The CSG Justice Center Welcomes Five New Leaders to Advisory Board

September 19, 2022

In advance of its 2022 annual Advisory Board meeting, the CSG Justice Center is pleased to announce five new members of its Advisory Board, joining the 18 current members. The CSG Justice Center Advisory Board is made up of a cross-section of state and local leaders, including state legislators, judicial leaders, health and human service agency administrators, victim advocates, corrections administrators, juvenile justice professionals, law enforcement officials, and people with lived experience in the justice system.

“I welcome our new board members, who have proven track records of making change and improving systems. I look forward to working with them to guide the CSG Justice Center in its future work to help states and communities increase public safety and strengthen communities,” said Marie Williams, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and current chair of the Advisory Board. “I’m so proud of the work we have been able to accomplish during my tenure as board chair, and I know these new members will add important perspectives and experiences that will greatly enhance our work.”

Advisory Board members leverage extensive backgrounds in justice, behavioral health, and other key fields to guide the CSG Justice Center’s policy and project priorities.

“Every member of our advisory board plays an integral role in shaping the CSG Justice Center’s work,” said Megan Quattlebaum, director of the CSG Justice Center. “We make an effort to ensure our advisory board is diverse on all levels, including recruiting members who have unique and varied experience across the justice and behavioral health systems and all three branches of state government.”

The CSG Justice Center’s five new Advisory Board members are:

Theresa Gavarone, Senator, Ohio General Assembly

Sen. Theresa Gavarone has served in the Ohio legislature since 2016, first in the Ohio House of Representatives and then in the Ohio Senate since 2019. Gavarone has worked on a variety of legislative issues and has sponsored bills on topics related to elections security, religious freedom of expression, school bus safety, mental health care access, communications disabilities, cybersecurity, and water quality, among others. She has an extensive background representing Wood County, including serving on the Bowling Green City Council.

Valerie Mielke, Assistant Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Human Services

Valerie Mielke is the assistant commissioner for the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services in the Department of Human Services, which manages the community public mental health system as well as substance use and recovery support services. She serves on the boards of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors and the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors Public Policy Committee. Mielke is also a member of the national steering committee for Justice Counts.

Christopher Poulos, Director of Person-Centered Services, Washington Department of Corrections

Christopher Poulos is an attorney and the director of Person-Centered Services at the Washington State Department of Corrections. Previously, he was executive director of the Washington Statewide Reentry Council and developed and taught a course on drug law and policy at Seattle University School of Law. He graduated cum laude from the University of Maine School of Law. Before that, Poulos overcame tragic family losses, addiction, homelessness, and a federal incarceration. He now dedicates his life to helping others overcome or avoid similar challenges.

Shannon Roers Jones, Representative, North Dakota Legislative Assembly

Rep. Shannon Roers Jones has served in the North Dakota legislature since 2016. While serving on the Judiciary Committee, Roers Jones has been a leading voice on criminal justice reform and substance use disorders. Roers Jones developed legislation to seal criminal records, expand access to harm reduction resources, allow greater access to driving privileges for those participating in 24/7 sobriety programs, and improve cooperation between Tribal, state, county, and municipal law enforcement. As a person in recovery, Roers Jones received the Governor’s Phoenix Award for her efforts advancing these issues.

Clarke Tucker, Senator, Arkansas General Assembly

Sen. Clarke Tucker has served in the Arkansas State Senate since 2021 and was previously a representative in the Arkansas General Assembly from 2015 through 2018, where he served on the Judiciary Committee and as the chairperson of the Courts/Civil Law Permanent Subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee. He has been in private law practice since 2008, where his primary area of practice has been litigation. Tucker was a law clerk for the Honorable J. Leon Holmes of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas from 2006 to 2008.

“I’m excited and honored that these exceptional changemakers have decided to join our Advisory Board,” said Quattlebaum. “Their insight from the many years in their respective fields will truly be an invaluable asset to our organization moving forward.”

Learn more about the CSG Justice Center’s Advisory Board.

About the author

Image for:
Former Content Development Specialist, Communications and External Affairs
Amelia Vorpahl led the writing and strategic development of an array of content that advances the CSG Justice Center's goals, including policy reports, fact sheets, interactive tools, and web content. Before joining the CSG Justice Center, Amelia worked on the
policy and communications teams of several major advocacy organizations. In her previous role as senior communications manager at Oceana, Amelia led media outreach, content creation, and messaging strategy for various regional and federal campaigns. Amelia holds a BA in journalism from the University of Wisconsin and an MPA from the University of Texas at Austin.
Read More
  • You might also be interested in