GUNNISON—Devin Blood, the new warden at the Central Utah Correctional Facility (CUFC) who took over in late March, says the opportunity means a great deal to him.
Blood started his career with the Utah Department of Corrections (UDC) at the Draper prison before moving south to Gunnison when the CUCF was built. Starting in 1997, he was first an officer, then sergeant, then lieutenant, then captain over security and lastly before his new role, he worked with volunteers in the programming division.
“I grew up in the system,” he says. “I’ve had some incredible mentors here. That staff support was overwhelming, very humbling.”
He replaced Shane Nelson, who held the position since 2017 and was promoted to a deputy-director position for UDC.
Other candidates for the position came from an internal-recruitment process, which included law-enforcement agencies that work with CUCF. UDC director and former Sanpete County sheriff Brian Nielson administered the search.
“I’ve had an awesome career with incredible people here at CUCF. I’d put them up against any other state in the nation,” Blood says.
Blood was born in Nephi, where he lived up until middle school. His family moved north, and he graduated from Brighton High School.
While earning a criminal justice degree at Snow College, he met his wife. That was 25 years ago; and they have since had two children.
He served two terms on Sterling City Council and was the water master.
“It definitely helped me get to where I am today,” having served in government for a city in the valley, he says.
Now that he is there, he says he will stay for the long haul. He described himself as “too young to retire, too old to start something else.”
But rather than mere convenience, he says his motivation is the responsibility entrusted in him.
“It’s to make a difference. I believe in the programs we’re running here,” he says. “It really hit me the other day: ‘that whole facility is my responsibility.’”
He says the well-being of his staff will be his top priority. As for inmates and families, he says he will always be mindful of their humanity and the relationships they have with people in the outside world.
And lastly, his overall goal as warden?
“In a nutshell, keep it at the high operating level” at which the prison has functioned under Nelson, and improve “little pieces, just making it that much better, taking it to another level.”
To make contact with the CUCF, visit corrections.utah.gov or call 528-6000.