New Warden Named at Sampson Correctional

The Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice has named Robert Van Gorder as the new warden of the Sampson Correctional Institution in Clinton.

Van Gorder, 54, had been the associate warden for custody/operations at the prison since 2015.

“Warden Van Gorder is an outstanding correctional professional with decades of institutional knowledge,” said Todd Ishee, Commissioner of Prisons. “He is a welcome addition to our ranks of wardens, who work day in and day out to keep the staff, offenders and the general public safe.”

In his new position, Van Gorder is responsible for all operations at the prison, which houses male medium and minimum custody offenders and the largest Correction Enterprise laundry operation in the Department of Public Safety.

A veteran employee to state government, Van Gorder has spent his 28-year career at Sampson Correctional, starting in 1991 as a correctional officer.

He was promoted to correctional sergeant in 1994, correctional lieutenant in 1999 and correctional captain in 2004.

Van Gorder is an instructor for the Department of Public Safety, with specialties in firearms, expandable baton, and other disciplines.

He has lived in Sampson County since 1974. In his new position, his immediate goal is to fill staff vacancies and to ensure a safe working environment for employees and offenders.

Van Gorder attributes his career success on past supervisors who made an impact on him early on in his career, and the leadership team and staff at Sampson Correctional Institution.