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Townsend named Piedmont Regional Jail superintendent

Piedmont Regional Jail’s (PRJ) new superintendent is Jerry R. Townsend.

Jerry R. Townsend

Also the Leigh District supervisor and chairman of the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors, Townsend brings 41 years of experience in corrections to the PRJ position.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be able to serve as superintendent,” he said. “(I) look forward to working with the staff out there, and we’re going to work together to try to make it better. Not saying anything is wrong, understand, (but we’ll be) working together as a team, trying to bring some different perspectives, new initiatives to hopefully enhance the efficiency of the operations out there.”

Townsend succeeds Jim Davis, who came out of retirement to be PRJ superintendent from February 2018 through the end of July 2020.

Nottoway County Administrator Ronald E. Roark serves on the PRJ board of directors and also served on the board’s personnel committee that led the search for a new superintendent. He estimated the committee received a half dozen applications for the position.

“We interviewed all those that wanted to be interviewed,” he said. “(We) discussed that, and then I think called three back and interviewed again and chose Mr. Townsend.”

The key word highlighting what made Townsend the right man for the job according to Roark was experience.

“He’s spent most of his life in corrections, the department of corrections,” Roark said.

Townsend noted he has come up through the ranks and has worked at no fewer than 10 different prisons, all in the state of Virginia. Most recently he had been superintendent of two other correctional facilities.

He stated he served as assistant warden at Chatham’s Green Rock Correctional Center, a facility he helped open. He was assistant warden at Nottoway Correctional Center in Burkeville for about seven years.

He was promoted to superintendent at Halifax Correctional Unit in South Boston and worked in that role for five years. Then he transferred to Rustburg Correctional Unit, where he was the superintendent for three years prior to coming to PRJ.

Townsend said his effective start date at Piedmont Regional Jail was Aug. 25.