversaw the operations of the Pittsfield and Greene County work camps. ​

​During her career, she has also served as assistant warden of programs and assistant warden of operations at the Logan Correctional Center and shift supervisor at Logan and Western Illinois Correctional Centers.

Gurski traveled to Romania for 10 days as part of an administrative prison exchange program and toured with the Romanian Bureau of Penitentiaries in May 2009. As part of the program, she traveled and toured eight prisons throughout the country, learning policy, procedure and governmental legislation.​

Gurski received a Bachelor of Science in Law enforcement and Justice Administration and a Master of Arts in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration, both from Western Illinois University.