Office of the Director
Ryan Thornell, Ph.D.
Ryan Thornell, Director of the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation, and Reentry (ADCRR), has nearly two decades of extensive correctional leadership experience. Dr. Thornell is a well-known, respected, and innovative leader of the modernization of corrections. His commitment to the field focuses on enhancing public safety by promoting systems-wide engagement, creating widespread access to services and resources, and improving the overall wellness of the Department, including its corrections staff and those under ADCRR’s care and supervision.
Director Thornell is grateful for the opportunity to work alongside the thousands of dedicated and talented ADCRR team members who aim to improve outcomes and seek innovative and modern approaches for corrections in Arizona.
Under the Director’s leadership, the ADCRR Executive Team is committed to an inclusive and diverse environment where the talents and expertise of every ADCRR team member are recognized, valued, and leveraged to create positive outcomes for the Department's stakeholders and constituents. In this effort, Dr. Thornell will guide the Department utilizing his experience to grow community partnerships while also strengthening the disciplines of safety and security operations, programming, treatment services, education, and skills training for incarcerated individuals to help ensure meaningful change and success upon release.
Director Thornell and his leadership team are committed to building an organizational culture that broadens mutual respect, integrity, and collaboration while also providing fiscal responsibility and agency transparency. As thoughtful action is taken on these important fronts, Arizona residents can be confident that the Department is working toward safer facilities and improved public safety across Arizona.
Prior to being appointed Director of ADCRR by Governor Katie Hobbs in January 2023, Director Thornell served as the Deputy Commissioner of Corrections for the Maine Department of Corrections and was recognized for the development of significant initiatives that resulted in the betterment of policies and practices around incarceration and correctional reform. He received his Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati and his Doctorate in Political Science from the University of South Dakota.