Lincoln, Neb. – Today, with heavy hearts, the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS) mourns the death of Warden Fred Britten, 62, who passed away yesterday following a brief battle with cancer.
Britten began his career with NDCS on December 5, 1977, as a corrections counselor at the old reformatory. He served the State of Nebraska for nearly 40 years holding numerous positions, including unit administrator, associate warden and deputy warden. Britten opened the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution (TSCI) as its first warden where he served for 13 years. In 2013, he returned to Lincoln where he was appointed warden of the Diagnostic and Evaluation Center (DEC). Director Scott R. Frakes called on Warden Britten to assume leadership of the Lincoln Correctional Center (LCC) in July 2016. Warden Britten led both facilities (DEC/LCC) until his death.
Fred often said he didn’t plan for corrections to be his career. But, eight promotions and almost 40 years later, it remains clear that not only was this the right career for him, but a profession that has significantly benefited as a result of his numerous contributions. He earned a reputation for putting others first and working tirelessly to address the needs of his staff and the inmate population. He is best-known for his quick wit and unique sense of humor. Fred was committed to being a servant leader and contributing to the success of those with whom he worked and supervised. His passion for mentoring others influenced the personal and professional growth of many NDCS staff members. His passing will have an impact on the entire NDCS family.
“Fred has left an indelible legacy in this agency as those who learned from him demonstrate the teamwork and can-do attitude he inspired. Fred was about solutions; always looking at what could be done rather than why it couldn’t be done,” said Director Frakes. “Fred’s leadership has been invaluable to me. He will be missed. We send our NDCS Mission: Keep people safe. NDCS Vision: Safe Prisons – Transformed Lives – Safe Communities NDCS Values: Integrity – Respect – Compassion – Growth – Excellence very deepest and heart-felt condolences to Fred’s wife Vickie and their sons Ben (Kelsey) and Tony (Kelli).”
A national search will be conducted to fill the position Warden Britten vacated. In the interim, NDCS executive management officer, Jeffrey Wooten, Ed.D., will assume the role of acting warden of the two facilities.