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Pa. corrections secretary is leaving, Gov. Wolf names replacement

Pennsylvania Corrections Secretary John Wetzel, who has overseen the state’s prison system for a decade, is leaving the post for the private sector, Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration said Monday.

Wolf said he has tapped George Little to serve as acting corrections secretary. Little has served as executive deputy secretary of community corrections and reentry since 2017. Little also held various corrections posts in Tennessee for 26 years.

“George Little has extensive leadership experience in the public sector, with a focus on public safety, including five years in leadership positions at the Department of Corrections,” Wolf said in a statement.

“The Department of Corrections continues to evolve and modernize rehabilitation and education efforts to reduce recidivism while implementing appropriate strategies to enhance public safety. George Little understands this deeply and will serve this position well,” Wolf said.

Wetzel began serving as corrections secretary during the administration of former Gov. Tom Corbett. After Wolf was elected governor, he chose to keep Wetzel in charge of the state’s prison and corrections system.

The governor hailed Wetzel’s work in helping reduce the state’s prison population for the first time in many years.

“Under John Wetzel’s leadership, the Department of Corrections experienced the first reduction in the inmate population in decades – a testament to his commitment to rehabilitation and positive re-entry initiatives,” Gov. Wolf said in the statement. “I am grateful for his dedication to public safety and for his service to our commonwealth, and I wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”

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