Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) Commissioner Gregory C. Dozier announced the promotion of Don Blakely to Warden at Valdosta State Prison, effective August 21, 2017. As Warden, Blakely will be responsible for overseeing 419 staff members and 1,312 close security male offenders.

“In his almost 30 years of service with the Department, Don has succeeded in every role he has held,” said Commissioner Dozier. “He knowledge and experience will greatly benefit the staff and offenders at Valdosta State Prison.”

Blakely began his career with the Department in 1989 as a Correctional Officer at Central State Prison, where he progressed through the ranks of Correctional Officer I, and II, and was promoted to Sergeant in 1992.  In 1994, he was promoted to Lieutenant at Pulaski State Prison. In 2006, Blakely was promoted to Chief of Security at Macon State Prison followed by promotions to Unit Manager in 2008 and Deputy Warden of Security in 2012.  In 2017, he accepted a position as a Facility Auditor with the Office of Professional Standards, where he currently serves.

Blakely has completed various departmental training programs to include Basic Correctional Officer Training (BCOT), Supervisors Development Training, Professional Management Program (PMP), Corrections Leadership Institute (CLI), and Wardens Pre-Command.