IDOC Executive Staff Biographies
Indiana Department of Correction Commissioner Robert E. Carter, Jr. was appointed by Governor Eric Holcomb on January 17, 2017.
Most recently, Commissioner Carter served as the Executive Director of Statewide Security & Safety at Ivy Tech Community College since 2013. There, he was responsible for safety and security of the Nation's largest college, with over 100,000 students and staff at 40 plus campuses statewide. Prior to this position, he served as Director of the Indiana's Department of Natural Resources (DNR) where he managed over 1,500 full-time employees and was the main point of contact to the Indiana General Assembly, Congressional Delegation, and the U.S. Department of Interior, as well as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the National Resources Conservation Services.
While with the DNR, Carter served on the Indiana Counter Terrorism and Security Council, was the Director of DNR’s Division of Law Enforcement, and played a key role in the streamlining of DNR permit efficiency. He also was an integral part of the Governor’s Healthy River Initiative and oversaw the DNR’s acquisition and protection of over 50,000 acres of land and recreational trails.
Prior to working in State government, Carter spent 16 years serving two terms as the Clay County Sheriff.
Commissioner Carter has an Associate of Science Degree in Criminal Justice, Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Safety Management, and Masters of Public Administration.
Chief of Staff
Randy Koester is the Chief of Staff for the Indiana Department of Correction. In addition to directing the Department’s Legislative Affairs and Ethics Officers, Mr. Koester supervises the fiscal, human resources, construction services, research and technology, policies and procedures and payroll divisions.
He started with the Department as a Staff Attorney in 1991, and since that time has worked as the Agency’s Legislative Liaison, General Legal Counsel, Director of Intergovernmental Relations, Executive Assistant to the Commissioner, Chief of Staff, Deputy Commissioner of Administration and Deputy Commissioner.
He began his legal career as a clerk and became a staff attorney with the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission. He also worked for three years as a Deputy Attorney General, serving in the Criminal Appeals and Government Litigation Divisions in the Attorney General’s Office.
Randy has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Corporate and Investment Finance from Indiana University’s Kelly School of Business, and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from Indiana University School of Law.
Deputy Commissioner of Operations
Deputy Commissioner of Operations, James Basinger oversees the classification, adult operations, parole and reentry facilities. Deputy Commissioner Basinger, a 27-year veteran with the Department, previously served as the Executive Director of Adult Operations. He began his career with the Indiana Department of Correction on December 21, 1991 at the Bloomington Work Release Center as a Correctional Officer. He was transferred to Wabash Correctional Facility (WVCF) in the summer of 1992.
Mr. Basinger held various custody positions while at WVCF from Officer to Major, also serving as the Emergency Squad Commander for seven years. He has been a Firearms Instructor, CPR/First Aid Instructor, Training Officer and Staff Development Training Coordinator for WVCF. He's also a graduate of the first Emerging and Experience Leadership Program. Mr. Basinger held the position as Major at the Putnamville Correctional Facility from 2000 to 2003. He was promoted to Deputy Warden in February 2009 at the WVCF then promoted to Warden in October 2009 at WVCF.
In April 2009, Mr. Basinger retired as Command Sergeant Major with the 76th Brigade of the Indiana National Guard after 25 years of service, beginning as a United States Marine. He served two tours of duty in Iraq and a third tour of duty as the 76th Brigade's Rear Detachment Command Sergeant Major. Mr. Basinger has a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice and A Master's Degree in Business Administration.
Deputy Commissioner of Re-Entry
Deputy Commissioner of Re-Entry, Julie Lanham has over 25 years of experience in executive level positions in the criminal justice field.
After completing her degree in Criminal Justice from Indiana University she moved through the developmental positions as a probation officer to an Executive Director of Marion County Community Correction (Indianapolis, Indiana) for 11 years. Following that tenure, she owned her own consulting company that interfaced with privatized prison and jail leadership, where she utilized her broad expertise at the county, state, and federal levels to evaluate and audit the effectiveness of facility operations, complaints and re-entry programs.
Ms. Lanham was recruited to serve as the Deputy Commissioner of Re-Entry Programs for the Indiana Department of Corrections from 2005 to 2007. Julie was then recruited to serve as Territory Manager for a Dallas based company that provides diversified technology and security solutions for correctional facilities across the country. She was asked to rejoin IDOC in 2011 with the advent of sentencing reform and has served in the capacity of Executive Director and Deputy Commissioner of Re-Entry since that time.
Chief of Communications
Ike Randolph serves as the Chief of Communications for the Indiana Department of Correction. As a member of Executive Staff, Chief Randolph acts as the spokesperson for the Agency, keeping the media and members of the public apprised of the significant events that transpire within the Department of Correction. Ike represents the IDOC in negotiating film rights with nationally recognized television and movie companies. Additionally, Ike is also charged with the responsibility of enhancing the Department’s communications effectiveness, and using new technologies and improved communication methods to advance the public’s understanding of the great advances being made in correctional services within the State of Indiana.
Prior to his appointment as Chief of Communications Ike served as the Director of Communications for the IDOC and Program Director for Religious and Volunteer Services where he focused on training and providing support for the agency’s Community Involvement Coordinators, Chaplains and the PLUS program directors. Before joining the IDOC in 2011, Ike was the Executive Director of the IN Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (OFBCI) under former Governor Mitch Daniels. Before joining the State of Indiana, Ike was a 22-year decorated veteran with the Indianapolis Fire Department where he obtained certification as an arson investigator and rescue scuba diver. During this same period Ike served as social policy advisor to former Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith, held an elected office as a City-County Councillor for the City of Indianapolis and became a guest columnist for the Indianapolis Star and guest host for the Greg Garrison radio show and the first Executive Director of the Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition. The highlight of his community work is the founding of the Saint Florian Center, a firefighter-led youth leadership development summer camp that is still in operation today.
Chief Randolph has a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Indiana Wesleyan University and resides in Indianapolis with his wife and two daughters.
Chief Financial Officer
Christina Reagle serves as the Department’s Chief Financial Officer, overseeing all financial and accounting functions of the Department.
She began her career in state government in 2010 as an Accountant with the Department of Child Services. She moved to the Department of Correction in September 2011, and has held the positions of Accounts Payable Manager, Financial Analyst, Deputy Controller and Controller. Prior to joining state government, Ms. Reagle worked for JP Morgan Chase as an Assistant Branch Manager, and spent several years as a Staff Accountant at a local CPA firm.
Christina serves as a team leader and mentor for the Department’s Leadership Academy, a program that promotes self-awareness, self-assessment, and personal accountability to developing leaders from multiple state agencies. She also serves as an instructor and mentor in the Department’s Women in Leadership training program, a program focused on assisting female staff develop their leadership skills, improve communication with others, and understand their importance in corrections.
Robert Bugher has served in the capacity of Chief Counsel since June 2000. Mr. Bugher has also served as Staff Counsel for the Department since his original hire in April 1995. Before joining the Department, Mr. Bugher spent three years as a private attorney at Brown and Nelson in Indianapolis. Other significant legal experience includes over four years in the Office of the Indiana Attorney General, both in the capacity of a Law Clerk and Deputy Attorney General. He also spent two years as an Associate Planner in the Office of the Columbus Planning Department located in Columbus, Indiana.
Mr. Bugher has several degrees that include a Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree from the Indiana University School of Law (1991), a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs (1985) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Purdue University (1982).
Executive Director for the Division of Youth Services
Christine Blessinger serves as the Executive Director for the Division of Youth Services. Chris oversees all areas of the juvenile division to include; operations, case management, programs and re-entry. Chris began her career working for the Department of Correction in 2000 as a Psychiatric Social Service Specialist III at the Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility. She served as a Program Director 2 and was promoted to Program Director 1 at Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility. Chris was then promoted to Program Director/Assistant Director of the Division in 2008 where she was the State Coordinator for Performance Based Standards (PbS) and Community based Standards (CbS). She was also responsible or program implementation, Comprehensive Case Management and re-entry services before being promoted to the Chief Operations Director of the Division in 2014. Chris is a member of the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators (CJCA) and a member of the American Correctional Association (ACA). Chris is also a certified PREA auditor for juvenile facilities. Prior to working in corrections, Chris held positions of Youth Care Worker, Youth Manager and Case Manager at the Henry County Youth Center. Chris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology from Indiana State University.
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