Richard “Rick” Van Wickler has been the Superintendent of the Cheshire County Department of Corrections since June of 1993. His career in corrections began in 1987 at the Merrimack County New Hampshire Department of Corrections. Superintendent Van Wickler was appointed by the Cheshire County Board of Commissioners in 1993 to assume responsibility for the Cheshire County Jail, which faced significant litigation in Federal Court, and to revitalize an agency that was in need of training, structure, and professionalism.
Van Wickler’s presentation will provide facts about our American correctional system and highlight its impact at local and national levels. He will suggest that we Americans receive information about this “out of sight, out of mind” component of the criminal justice system and then frequently processes the information incorrectly, utilizing our confirmation bias, individual vs. system thinking, and use of default pictures as we fashion our conclusions and solidify our values.
He will also identify the five different offender types in our correctional system and each type’s impact on society. He will challenge views on substance use, misuse, and addiction, and suggest how we might better deal with these issues. After identifying several problematic hurdles, he will offer at least nine common sense solutions that we can begin immediately to improve our community and our nation.
Superintendent Van Wickler has extensive background in training and management, which led to the founding of Chameleon Consulting of New England in 2001. He has provided numerous presentations on the prevention and management of aggressive human behavior in many jurisdictions of New Hampshire. His knowledge of corrections has been tremendously enhanced by his attendance at the National Institute of Corrections in Colorado and his experience as an adjunct faculty instructor in justice studies for Keene State College and the New Hampshire Community Technical College.