Charleston, WV— Current Commissioner of the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Betsy Jividen, will step down from her position, effective August 5th, 2022.

Today, the Governor announced Jividen’s resignation, thanking her for her dedication to West Virginia’s correctional system, especially during the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Justice also praised Commissioner Jividen’s dedication to the rehabilitation of inmates struggling with addiction issues and other significant obstacles to recovery.

The Governor will immediately begin the process of filling the vacancy left by Jividen’s departure.

“It has been my greatest professional honor to serve with the men and women of corrections, who truly perform one of the most honorable forms of public service, often under conditions that the average person cannot even begin to comprehend,” says Jividen in her resignation letter to the Governor. “I look forward to finding ways to continue working on their behalf, as well as for those individuals that make up our incarcerated and reentering populations.”

In a separate letter, Commissioner Jividen shared the news with her staff, recognizing their sacrifices and sharing her parting words with a “heavy heart”.

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that I reach out to tell you I will be leaving my position as Commissioner and that my last day will be Friday, August 5th.”

The letter goes on to say how much Jividen will miss all the friends she has made during her tenure as Commissioner, and even includes Jividen’s personal email address and cell phone number so that any of her soon-to-be former staff members can reach out, as Jividen eagerly invites them to do. Jividen goes on to write, “Thank you once again for your service, commitment, sacrifices and for not giving up when so many other would. Please know that I will continue to pray for your safety and for better days. Be safe and persevere.” 

The West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation operates fifteen prisons, work-release centers, and juvenile facilities and has more than $2,000 employees. Commissioner Jividen has worked tirelessly to ensure the safety and security of those staff members and inmates, alike.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Commissioner Jividen more than once during my forty-two year career, and I can personally attest to her dedication, her passion, and to her character,” says Cabinet Secretary, Jeff Sandy. “Commissioner Jividen has dedicated so much of her time to help move corrections forward in West Virginia and has supervised over 2,000 employees and over 7,000 inmates with poise and proficiency.”

Commissioner Jividen was sworn in as an Assistant United States Attorney in 1980, and was the first woman named to that position in the Northern District of West Virginia. Due to her outstanding work in civil and criminal cases, Commissioner Jividen served two terms as acting and interim United States Attorney, and was named First Assistant United States Attorney by three different United States Attorneys.

“During my short time as Deputy Cabinet Secretary, I have been able to work with Commissioner Jividen, who has built a career to be admired–and I do admire her,” says Deputy Cabinet Secretary, Rob Cunningham. “Commissioner Jividen has served the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation diligently, and she will be missed.”