Kristina Rose: I'm very excited about this plenary panel this morning. And I am going to ask one of my dear colleagues, Dr. Thom Feucht, who is the Senior Executive Science Advisor for the National Institute of Justice. He is so passionate about the work that we do at NIJ, and I am just so proud and pleased to have him as my close colleague and advisor. So, I'd like to welcome Dr. Thom Feucht.
Thomas Feucht: Thank you, Kris. Good morning, everyone. Welcome to day two of the 2009 NIJ Conference. It gives me a great pleasure, and it is a great privilege, to introduce this morning's plenary panel to you. I'm going to do very quick bio sketches. All of the biographical information on the presenters is in the ... Let me see if we can open this computer again 'cause I just slammed it shut. All of the biographical information on the presenters is in the program, including one of our presenters, Tom Williams, in the addendum. And so I refer that material to you for careful study.
Let me very quickly introduce to you the presenters. Adam Gelb is director of Public Safety Performance Project at the Pew Center on the States. He has held leadership positions in the field of criminal justice at the state level in both Maryland and in Georgia. If you work in this field or if you study the field of corrections and the titles "One in 100," or "One in 31," are unfamiliar to you, you are not paying attention. And we're glad to have Adam here.
Secretary James Spears is secretary of Military Affairs and Public Safety in West Virginia. He is responsible in that position for the 6,000 inmates and nearly 2,500 parolees in West Virginia. He manages this penal system at a time of significant growth in that population in West Virginia. And, along with his state corrections administrator colleagues in most of the United States, is doing this at a time of terrifically contracting resources.
To say that West Virginia and the other states are facing fiscal hard times is indeed an understatement. And I'm sure you'll enjoy hearing from Secretary Spears about West Virginia's approach in these very challenging times.
The Honorable Steven Alm is a former U.S. Attorney for Hawaii, a former local prosecutor and is now a Circuit Court judge in Honolulu. His docket comprises what can only be described as the most difficult probationers in the state, a docket that he engineered and designed and selected. His work in developing and implementing Project HOPE, which is his approach to managing those serious offenders on probation, has won well-deserved national attention and has earned some awards as well. And we're very pleased to have Judge Alm here.
Tom Williams, we're particularly grateful for him being able to join us today. Tom Williams is associate director of Court Services and Offender Supervision in the District of Columbia. He previously served as director of Probation and Parole in the state of Maryland.
In D.C., Tom has responsibility — not to diminish Secretary Spears' challenges — Tom has responsibility for the 15,000 persons in the District of Columbia that are on probation or parole. And not to make light of the matter by any means, where Pew's numbers are one in 100 nationally, the District of Columbia's number is one in 50 incarcerated. And where the Pew's numbers are one in 31 under criminal justice supervision, the D.C. numbers are about one in 20. So, Tom certainly has a significant challenges in managing that operation in D.C. And we're very, very delighted to have Tom here.
Finally, Dr. Pam Lattimore is principal scientist at Research Triangle Institute International, at RTI International in North Carolina. She was earlier on the faculty of the University of South Carolina. She was also Chief of the Criminal Justice Research Division at NIJ, a former colleague of mine and many others while she was at NIJ. And she is also, I'm delighted to say, a graduate of the great University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is of course also the principal investigator of the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative, the SVORI initiative.
We have had previous sessions at this conference on corrections. But never before, I think, has there been the pervasive sense of urgency around issues of corrections and the sense of purpose at resolving what are, I think we would all agree, the significant challenges facing our field of corrections.
Never had we, I think, have we had a panel that presents such a holistic approach as we do today. We have state corrections represented. We have the bench, the judge. We have probation and parole. And we have research and public policy, all represented on this panel.
And never before, I think, have we been so fortunate to have assembled a more experienced and authoritative group of presenters selected for this panel. We've designed this panel to provide plenty of opportunity for discussion and interaction among the panelists and, of course, plenty of time to take your questions and to involve you in the discussion.
As I turn the podium over to our panel moderator and to our first presenter, Adam Gelb, would you please join me in welcoming our presenters for this morning?
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Moderator: Kristina Rose, Acting Director, National Institute of Justice
Date Modified: September, 25 2009