A North­eastern grad­uate with a long career of ser­vice in the Mass­a­chu­setts judi­cial system has been named acting com­mis­sioner of the trou­bled Pro­ba­tion Department.

Ronald Cor­bett Jr., who earned his master’s degree in crim­inal jus­tice from North­eastern in 1978, was named to a two-​​year term heading the depart­ment, which has been embroiled in con­tro­versy since the release late last year of an inde­pen­dent counsel’s inves­ti­ga­tion into rigged hiring and patronage.

Cor­bett, who was deputy pro­ba­tion com­mis­sioner from 1993 to 2000, has most recently been exec­u­tive director of the Mass­a­chu­setts Supreme Judi­cial Court, where long­time North­eastern fac­ulty member Rod­erick Ire­land, Ph.D. ’98, has recently stepped into the chief jus­tice role.

Chief Jus­tice for Admin­is­tra­tion and Man­age­ment Robert Mul­ligan, who appointed Cor­bett, praised his “depth of knowl­edge on pro­ba­tion best prac­tices along with strong man­age­ment expe­ri­ence and exten­sive part­ner­ships in the crim­inal jus­tice community.”

I wel­come the oppor­tu­nity to restore pro­ba­tion to admin­is­tra­tive excel­lence and cred­i­bility throughout the court system and in the eyes of the public,” Cor­bett said in a state­ment released by his office.

Under new rules, the Mass­a­chu­setts pro­ba­tion com­mis­sioner will serve a five-​​year term, begin­ning after Corbett’s acting tenure.

We are very for­tu­nate to have a leader of this cal­iber who can work col­lab­o­ra­tively with the exec­u­tive branch and pro­vide direc­tion to the many hard­working pro­ba­tion offi­cers across the state,” Mul­ligan said.