Breaking Barriers! Neicole Molden makes history as first woman, first black to be named Warden of the Wyoming State Penitentiary

By Duchess Magazine

Neicole Molden makes history as first woman, first black to be named Warden of the Wyoming State Penitentiary

It’s more than a promotion for Deputy Warden Neicole Molden who will now hold title of warden of the Wyoming State Penitentiary, it’s glass shattering.

The amazing news was recently announced by the Wyoming Department of Corrections (WDOC). With the promotion announcement, Molden becomes the first woman and first Black American to be named the warden of the Wyoming State Penitentiary.

Attaining the feat didn’t come easy, but through hard work and dedication Molden worked her way up. She joined the WDOC since 2009, as a unit manager supervisor and has worked at two facilities in the state, the Wyoming Women’s Center and the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution.

This isn’t the first time Molden is breaking barriers, she was also the first woman and Black person to hold her previous two positions.

In a WDOC release, Molden expressed gratitude and excitement about beginning the new post;

“I am truly humbled by the opportunity to be the first female warden for the Wyoming State Penitentiary,” she said. “I know that the experience and knowledge that I have will assist me to be successful in this position. I am grateful t6o be able to lead the dedicated staff of WSP and watch the staff become one successful team.”

In a chat with K2 radio, she started she wants to provide a better experience for inmates.

“I’m a pretty involved person, especially when it comes to the operations and the inmates,” Molden said.

“I try to stay really involved in the inmate population to keep them busy, to keep them educated. I think I’ll do more…I’m looking at teaching some classes myself. When I was at the women’s center, I taught a confidence class for the women as the associate warden, so I plan on doing something like that for the men too. But I just want to find more activities to keep them busy, to give them more pro-social skills.”

Molden said the prison has been working diligently to ensure staff and inmates are safe.

“We’ve had to be very creative. We’ve had to find ways to keep the inmates safe, to keep the staff safe,” she said. “That’s numerous cleanings, different face masks every day, sometimes they’re locked down a certain amount of time depending upon if there’s a big outbreak, we normally have to lock them down a certain amount of time until we get the numbers down.”



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