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2 Leadership Position Changes at Smith State Prison

The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) Interim Commissioner Timothy C. Ward announced the promotion of Yolanda Byrd to Deputy Warden of Security at Smith State Prison, effective December 1, 2018. As Deputy Warden of Security, Byrd will be responsible for overseeing approximately 325 staff members and 1,545 close security male offenders at the facility.


“Byrd’s experience and expertise have proven to be an asset to the agency,” said Interim Commissioner Timothy C. Ward. “We look forward to the knowledge and experience she will bring to Smith State Prison.”

Byrd began her career with the Georgia Department of Corrections in 2009 as a Correctional Officer at Smith State Prison.  In 2013, she was promoted to Sergeant, serving in the capacity of Assistant Shift Supervisor and Sanitation/Building Sergeant on Split Shift, before being promoted to Lieutenant in 2014.  In 2017 Byrd was promoted to Tier II Unit Manager at Smith State Prison, where she currently serves.

Byrd earned a bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance, with an emphasis in Financial Planning from Georgia Southern University, and a bachelor of science degree in Exercise Science from Georgia Southern University.  She has completed the following departmental training: Basic Correctional Officer Training, Sergeants Academy, Basic Management Training, GCIC Certification Training, Adjunct Auditor Training and Supervision Training.

Additionally, the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) Interim Commissioner Timothy C. Ward announced the reassignment of Mark Smith to Deputy Warden of Security at Smith State Prison (SP), effective December 1, 2018. As Deputy Warden of Security, Smith will be responsible for overseeing approximately 325 staff members and 1600 close-security male offenders at the facility.

“Smith is an invaluable asset to the agency,” said Interim Commissioner Timothy C. Ward. “We are confident he will excel in his new role as Deputy Warden.”

Smith began his career with GDC in 2002 as a Correctional Officer at Rogers SP.  While at Rogers SP, he was a member of the Georgia SP Tactical Squad,  then transferred to Smith SP in 2007 as a Correctional Officer and served as a member of the Smith SP Tactical Squad and Correctional Emergency Response Team (CERT).  In 2011, he was promoted to Sergeant at Georgia SP.  He was promoted to Lieutenant at Montgomery SP in 2013, and later that year, was promoted to the Office of Investigations and Compliance Internal Investigations Unit as an Institutional Investigator, assigned to Smith SP. He was promoted to Special Agent with the Office of Professional Standards/Criminal Investigations Division in 2015, and in 2018, was promoted to Deputy Warden of Security at Georgia SP, where he currently serves.

Smith has completed the following departmental training: Basic Correctional Officer Training, Basic Management Training, Supervision I, II, & III, Management I, II, & III, Firearms Instructor Training, Basic Law Enforcement Academy, GBI Basic Agent Academy, Deputy Warden of Security Academy and the Professional Management Program.

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