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Three top prison officials leaving

There are some high-level departures among state prison officials.

Jennie Lancaster, chief deputy secretary of the Division of Adult Correction, will retire effective Jan. 1. Deputy Director of Adult Correction James French retired Nov. 1.

Bob Lewis, section chief for prisons, will retire on Jan. 1.

No word on whether the retirements intentionally coincide with the change in administrations. But that kind of thing tends to happen when a new governor from a different party takes over.

Who's in the mix for Correction?

Who might take over as Correction Secretary?

With current Secretary Theodis Beck retiring soon and no announcement yet by Gov.-elect Beverly Perdue, the appointment is still up in the air.

After a recent series in the N&O exposed problems with the probation system, the post may be one of the most closely watched in the new administration. (The other would be Health and Human Services Secretary, given another N&O series on mental health reform.)

In recent weeks, Crime Control Secretary Bryan Beatty's name has surfaced as a contender. He gave an ambiguous answer when asked by Dome.

Others in the mix: Jennie Lancaster, former superintendent of the N.C. Correctional Institution for Women in Raleigh, and Dan Stieneke, chief deputy secretary under Beck.

Update: Stieneke has announced he would retire on Jan. 1.

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