Tyrone Oliver to lead Georgia’s prison system in the New Year

this first appeared in the Covington News


ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp on Thursday announced his selection of Department of Juvenile Justice Commissioner Tyrone Oliver to become commissioner of the Georgia Department of Corrections, effective Jan. 1. 

“I am … grateful that Tyrone Oliver will further his innovative approach and dedication to protecting Georgians at the Department of Corrections,” Kemp said.

“His many years of law enforcement experience on both the local and state levels will serve the agency, those housed in our prison system, and our communities well. I look forward to the impact he will have in this new leadership role.” 

Oliver began his law enforcement career in 1999 as a detention officer with the Newton County Sheriff’s Office. He rose up the ranks over 14 years in Newton County before he was one of the first to be hired for the Brookhaven Police Department in 2013 when the new city was formed. 

Oliver worked for Brookhaven for three years before he was named chief of police for the city of Social Circle in 2016. He also served as deputy city manager.

Kemp then appointed Oliver in 2019 to lead the Department of Juvenile Justice

 Under Commissioner Oliver’s current leadership inside and outside of detention through social programs, education, credible messenger mentorship, and wraparound services. This community-focused approach has increased educational opportunities and job placement for youth throughout Georgia, decreasing gang affiliation and increasing successful reentry. 

The Department’s F.R.E.S.H. Start Youth Initiative, which has received national attention, is becoming a model approach for successfully partnering with companies, community leaders, and institutes of higher learning to provide employment, training, and scholarship funding for justice-involved youth.

In November, Oliver was elected vice president of the American Correctional Association (ACA), the nation’s oldest accrediting body for the corrections industry. 

Also this year, he was elected vice president of the Board of Directors of the Council of Juvenile Justice Administrators. 

He also serves on the Board of Peace Officers Annuity and Benefit Fund, the State Workforce Development Board, and the executive committees for the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council and the Department of Community Supervision.

Oliver is a graduate of Columbus State University’s Law Enforcement Professional Management Program. 

He completed Leadership Newton County and Walton County, the Federal Bureau of Investigations Law Enforcement Executive Development Program, the Leadership Trilogy Program, and the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange to Israel.

Oliver’s selection was among changes in various agency and state office leaders that will take effect in the coming year, Kemp’s office announced Thursday

Current Georgia Department of Corrections Commissioner Tim Ward will join the Board of Pardons and Paroles, following the retirement of Brian Owens, effective Jan. 1. 

Juvenile Justice Assistant Commissioner and Chief of Staff Shawanda Reynolds-Cobb will serve as interim commissioner to replace Oliver.

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