CHARLESTON — A Putnam County woman who has served as magistrate for several years has been named to the West Virginia Parole Board by Gov. Jim Justice.

Kim Blair will serve a term ending June 30, 2023. Justice also appointed John Sines of Wood County to a term that expires June 30, 2022. Both are filling unexpired seats to round out the parole board's nine positions. The appointments, made Friday, require state Senate confirmation.

Blair was first elected as a county magistrate in 2002. The state Supreme Court appointed her to serve as a senior status magistrate in 2012, a position she held until earlier this month. She previously worked as a corrections counselor at a maximum-security prison in Texas, after graduating with honors from the University of Houston with a criminal justice degree. Blair has also been a social worker with the truancy diversion program of Putnam County's school system.

Sines served for a decade on the Wood County Planning Commission as well as six years as a Lubeck Public Service District commissioner. The 1973 Parkersburg South High graduate has been a Local School Improvement Committee (LSIC) member for his alma mater as well as Blennerhassett and Edison junior high schools. He has earned degrees from Marshall and West Virginia University-Parkersburg.

Part of the W.Va. Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, the Parole Board performs a critical role in the state's criminal justice system by deciding on the conditional release of eligible adult offenders. Hearing cases in panels of three, it contributes to public safety by facilitating the return of offenders to society as law-abiding citizens. It also makes clemency recommendations to the governor.

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