Gov. Wolf announces departure of Corrections Secretary, names new Acting Secretary

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HARRISBURG — On Monday, Governor Tom Wolf announced he has named George Little to serve as Acting Secretary of the Department of Corrections (DOC). 

Little will replace outgoing Corrections Secretary John Wetzel, who is leaving to enter the private sector. 

“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,” Gov. Wolf said. “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.”     

A Pennsylvania native, Little previously served the state of Tennessee in various capacities for 26 years. There, he served as Regional Probation Director, Warden and Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Correction, as well as Director of the Shelby County Tennessee Division of Corrections. Between periods of corrections service, Little served as Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Memphis.

Little currently serves as the Executive Deputy Secretary of Community Corrections and Reentry at the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections since September of 2017, where he is responsible for leading community corrections, parole and probation field supervision services and parole re-entry operations. Prior to that, he was DOC’s Director of Community Corrections since 2016.  

Little also serves on the Board of the National Police Foundation and is an associate member of the Association of State Correction Administrator.  

Wetzel served as Secretary since 2011, spanning two administrations, and he has three decades of experience in corrections roles.  

“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. “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.”    

Wetzel will depart on Oct. 1 and Little will assume the role as Acting Secretary on October 2.

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