Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has named longtime state prisons official Tony Parker as the new commissioner of the Department of Corrections.
Parker replaces Derrick Schofield, who is stepping down to become the executive vice president of a Florida-based prison services provider.
“Tony Parker has spent his life dedicated to serving our state through the correctional system. He put himself through school, earning his associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees while being promoted through the ranks of the Department of Correction,” said Haslam. “Tony understands the department and its mission from top to bottom, and I have no doubt he will do an outstanding job leading it.”
Parker has served as correctional administrator of the agency's West Region since 2011. Parker is a 33-year veteran of the department who started his career as a correctional officer at the Lake County Regional Correctional Facility in 1983. He was promoted several times until serving as warden at prisons in Tiptonville and Henning. Parker became the correctional administrator of the agency's West Region in 2011.
The state Correction Department oversees 14 prisons holding about 21,000 inmates and supervises 79,000 people on probation, parole or community corrections. The agency employs 6,500 workers.
Parker's appointment is effective June 19.