Virginia Department of Corrections names new director, starts work on Friday
Police, Virginia

Virginia Department of Corrections names new director, starts work on Friday

Crystal Graham
Harold Clarke
Harold Clarke

The Virginia Department of Corrections has a new director starting Friday.

Judge Chadwick Dotson, currently the chair of the Virginia Parole Board, was named the new director.

Before joining the parole board, Dotson served as Dean of Students and Distinguished Professor of Law at Appalachian School of Law. Dotson previously served as Chief Judge of the 30th Judicial Circuit.

Director Harold W. Clarke previously announced his retirement to Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin.

Clarke served more than 49 years in the field of correctional services.

Clarke was appointed VADOC Director in 2010 and previously served as the top corrections official in Nebraska, Washington and Massachusetts. His 13 years as VADOC director make his tenure the longest in the department’s history.

“I am very proud of what we have accomplished together over the last 13 years at the VADOC, consistently operating safe, secure, and humane correctional facilities and providing effective probation and parole supervision through transformative offender programming,” Clarke said. “Our efforts have culminated in Virginia having one of the lowest offender recidivism rates in the nation, ranking first or second for the last seven years.”

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Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.

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