Kelley Christopher is the Deputy Commissioner for Programs, Education, Re-Entry and comes to the MDOC with more than 30 years of experience in the corrections industry including education, research, instruction, and practical institutional experience. Christopher joined MDOC in 2022 as a Deputy Superintendent at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility before ascending to Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Programs, Education and Re-Entry, then transitioning to her current position on Oct. 1, 2023.
Christopher, a native of Houston, Texas, previously served as a professor in criminology at the University of West Georgia where she focused on research on corrections and re-entry and teaching related courses. In addition to lectures, public presentations, and work in the community, Christopher has authored numerous articles in publications and handled research grants supported by thousands of dollars on a variety of topics related to corrections. Christopher’s teaching and research interests were primarily centered on re-entry, crime and special inequality, corrections, disparities in sentencing, women and criminal justice.
Christopher holds a Master’s degree in Sociology (New Mexico State University), Master’s degree in Public Administration; Adult Education (Troy University); and a Master’s degree in Post-Secondary Education (Troy University). Her Bachelor’s degree is in social science (Southern Oregon University).
Christopher has been recognized multiple times with honors including Outstanding Teaching Award, Outstanding Service Award, Outstanding Mentor Award, Faculty Member of the Year, and several nominations for similar awards. She has taught undergraduate courses including American Criminal Courts, Prison Law, Correctional Programs, Race and Crime, Correctional Profiling, and many others on virtually every aspect directly or indirectly related to corrections.
Professional memberships include American Society of Criminology, Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, National Criminal Justice International Honor Society, International Sociology Honors Society
National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Southern Criminal Justice Association, American Correctional Association, National Association of Community and Restorative Justice, The Association of Reentry Professionals, International Inside-Out Training Institute Instructor Training. Temple University, The Association of Reentry Professionals Certification, University of Cincinnati Corrections Institute: Re-entry Certification.
This division is responsible for the following agency functions: