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Name: Poteat, Adrienne
Current Position: Previous Director

A longtime employee of the District of Columbia’s Department of Corrections, Adrienne R. Poteat served as the head of the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA), where she has been deputy director since 2002. This federal agency oversees pre-trial maintenance of prisoners in Washington D.C. and supervises offenders who are on probation, parole, or supervised release. When CSOCA director Paul Quander stepped down at the end of his six-year term, Poteat took over leadership of the agency as acting director on July 31, 2008.

A native of Washington, DC, Poteat holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Hampton Institute in Virginia.
After graduating from college, she began her law enforcement career with the Hampton Police Department as an intake officer, followed by a short term with the Newport News Juvenile Domestic Relations Court and another teaching junior high school in Montgomery County.
In 1975, Poteat became the first woman correctional officer hired by the DC Department of Corrections. This was not an easy field in which to be a trailblazer. She was harassed for years by her male co-workers and supervisors. “I was truly not wanted,” she stated in a deposition in support of a sexual harassment lawsuit against the department in 1995. Once, her co-workers conspired with some of the inmates. She was sent alone to do a bed count in a tough dormitory. Some of the inmates stripped naked in front of her, while others lay on their beds and masturbated. She was saved by the arrival of more sympathetic officers. Another time, she dealt with a prisoner who kept flashing her by grabbing his penis and pulling it across the wires of a fence.
Poteat also had to deal with racial issues. “You know, part of it…was probably things that were instilled in you as a child,” she said in the deposition. “Oftentimes you felt that, when a white male told you something, that was the law and you did not challenge it. You were almost subservient. If he said do it, you did it. I guess as time went on, the best treatment later on down the line and the most respect that I got was from the white males.”
Over time she was promoted to case manager, unit manager, deputy warden, warden and deputy director. In 1999 the new head of the DC Department of Corrections, Odie Washington, removed Poteat from her post as deputy director for institutions and made her warden of the Maximum Security Facility and the Correctional Treatment Facility, which she helped privatize as part of a 20-year sale/lease-back agreement between the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and the DC government.
In 2001, Poteat left the DC Department of Corrections and joined the United States Parole Commission as a hearing examiner, where she remained until assuming the deputy director post at CSOSA.
Biography: Adrienne R. Poteat (Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia)
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