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Vidalian Takes Over Monday at Reidsville
Wednesday, 26 June 2013

June 26--  A 1991 graduate of Vidalia High School takes over as Warden at Georgia State Prison in Reidsville Monday.

ImageRobert Toole joined the Department of Corrections after getting his degree in Criminal Justice from Georgia Southern in 1996.  He served as Superintendent at Smith, Telfair and Milan State Prisons and Warden at Wilcox and Ware State Prisons before being assigned to the maximum security prison at Redisville.

"Reidsville is a different inmate population.  It's some of the more hardened criminals in the system and has some of the inmates who can't be managed at other facilities.  The biggest challenge is keeping a convicted felon behind the fence, protecting the public and insuring the safety of the inmates and the staff at the facility," he says.

Another mission the warden takes seriously is giving inmates a chance at rehabilitation.

"Ninety percent of all offenders are going to return to the free world at some point.  It's our job to insure they are rehabilitated and become tax paying citizens.  

"Any offender that does not have a GED, we give them the opportunity to earn a GED while they are incarcerated.  If an inmate has a substance abuse problem, we give them some treatment for that so maybe they don't go back out and get back on the substance that possibly caused them to come into the system," Toole reports.

As Warden Toole arrives at Reidsville, he notes his grandfather was a guard there and his mother, Barbara Taylor of Vidalia, lived on the prison grounds as a girl.

"My mother was actually raised there on the reservation.  My grandfather worked there before he passed away and it's sort of come full circle for my mother," he says.

Warden Toole's wife, Ann Michelle, teaches at Vidalia High School and they have an 11-year-old girl and a seven-year-old boy in the school system. 

 
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