News release from governor’s office:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced the appointment of Tony Parker as commissioner of the Tennessee Department of the Correction (TDOC) effective June 19. Parker will replace Derrick Schofield who announced June 1 he is leaving the administration to join GEO Group in Florida as executive vice president for continuum of care.
A 33-year veteran of TDOC, Parker has served five administrations, beginning his career as a correctional officer, working his way up and serving since 2012 as assistant commissioner of prisons, supervising prison operations, security operations and offender management.
“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,” Haslam said. “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, 52, began his career with TDOC as a correctional officer at the Lake County Regional Correctional Facility in 1983 and was promoted through the ranks as a correctional corporal, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, associate warden and deputy warden, eventually serving as warden of the Northwest Correctional Complex in Tiptonville from 2003 until 2006. From 2006 until 2008, Parker served as warden of the West Tennessee State Penitentiary in Henning. In 2008, Parker again served as warden of Northwest Correctional Complex until being promoted to correctional administrator of TDOC’s West Region in April 2011.
While working for TDOC, Parker earned an associate degree in criminal justice from Dyersburg State Community College in 1993, a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from the University of Tennessee at Martin in 1995 and a master of arts degree in security studies from the prestigious Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. in 2013.
The state’s corrections system is comprised of 14 prisons, collectively housing approximately 21,000 offenders. TDOC has more than 6,500 employees and supervises 79,000 offenders on probation, parole or community corrections.
“The Tennessee Department of Correction has more than 6,000 dedicated professionals that serve a critical role in protecting our citizens. For 33 years, I have had the privilege of being a member of that team, and I am honored and grateful that Governor Haslam has asked me to serve as their commissioner,” Parker said.
Parker is married to Misty Parker and they live in West Tennessee with three children, Madison, Mia and J’Coy.