The State Board of Pardons and Paroles announced the appointment of Hinesville native Christopher L. Barnett as executive director of parole. The board’s announcement came at the Tuesday public board meeting, according to a news release issued Tuesday evening.
“It is truly an honor to serve as the executive director for the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, especially as our state continues on the path of groundbreaking criminal-justice reform initiatives,” Barnett said in the news release. “I am proud of what our state and board have accomplished thus far and look to the future in anticipation of even greater opportunities for enhancements and successes.”
As executive director of parole, Barnett oversees the day-to-day operations of the agency. Since April, he has served as interim director and has facilitated a significant reorganization of the agency, which resulted from the creation of the state Department of Community Supervision, the board’s news release says.
He has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a Master of Public Administration from Georgia Southern University.
Barnett brings a great deal of knowledge and experience to the position of executive director, the board’s news release says.
After beginning his law-enforcement career in 1999 with the Fulton County Police Department, he joined the Georgia Parole Board in 2003 as a parole officer in the Marietta Parole District. Promotions to senior parole officer, assistant chief parole officer, field operations officer, senior field operations officer and statewide program manager followed.
In May 2013, he was promoted to his prior position of regional director, supervising all operations and parole districts within Georgia’s Northeast Region.
“During this major transition period, Director Barnett has led the agency in the interim ensuring that necessary changes resulted in stronger operations and that the agency continued to move forward,” Parole Board Chairman Terry Barnard said in the release. “He has formulated an excellent team to continue the growth in order to meet challenges that are ahead.”
Since Barnett’s appointment in April as interim director, the board has adopted a new mission statement, strengthened its organizational structure and is finalizing a new strategic plan.
“The board remains focused on public safety, protecting victims’ rights and providing offenders with opportunities for positive change,” he said.
Barnett’s appointment is effective immediately.