Kochelle Watson Promoted

FORSYTH, Ga. – The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) Commissioner Tyrone Oliver announced the promotion of Kochelle Watson, Superintendent at Emanuel Probation Detention Center to Warden at Johnson State Prison (SP), effective June 16, 2024. As Warden, Watson will be responsible for overseeing all staff members and approximately 1,560 male offenders.

“Kochelle has been a dedicated team member and exceptional leader during her tenure with the agency,” said Commissioner Tyrone Oliver. “We are confident she will continue to uphold the values and mission of the agency while taking on her new role as Warden.”

Watson began her career with the GDC in 1998 as a Correctional Officer at Emanuel PDC. During her tenure at Emanuel PDC, she was promoted through the ranks to Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Unit Manager. In 2019, she was promoted to Deputy Warden of Security at Johnson SP, and in 2022, she was promoted to Superintendent at Emanuel Probation Detention Center, where she currently serves.

Watson is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree from Thomas University. Her departmental training consists of Basic Correctional Officer Training, the Professional Management Program through Columbus State University, Sergeants Academy, Advanced Management Training, Corrections Leadership Institute, Deputy Warden of Security Academy, Management I, II, and III, and Warden’s Pre-Command.


About the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC)

The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) has one of the largest prison systems in the U.S. and is responsible for supervising approximately 50,000 state prisoners. It is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with approximately 9,000 employees. For more information on the GDC, call 478-992-5247 or visit https://gdc.georgia.gov.


Director, Communications Joan Heath


Manager of Communications Lori Benoit