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Ga. commissioner to head parole board
By Jim Montalto, News Editor
Published: 01/07/2009

In front of the crowd Georgia Department of Corrections Commissioner James E. Donald, 59, is now leading the State Board of Pardons and Paroles after Garfield Hammonds’ appointment expired December 31, 2008. Donald’s appointment took effect January 5, and expires December 31, 2015.
“Commissioner Donald’s experience in the state’s prison system makes him an excellent addition to the Board of Pardons and Paroles,” said Georgia Governor Sony Perdue. “He has demonstrated strong leadership skills during his tenure at DOC and I am confident that he will continue his commitment to public service in his new role.”

When Donald became the GADOC’s commissioner in December 2003, he was charged with overseeing the nation’s fifth largest prison system, with a population of 200,000 offenders either in prison or on probation, 15,000 employees, and an approximately $1.2 billion annual budget.

He earned a Bronze Star during the first Gulf War for his leadership as a task force commander with the 101st Airborne “Screaming Eagles.” Donald is a former deputy commanding general, U.S. Army Pacific, and served two tours of duty at the Pentagon. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi and a master’s degree from the University of Missouri.

Governor Perdue has recommended GADOC Assistant Commissioner Brian Owens to be Donald’s replacement.


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  2. Bubba on 06/22/2011:

    Commissioner Donald has accepted a role that will be a big test for him. Hopefully he can do some house cleaning within the State Board of Pardons and Paroles system. The train has jumped the track and run down into the woods, Hopefully he can bring the train back on track. I have a son with in the system, not because of a serious crime like murder, rape, robbery with weapon, it is because of being stupid while driving a big truck and getting involved in an accident with fatility which he has great regret. He is approaching ten years, and from what I have observed and learned their are folks in the system that need to be there because they are hard core and some that just made a mistake in life. The family has made pleas with the Pardons and Parole several times just to get some information and have had no success. It almost seems like we are getting a run around. Our son is in a Transiontal Center for almost a year now and gets no information. Point is, I am sure the state would rather the family incure the cost of the son and make room for the hard core offenders. In closing the support and prayers are with Commissioner James E Donald. Without a doubt he has a Great Challenge ahead and will need much support. To All: HAVE A GREAT DAY AND GOD BLESS

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