Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced that Dr. Jeffrey Beard has been appointed Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).
Beard, 65, of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, served as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections from 2001 until his retirement in 2010, overseeing more than 51,000 inmates and 16,000 employees. He was appointed by both Republican Governor Tom Ridge and Democratic Governor Edward Rendell.
“The new Secretary has just the experience California needs. He’s been a prison warden, led the correctional system in Pennsylvania, and more recently participated in the Federal oversight of California’s prisons, visiting the majority of our institutions,” said Governor Brown. “In the face of a plethora of Federal court decisions and the bold realignment enacted by the Legislature, Jeff Beard has arrived at the right time to take the next steps in returning California’s parole and correctional institutions to their former luster.”
Since 2010, Beard has been a consultant on corrections, security, and mental health issues to state agencies, private companies and the National Institute of Corrections. He has consulted for CDCR on the Coleman mental health litigation since 2011 and visited many of California’s prisons. He was also a member of the 2007 “Expert Panel on Adult Offender and Recidivism Reduction Programming” that assessed CDCR’s adult prison and parole programs’ effectiveness.
Beard served in multiple positions at the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections from 1972 until 2001, including corrections counselor, classification and treatment supervisor, deputy superintendent, superintendent and executive deputy secretary.
Beard earned a doctorate degree and a Master of Education degree in counseling from Pennsylvania State University. He was licensed as a psychologist in 1977. This position requires Senate confirmation.