27- 30, 2011
Inn Harrisburg East
4751 Lindle Road, Harrisburg, PA 17111
View Criminal Justice
Our theme this year is
Restorative Justice, Mental Illness and Recovery:
A Model for the Criminal Justice System: Alternatives to Incarceration
John E Wetzel
Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
Gov. Tom Corbett nominated
John E Wetzel as secretary of the Department of Corrections on December
17, 2010 and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate on May 3, 2011.
Wetzel began his corrections career in 1989 as an officer at the
Lebanon County Correctional Facility. In 1992 he transferred to
the Berks County Prison, where he rose through the ranks, serving as a
correctional officer, a treatment counselor, supervisor of treatment
services and training academy director. In 2002, he was named
warden of the Franklin County Jail.
He was appointed as the
corrections expert to the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons in June 2007, a
position he held until May 3, 2011. Since 2006, he has been a
corrections consultant in the areas of operational and staffing analysis
and vulnerability assessments.
During his 20 years in the field
of corrections, Wetzel has presented state wide 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
has had several national articles published on inmate labor, jail
management and jail staffing, as past president of the PA county
Corrections Association (formerly PA County Prison Wardens Association.)
Additionally, he has been part of several efforts which have reduced
jail population. These include developing a jail industries
program through a community wide advisory board to increase the job
readiness of offenders; initiating the first jail-based CareerLink
access point in the state of Pennsylvania; developing a day reporting
center which reduced the jail population by more than 205; and
overseeing the construction of an award-winning new jail facility.
The sum of these efforts, and others such as court case processing,
utilizing weekend incarceration, jail diversion for mentally ill
offenders and others, led to the impressive fact that the average daily
population in Franklin County Prison is lower today than it was 10 years
A previous offensive line coach for Shippensburg University,
Wetzel earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Bloomsburg
University and has done master's level course work in applied psychology
at Penn State University. He is a member of the American
Correctional Association, the American Jail Association, the American
College Football Coaches Association and is past president of the
Pennsylvania County Corrections Association.
Wetzel served as
treasurer of the Letterkenny Industrial Development Authority; is a
founding member of St. Seraphim Homeless Shelter; a member of the
Pennsylvania Forensics Inter-Agency Task-Force; a core team member of
Brother 2 Brother mentoring initiative; part-time instructor of an
evening truancy school; and is an ethics panel speaker for Leadership
He lives in Chambersburg with his wife, Theresa,
and their four daughters.
|Walter Everett was thrust into a year-long journey of grief
and anger when he received the news in 1987 that his 24 year-old
son, Scott, had been murdered. He sought help through
various support groups, but his anger continued to intrude upon
his relationships as well as his work. Finally, almost a
year after Scott's death, and after much prayer, he heard the
offender, at his sentencing, say, "I'm sorry." Walt was
then able to offer forgiveness. Thus began an new phase of
his journey, a slow but steady move toward healing. He and
Michael Carlucci, the offender, have become friends, and Walt
advocated for Mike before the Connecticut Board of Parole.
Today, they often speak together at universities, houses of
worship, and prisons about the healing that God has provided in
both of their lives.
Walt is a retired United Methodist
minister now living in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. In 1992 he
married the former Nancy Bellmeyer Nogan, whom he met at a
Bereaved Parents Support Group. Nancy's son, David, was
killed at the age of 19 in a car crash. Between them they
have four surviving children and eight grandchildren.
A Plenary Session on Criminalization of the Mentally
Ill presented by:
THE BAZELON CENTER FOR MENTAL HEALTH LAW
Ira Burnim is a magna cum
laude graduate of Harvard Law School, who joined the Bazelon Center's
legal staff in 1988 and is now legal director. Formerly, Burnim served
as legal director of the Children's Defense Fund and prior to that as a
senior attorney of the Southern Poverty Law Center. He has litigated
precedent-setting cases on mental health and child welfare system
reform, managed health care, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Burnim is a member of the board of directors of the American Civil
Liberties Union of Maryland.
The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law was founded in 1972 by a
group of committed lawyers and professionals who worked in the mental
health and mental retardation fields. Formerly known as the
Mental Health Law Project, the name today honors Judge David L. Bazelon
who is credited with pioneering the field of mental health law.
The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law is a nonprofit organization
committed to improving the lives of people with mental illness through
changes in policy and law. For 38 years they have advocated for
the rights and dignity of people with mental disabilities based on five
basic principles: Community Integration, Self-Determination,
Strengthening Families, Access to Services, and Access to Courts.
They work at the federal level in Congress and in the Courts, fighting
against stigma and discrimination and for the rights, autonomy and
dignity of adults and children diagnosed with mental illness.