“I believe in going out into the community,” she said.
Oliver started in the position July 1, according to a news release from the Georgia Department of Corrections.
She will oversee a 15-member staff which manages 1,219 felony probationers in the judicial circuit which includes only Paulding County. With experience in both large and small judicial circuits, she said she has had to do every job which will help her supervise her staff.
Oliver graduated from Morris Brown College with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. She is currently enrolled in the Corrections Leadership Institute, which gives department leaders a place to develop projects which could be utilized in the field.
She started her career in 2001 as a probation officer 1 in the state’s Central DeKalb Probation Office, and then transferred to the Dallas Probation Office in 2004. She moved to the Atlanta Judicial Circuit in 2007, and was part of the revocation team and was a sex offender probation officer.
She was then promoted to the rank of probation officer 3 in the Atlanta Judicial Circuit.
“During this time, she worked closely with the Atlanta Community Impact Program and was the physical fitness coordinator for the circuit,” according to the news release.
In returning to Paulding she knows there are a high number of drug offenders, she said.
“I want my officers to focus on [probationers] not re-entering [prison],” Oliver said.
To help this cause she wants officers to be visible in the community and partnerships with public, private and faith-based organizations to help give offenders what they need to help them not reoffend.
Oliver said she also wants to work with local law enforcement to let them know where the probationers are located.
The staff already goes to homes and is acquainted with the parolees’ family and friends to know what is going on in their lives.
“They have boots on the ground,” she said, adding she plans to continue that.
Georgia Department of Corrections Commissioner Brian Owens announced Oliver’s promotion.
“Marnesha is a dedicated and invaluable employee to the probation operations division,” he said. “Her leadership will be a value to the staff and probationers in her new circuit.”
Oliver said, “One challenge is learning the dynamics of the position.”
That includes learning the staff members’ personalities, which she said is key.
“The department fully equips you for the challenges that may come up,” Oliver said.