Diane Sabatka-Rine

Diane Sabatka-Rine, chief of operations for the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS), was honored recently for her service during the pandemic. The NDCS was well-represented at a ceremony for recipients of the annual State of Nebraska Excellence in Leadership awards. Eighteen individuals received a desk plaque and a Nebraska Navy admiralship from Governor Pete Ricketts on Friday, May 14. Nominations for awards were submitted last summer and focused on outstanding service to the state during COVID-19.

“All of these individuals served NDCS in extraordinary ways during the pandemic,” said NDCS Director Scott R. Frakes. “It was a pleasure to nominate them for this particular recognition.”

From translating important COVID-related communications for Spanish-speaking inmates, to the procurement of necessary personal protective equipment (PPE), to making sure inmates were quarantined appropriately — NDCS staff members were integral to the process of managing the virus inside the state’s 10 prison facilities, as well as contributing to the department’s mission: Keep people safe.

“Response to the coronavirus required long-range planning, and in many situations, immediate action,” added Frakes. “Ours is an agency that is responsible for the care of people, just like a nursing home or a hospital. At times, we needed all-hands-on-deck. Our staff responded without hesitation.”