RICHMOND- Harold W. Clarke, head of the Virginia Department of Corrections, has been re-appointed by Governor-elect Ralph Northam to lead the agency for a third term.

Tuesday at Fire Station #17 in Richmond, Governor-elect Northam thanked Director Clarke for his service to the Commonwealth and announced Clarke’s re-appointment.

“As Governor, the safety of all Virginians will always be my number one priority,” said Governor-elect Northam.

For the second year in a row, Virginia’s re-incarceration rate is the lowest in the country, at 22.4 percent. Among the 45 states that report three-year incarceration rates for felons, no other state correctional system reports a lower rate. The Commonwealth’s recidivism rate has fallen a full percentage point since last year.

“I am honoured by Governor-elect Northam’s actions today, and I look forward to a fruitful partnership with his administration as we work together to focus our energy on offenders’ successful re-entry into our communities,” said Director Harold Clarke.

Clarke became the Virginia Department of Corrections’ leader in November 2010 after appointment by Governor Bob McDonnell. Clarke was then re-appointed by Governor Terry McAuliffe in 2014.