Department of Corrections Director Making Strides for North Dakota Women


One North Dakota woman is changing the leadership make up of corrections institutions.

During her 13-year tenure in in-state corrections, Leann Bertsch had a big hand in raising the number of female leaders in correctional agencies. The number rose to 14, the highest ever.

She’s now the DOCR Director, and just a month ago Bertsch was given the Legacy Award. It’s an honor given to women in leadership roles who promote and foster career advancement for other women who work in corrections nationwide.

Bertsch says it’s especially important in male-dominated fields to have extra support, and even training for women, to ensure their success.

Bertsch shares, “Some of the best-run systems are run by women. I think women bring a different dynamic to corrections. Corrections is really about behavior change, helping people change their behavior, so they’re safer in society. And often times, women bring a different, unique perspective to that role.”

She says women need to support women when it comes to moving up the ranks in any field. 

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