Thornton to lead Division of Justice and Community Services

CHARLESTON, WV (AP)- Gov. Jim Justice has appointed an interim director for the Division of Justice and Community Services as part of a restructuring of the agency.


The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that Joe Thornton has replaced Rick Staton, who led DJCS since July 2014. Thornton is a former Cabinet secretary of the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, which oversees DJCS.


DJCS serves as a planning agency for criminal justice programs in West Virginia. The division is responsible for overseeing federal grant programs related to West Virginia’s criminal justice system.


Lawrence Messina, a spokesman for the military affairs and public safety department, says the administrative change fits into the department’s efforts to streamline services, especially in the wake of legislation from this past session that restructured corrections services in the state.

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