A former lawman now serving as Dawson County’s manager on Friday was named the Ninth Congressional District Representative on the state board of corrections.
Kevin Tanner, 38, was appointed by Gov. Sonny Perdue to the board that acts as the governing body for the state’s 14,000 department of corrections employees and the more than 200,000 probationers and prison inmates they supervise.
Goergia’s Department of Corrections is the fourth largest prison system in the United States.
Tanner’s term is for five years.
“This is an appointment I am honored to receive,” Tanner said, who spent almost two decades in local law enforcement before accepting his current position in 2007. “The department of corrections serves a very important purpose of not only housing our worst criminals but working to rehabilitate those offenders that have potential to return to our society.”
Sheriff Billy Carlisle said having an advocate at the state level will be a great asset to Dawson County.
“We especially need a local voice when we’re dealing with how inmates are paroled to make head space in the prisons,” Carlisle said. “We need a local voice at the state we can go to when situations come up.”
Composed of 18 members, the board develops rules governing conduct and welfare of employees under its authority, in addition to the assignment, housing, feeding, clothing, treatment, discipline, rehabilitation, training and hospitalization of all inmates in its custody.
Tanner began his career with Dawson County as a volunteer firefighter at the age of 17.
A short time later he was hired, while still attending Dawson County High School, as a dispatcher and detention officer with the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office.
A graduate of North Georgia College and State University with a master’s in public administration from Columbus State University, Tanner climbed the departmental ranks at the sheriff’s office and served for 10 years as undersheriff and chief deputy in charge of administration.
The husband and father of three young girls is a member of Dawson County Rotary Club, the board of trustees at Chestatee Regional Hospital, executive board of the Northeast Georgia Boy Scout Council and board of directors for the Rainbow Children's Home in Dahlonega.