ATLANTA  Governor Sonny Perdue announced today the appointment of Georgia Department of Corrections Commissioner James E. Donald to the State Board of Pardons and Paroles. He will replace Garfield Hammonds, Jr., whose term expired December 31, 2008.

Hammonds was originally appointed to the Board by Governor Zell Miller and was re-appointed by Governor Roy Barnes in December 2001. Donald’s appointment is effective today, January 5 and expires on 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 Governor 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.”

Governor Perdue will recommend DOC Assistant Commissioner Brian Owens to the Corrections Board as Commissioner Donald’s replacement.

“Brian has served the agency in a number of leadership roles over the past decade and is ready to take on this new challenge,” Governor Perdue said.

Owens began his career in the criminal justice system as a Parole Officer. He achieved the rank of the Assistant Chief Parole Officer and eventually became the Chief Parole Officer of Fulton County. In 1999, Owens accepted a position with the Department of Corrections where he spearheaded the Office of Planning and Analysis. In 2002, Brian Owens was selected to the position of the Executive Assistant to Commissioner Wetherington. He sustained that position with the appointment of Commissioner Donald and was appointed to the position of Assistant Commissioner in March 2005. Mr. Owens is a graduate of the University of Georgia.