SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California's corrections chief is retiring in August after overseeing a voter-approved shift that gives even serious offenders a chance at parole.

Corrections and Rehabilitation Secretary Scott Kernan announced Monday that he will retire. It's one of the first of an expected wave of departures as Gov. Jerry Brown's administration winds down this year.

The 57-year-old Kernan became secretary in early 2016 after rising through the department ranks.

He helped promote Brown's 2016 ballot measure that increased rehabilitation programs. It allows earlier parole for most state inmates as a way of further reducing the prison population in response to federal court orders.

Kernan says in a letter to employees that he enjoyed overseeing a department that he says has "dramatically changed how we incarcerate" and "now provides hope" to prisoners.