Otter names new Idaho pardons and parole chief

newsroom@idahostatesman.comJuly 17, 2014 

— Gov. Butch Otter has selected Sandy Jones, head of Jail Reentry Programs and Alternative Sentencing for the Ada County Sheriff’s Office, to be the next executive director of the Idaho Commission of Pardons and Parole.

Jones previously was responsible for setting up and running Ada County Misdemeanor Probation Services for Sheriff Gary Raney. She will start her new job managing day-to-day operations and administrative support for the five-member Commission of Pardons and Parole in mid-August with the retirement of long-time Executive Director Olivia Craven.

"Sandy’s impressive work establishing processes and managing the startup of a misdemeanor probation program for Idaho’s most populous county, as well as her enthusiasm for and understanding of what's at stake in implementing Idaho's Justice Reinvestment efforts to reduce the number of offenders returning to prison after their release, make her an excellent choice for executive director,” Otter said in a press release. "I'm confident she will work effectively with the Department of Correction, the courts and other criminal justice stakeholders to save taxpayer dollars while ensuring public safety and successfully returning offenders to Idaho communities."

Jones has a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology. She will take over management of an agency with 33 employees and a $2.8 million annual budget. Pardons and Parole also is in the middle of a significant transition with the Justice Reinvestment law championed by Otter and approved by the Legislature this year. The reforms emphasize prioritizing lower-risk offenders for release and more closely and effectively supervising their behavior while on parole to reduce the incidence of violations or new offenses.

"Almost everyone in our prisons eventually gets out. Whether they succeed in society is up to them, but our job is to carefully assess when they are ready and help commissioners can make good decisions about maximizing the chances of success while minimizing the risk to the public," Jones said. "I am a reentry person, so I'm looking forward to being a part of making the Justice Reinvestment reforms and our supervision system work."

Craven has been executive director at Pardons and Parole since July 1984. She previously worked for the Idaho Supreme Court for two years and the Idaho Department of Correction for eight years.

"I'm grateful for Olivia's career-long commitment to criminal justice, and to faithfully serving the people of Idaho in this important but often thankless position," Otter said.

Idaho Statesman is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service