HARRISBURG, Pa. — Gov. Edward Rendell named Shirley Moore Smeal acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, making the former executive deputy secretary the first female to hold that post in Pennsylvania.
As Acting Secretary, Moore Smeal is responsible for overseeing the operation of 27 state prisons, 14 community corrections centers and almost 40 contract facilities. Pennsylvania DOC houses more than 51,000 inmates.
Moore Smeal assumed her new role as acting secretary following the retirement of Jeffrey Beard, who had held the position since 2001.
“Shirley has had a very extensive corrections career and has been mentored by Jeff Beard for the past 10 years,” says Gov. Rendell. “After serving as second-in-command at the department, it is only fitting that she be named acting secretary.”
Beard worked in the state prison system for more than 38 years. He served as secretary since 2001.
“Under Jeff’s leadership, our state prison system made major upgrades in security, assessment and education,” Rendell says. “He also worked with outside organizations and the general assembly to ensure passage of the state intermediate punishment [law] in 2005 and the prison reform package in 2008.”
Moore Smeal, who began her corrections career in 1987 as a clerk typist for the State Correctional Institution at Huntingdon, was appointed executive assistant to the secretary of corrections in 2001. She was subsequently appointed superintendent of SCI Muncy in 2003 and deputy secretary (eastern region) in 2006, before being named executive deputy secretary in 2010.