The Wyoming Department of Corrections (WDOC) has promoted Deputy Warden Neicole Molden to the position of warden of the Wyoming State Penitentiary.
Molden has worked for the WDOC since 2009, when she began as a unit manager supervisor. She has worked at the Wyoming Women’s Center and the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution in the state.
Molden is the first woman and the first Black American to be named warden of the Wyoming State Penitentiary. She was also the first African-American woman to hold her previous two positions.
Molden stated in a WDOC release that she is grateful and excited to begin her new post.
“I am truly humbled by the opportunity to be the first female warden for the Wyoming State Penitentiary,” she said. “I know that the experience and knowledge that I have will assist me to be successful in this position. I am grateful t6o be able to lead the dedicated staff of WSP and watch the staff become one successful team.”
The record-breaking warden told K2 radio that she wants to give inmates a better experience.
“I’m a pretty involved person, especially when it comes to the operations and the inmates,” Molden said.
“I try to stay really involved in the inmate population to keep them busy, to keep them educated. I think I’ll do more…I’m looking at teaching some classes myself. When I was at the women’s center, I taught a confidence class for the women as the associate warden, so I plan on doing something like that for the men too. But I just want to find more activities to keep them busy, to give them more pro-social skills.”
The warden, who started her new position last week, is also dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak, which saw 77 new cases among prisoners and staff during her first week. Molden stated that the prison has been working hard to ensure the safety of both staff and inmates.
“We’ve had to be very creative. We’ve had to find ways to keep the inmates safe, to keep the staff safe,” she said. “That’s numerous cleanings, different face masks every day, sometimes they’re locked down a certain amount of time depending upon if there’s a big outbreak, we normally have to lock them down a certain amount of time until we get the numbers down.”