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Alumnus named Mass. probation officer

A Northeastern graduate with a long career of service in the Massachusetts judicial system has been named acting commissioner of the troubled Probation Department.

Ronald Corbett Jr., who earned his master’s degree in criminal justice from Northeastern in 1978, was named to a two-year term heading the department, which has been embroiled in controversy since the release late last year of an independent counsel’s investigation into rigged hiring and patronage.

Corbett, who was deputy probation commissioner from 1993 to 2000, has most recently been executive director of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, where longtime Northeastern faculty member Roderick Ireland, Ph.D. ’98, has recently stepped into the chief justice role.

Chief Justice for Administration and Management Robert Mulligan, who appointed Corbett, praised his “depth of knowledge on probation best practices along with strong management experience and extensive partnerships in the criminal justice community.”

“I welcome the opportunity to restore probation to administrative excellence and credibility throughout the court system and in the eyes of the public,” Corbett said in a statement released by his office.

Under new rules, the Massachusetts probation commissioner will serve a five-year term, beginning after Corbett’s acting tenure.

“We are very fortunate to have a leader of this caliber who can work collaboratively with the executive branch and provide direction to the many hardworking probation officers across the state,” Mulligan said.