In April, Governor Scott Walker signed Executive Order #65, creating the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. The Council is designed to explore ways to improve planning, coordination and cooperation between law enforcement agencies and the state. The Council will meet at least four times per year and annually report to the Governor and other relevant state agencies, including the Supreme Court.
During each meeting the Council will hold a listening session for the public to express thoughts about the system. The Council is interested in hearing perspectives from across the criminal justice system to develop strategies to improve coordination among criminal justice professionals and overall justice system operations.
The Council has met twice since its formation, and will meet again on July 10, 2012 in Milwaukee. The Office of Justice Assistance will post notices of future Council meetings on this website.
The Council is co-chaired by Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and Department of Corrections Secretary Gary Hamblin. Other members of the 20-member council include:
- John Murray, Executive Director of the Office of Justice Assistance. Murray is the mayor of Sun Prairie and served in various local government positions before arriving at OJA, which provides financial and technical assistance to public safety, first response and emergency management agencies, local and tribal governments, and non-profit organizations throughout the state.
- Kelli Thompson, Wisconsin State Public Defender. Thompson serves as the president of Wisconsin Women in Government and the chair of the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Bench Bar Committee.
- Matthew Joski, Kewaunee County Sheriff. Joski also serves as Chairman for the Statewide Systems Management Group and a member of the Mutual Aid Frequency Coordination Group.
- Jim Arts, Chief of Police for the Green Bay Police Department. Arts has served as Chief for five years. He is also a member of the Brown County Drug Task Force.
- Thomas Eagon, District Attorney of Portage County. Eagon also serves as a Citizen Member of the Wisconsin Crime Victims Council and the Secretary/Treasurer of the Wisconsin District Attorneys Association Board.
- A. John Voelker, Director of State Courts. Voelker has participated in the development of the Wisconsin Courthouse Security Manual and has served as faculty for the nationally award winning Wisconsin Courthouse Security Training Program.
- Reggie Newson, Department of Workforce Development. In 2005, Newson was awarded with Milwaukee Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 Award, which recognizes 40 Milwaukee-area individuals who are making a difference in their local communities.
- Eloise Anderson, Secretary of the Department of Children and Families. Anderson has over 20 years in state service including serving as the Administrator of the Division of Community services at the Wisconsin Department of Health and Social Services.
- Dennis Smith, Secretary of the Department of Health Services. The agency is responsible for Wisconsin Medicaid programs, operating four mental health facilities, regulating state hospitals and coordinating the public health response for Wisconsin.
- C. William Foust, Chief Judge of Dane County Circuit Court, Branch 14. Foust also serves on the Criminal Benchbook Committee, Dane County Criminal Justice Group and the Coordinated Community Response Task Force.
- Mark Abeles-Allison, County Administrator for Bayfield County. He is a member of the Wisconsin County Association and the International City and County Management Association.
- James Hiller, Community Justice Council Coordinator for Milwaukee County. In this role, Hiller is responsible for coordination of Executive Committee, Standing Committees and full Council functions and activities.
- Jane Graham Jennings, Executive Director of the Women’s Community, Inc., a non-profit organization serving victims of domestic violence or sexual abuse. She is a member of the Office of Justice Assistance Violence Against Women Statewide Advisory Committee and she was selected as one of the Top 10 People of the Year by the Wausau Daily Herald in 2011.
- Rick Rettler, Owner of the Rettler Corporation, a landscape architecture firm. He’s also on the YMCA Board of Directors and was awarded the 2007 Plover Area Business Association Citizen of the Year award.
- Patti Jo Severson, Nutrition and Health Educator at Gunderson Lutheran Medical Center. Severson was awarded the 2010 Outstanding Woman of the Year award by the YWCA and serves as Co-Chair of the Mental Health Coalition of the Greater La Crosse Area.
- Rich Van Boxtel, Chief of Police for the Oneida Police Department. He also serves as the Chairman for the Native American Drug and Gang Initiative in Wisconsin and the Co-Chair of the Tribal Affairs Committee for the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association.
This post was authored by Emily Kelchen.