jail, prison, corrections, guard

(The Center Square) – The Alabama Department of Corrections is undergoing a leadership change.

Gov. Kay Ivey announced in a news release the appointment of John Hamm to be the next leader of the DOC. Hamm served as the deputy secretary of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. He possesses more than 35 years of experience in law enforcement, and previously led the State Bureau of Investigation.

Hamm will replace Jefferson S. Dunn, who announced he is stepping down at the end of the month.

“For decades, the challenges of our state’s prison system have gone unaddressed and have grown more difficult as a result, but after assuming office, I committed to the people of Alabama that we would solve this once and for all,” Ivey said in the release. “Commissioner Dunn and I have worked together to make many foundational changes, including getting the Alabama Prison Plan moving across the finish line, and I know this critical step will make a difference for decades to come. I have said before that Commissioner Dunn has a thankless job, but I am proud that he has led with the utmost integrity. He has helped lay the groundwork that I now look forward to building upon with John Hamm at the helm.”

According to the release, Hamm holds a bachelor’s degree in Justice and Public Safety from Auburn University, and has an extensive public safety background.

“I am honored and humbled by Governor Ivey appointing me as commissioner of Corrections,” Hamm said in the release. “I will work diligently with the men and women of DOC to fulfill Governor Ivey’s charge of solving the issues of Alabama’s prison system.”

Ivey said she had made public safety a priority.

“From protecting our inmates to correctional staff to the public, that must be a top priority, and we will have a strong leader in John Hamm,” Ivey said in the release. “We have taken important steps, and now, we must build upon those, and John has committed to me that he is prepared to do just that. I am confident in the direction we will take this department in the coming years.”

Associate Editor

Brent Addleman is an Associate Editor and a veteran journalist with more than 25 years of experience. He has served as editor of newspapers in Pennsylvania and Texas, and has also worked at newspapers in Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Kentucky.