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Press Release

Press Release

VADOC Director Harold W. Clarke to Retire Following 13 Years in Commonwealth

September 06, 2023

RICHMOND — After more than 49 years of public service in the field of correctional services and 33 years as a state’s top correctional official, Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) Director Harold W. Clarke notified Governor Glenn Youngkin of his decision to retire as Director of the VADOC.

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.

Among numerous accolades, Clarke previously served as president of the American Correctional Association (ACA) and Association of State Correctional Administrators (ASCA). Notable awards Clarke has received include the 2014 E.R. Cass Award from the ACA and the 2019 Tom Clements Award from the ASCA.

“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.”

Judge Chadwick Dotson, currently the Chair of the Virginia Parole Board, will become the VADOC Director Friday, September 8. Before joining the Parole Board, Dotson served as Dean of Students and Distinguished Professor of Law at Appalachian School of Law. Additionally, Dotson previously served as Chief Judge of the 30th Judicial Circuit.

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