Gov. Mitch Daniels announced Lemmon's appointment officially on Thursday.
"This is an awesome opportunity," Lemmon said. "I really appreciate the faith the commission and the governor have in me."
Lemmon began his career with the IDOC in 1976.
"I have really enjoyed my tenure at Putnamville," Lemmon said. "We have done great things with recycling and other initiatives that I'm very proud of."
Lemmon said he is also looking forward to being able to help develop more programs that will assist inmates with reentry when they are released from prison.
"I'm very much in favor of anything that helps with reentry," Lemmon said. "The right substance abuse programs and sentencing practices will help reduce the DOC population."
Lemmon is excited about his new job and about being involved with the IDOC on a larger level.
"I really like the direction (the IDOC) is taking," he said.
Lemmon said he is optimistic about pending legislation that will give judges the ability to impose "smarter sentences."
Lemmon has served in various capacities within IDOC. Before coming to Putnamville, he was the superintendent at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility in Carlisle. He has served as interim IDOC commissioner on two occasions and held a number of leadership positions within the department during his 35-year career.
He is a certified correctional executive and a member of the American Correctional Association. Prior to joining IDOC, he served in the United States Army and was honorably discharged as a Specialist 5.
He earned a bachelor's degree from Indiana State University.
"Indiana's corrections system is now nationally recognized, so Bruce has a tall order to continue improving it," Daniels said. "But he's been a big part of the turnaround and has proven himself ready for the job."
The Indiana Department of Correction is comprised of 21 adult facilities, six juvenile facilities, nine parole districts, 74 community corrections counties and a central administrative office. DOC employs 7,800 people across the state and has 28,000 offenders currently incarcerated in its facilities.
Lemmon's appointment is effective Jan.17. He replaces Edwin G. Buss.
Lemmon's replacement has not been named.