State Experiences with Justice Reinvestment

2012 National Conference

CSG Justice Center
State Experiences with Justice Reinvestment
December 2, 2012

Republican and Democratic leaders from all branches of government shared their experiences using this data-driven, consensus-based approach to reduce corrections spending and increase public safety.

Speakers and Presentations:

  Hon. Steven S. Alm, Judge, Hawaii First Circuit

 Listen to Judge Alm's Presentation.

  Adam Gelb, Director, Public Safety Performance Project, Pew Center on the States

  Mike Thompson, Director, The Council of State Governments Justice Center

  Secretary John Wetzel, Secretary, Pennsyvlania Department of Corrections

Speaker Biographies:

Hon. Steven S. Alm
Judge Alm is the creator of the Hawaii's Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) probation program. This successful program, the first of its kind in the nation, imposes proportionate jail time swiftly and with certainty as a sanction for a positive drug test or other probation violations. Judge Alm also presides over the First Circuit’s Adult Drug Court program, chairs the Corrections Population Management Commission, and is a co-chair of the Interagency Council on Intermediate Sanctions. 

Adam Gelb
Gelb is director of the Pew Center on the States’ Public Safety Performance Project, which helps states advance policies and practices in adult and juvenile sentencing and corrections that protect public safety, hold offenders accountable and control corrections costs. As the project lead, Gelb oversees Pew’s assistance to states seeking a greater public safety return on their corrections spending. Gelb speaks frequently with the media about national trends and state innovations, and he regularly advises policy makers on implementation of practical, cost-effective policies. 

Mike Thompson
Thompson started with the Council of State Governments (CSG) in 1997 as a policy analyst and the sole staff person assigned to the criminal justice program for CSG’s Eastern Regional Conference. Under his leadership, that program transformed into the national CSG Justice Center, and launched major projects in the areas of victim rights, criminal justice/mental health collaboration, justice reinvestment, and prisoner reentry. Thompson has authored numerous publications, testified before Congress on multiple occasions, and is routinely interviewed by national media outlets as a recognized expert on criminal justice issues. 

Secretary John Wetzel
Secretary Wetzel began his corrections career over 20 years ago as an officer, and since then has served in a variety of positions that include treatment counselor, supervisor of treatment services, training academy director, warden, and corrections expert to the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons. He was confirmed in his current position in May, 2011. Secretary Wetzel has presented statewide and nationally on several topics, including inmate labor issues, the mentally ill in corrections, working with the family of inmates, developing system-wide solutions to jail crowding, jail staffing and conducting vulnerability assessments.