Department of Corrections
Three Corrections Professionals Named to New Positions in Realignment of DOC’s Division of Mental Health
Frankfort, Ky. (September 24, 2008) – Kentucky Department of Corrections Deputy Commissioner Al Parke today announced a realignment of the agency’s Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse that will move three employees into key positions of leadership. Dr. Elizabeth McKune, Dr. James Van Nort and Karyn Hascal have been selected to serve as Assistant Directors of the Division.
McKune will oversee all psychological services, Van Nort will direct the Sex Offender Treatment and Sex Offender Risk Assessment areas, and Hascal will provide oversight for all Alcohol and other Drug services. All of the new assistant directors will report to Division Director Kevin Pangburn.
“I am excited with our new organization. It decentralizes mental health into three distinctive units governed by three proven professionals,” said Parke. “This allows expedient decision making and oversight of these critical areas that are an essential component of corrections.”
McKune came to the DOC in 1999 as a Psychologist assigned to the Nursing Care Facility and the Correctional Psychiatric Treatment Unit at the Kentucky State Reformatory. She was promoted to Licensed Psychologist Program Administrator for General Psychology Services in 2004. She briefly left the DOC to serve as Director of Psychology, Neuropsychology, and Brain Injury Programs for Frazier Rehab in Louisville. She returned in March 2007 and has been serving as the Licensed Psychologist Program Administrator for Organizational Development. A graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of Louisville, McKune teaches part-time at Spalding University where she is the Acting Director of the Health Psychology Emphasis Area. She lives in Louisville with her husband, Joe, and two girls, Maggie and Katie.
Van Nort is a Licensed Psychologist who began his employment with the Department of Corrections in 1998. In 2002, he was promoted to Chief Psychologist of the Sex Offender Risk Assessment Unit, and in 2006, he took over as Program Administrator of the Sex Offender Treatment Program. Van Nort chairs the Sex Offender Risk Assessment Advisory Board and has served on a Governor's Council and Task Forces. He resides in Louisville, Kentucky with his wife Abby and sons Joshua and Warren.
Hascal has worked in the field of substance abuse for the past 30 years, most recently as the Deputy Executive Director of the Office of Drug Control Policy. She has been a certified substance abuse counselor since 1980 and has held a variety of management positions in community and correctional programs. She currently resides in Louisville with her son, Eric.
“All of these individuals possess the unique combination of leadership, dedication and vision necessary for our current and future plans,” said Pangburn. “They are all true corrections professionals, and we are fortunate to be the beneficiary of their professional expertise.”
The Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse encompasses approximately 150 employees across the state who provide psychological, sex offender treatment and substance abuse services to the nearly 21,000 felony offenders incarcerated in Kentucky jails and prisons.