The Arkansas Board of Correction has selected a familiar name to replace outgoing Department of Correction Director Ray Hobbs, who is retiring Oct. 31.

The Arkansas Board of Correction has selected a familiar name to replace outgoing Department of Correction Director Ray Hobbs, who is retiring Oct. 31.


At its meeting Thursday, the board selected former director Larry Norris, who will serve as interim director of the department.


During the board meeting, Benny Magness said Norris’ knowledge of Arkansas’ correctional system is unequaled and the continuity he brings to the agency is invaluable.


According to a press release from Dina Tyler, when Norris retired in 2010, he was the longest serving corrections director in the country and had served as director since 1993.


"During his tenure, the ADC earned full accreditation from the American Correctional Association, created its emergency preparedness plans and built prisons that are appropriate for the level of offenders that house," Tyler said in the release.


She said Norris has served as president of the United States Deputy Wardens Association, Southern States Correctional Association and the Association of State Correctional Administrators. He was awarded the prestigious. E.R. Cass Award from the American Correctional Association in 2010.


Hobbs was deputy director under Norris before being named to the top spot when Norris retired.