Governor Ivey Taps Law Enforcement Veteran John Hamm to Lead Department of Corrections

MONTGOMERY – Governor Kay Ivey on Tuesday announced she is appointing law enforcement veteran John Hamm, the current deputy secretary of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, to serve as the next commissioner of the Department of Corrections. The Ivey Administration has made tackling the decades-neglected challenges of the state’s prison system an imperative focus, and under Commissioner Dunn’s leadership, the Department has made significant progress. After almost seven years in his position, Commissioner Dunn plans to step down at the end of December.

“For decades, the challenges of our state’s prison system have gone unaddressed and have grown more difficult as a result, but after assuming office, I committed to the people of Alabama that we would solve this once and for all. Commissioner Dunn and I have worked together to make many foundational changes, including getting the Alabama Prison Plan moving across the finish line, and I know this critical step will make a difference for decades to come,” said Governor Ivey. “I have said before that Commissioner Dunn has a thankless job, but I am proud that he has led with the utmost integrity. He has helped lay the groundwork that I now look forward to building upon with John Hamm at the helm.”

Hamm comes to the post with more than 35 years of law enforcement experience. Prior to serving as deputy secretary of ALEA, he was at the helm of the State Bureau of Investigation and served in other capacities at the agency. His extensive law enforcement background also includes work in corrections, both at the state and local levels.

“Ensuring public safety is at the forefront of our mission when it comes to the Alabama Department of Corrections. From protecting our inmates to correctional staff to the public, that must be a top priority, and we will have a strong leader in John Hamm,” said Governor Ivey. “We have taken important steps, and now, we must build upon those, and John has committed to me that he is prepared to do just that. I am confident in the direction we will take this department in the coming years.”

Hamm’s background in public safety goes back as far as his educational background where he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Justice and Public Safety from Auburn University at Montgomery.

“I am honored and humbled by Governor Ivey appointing me as commissioner of Corrections,” said Hamm. “I will work diligently with the men and women of DOC to fulfill Governor Ivey’s charge of solving the issues of Alabama’s prison system.”

Commissioner Dunn will continue serving through the end of the year. Hamm’s appointment is effective January 1, 2022.

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A photo of John Hamm is available here for download.