Advisory Board

Our Advisory Board establishes and monitors the policy and project priorities of the CSG Justice Center. The board comprises state legislators from both political parties, judicial leaders, health and human service agency administrators, victim advocates, corrections administrators, juvenile justice professionals and law enforcement officials. Together the board represents a cross-section of leaders who shape criminal justice policy in various jurisdictions across the country.

Executive Committee


Justice Michael P. Boggs, Supreme Court of Georgia, GA
Michael P. Boggs has been a justice on the Supreme Court of Georgia since December 7, 2016, when Governor Nathan Deal swore him in. Justice Boggs previously served as judge on the Georgia Court of Appeals. Prior to this, Justice Boggs served as superior court judge for Waycross Judicial Circuit and as a state representative to the Georgia General Assembly. In 2011, Justice Boggs was elected to serve as secretary-treasurer of the Council of Superior Court Judges; he also and served as vice-chair of the Council’s Legislation Committee. While a superior court judge, Justice Boggs founded the Waycross Judicial Circuit Drug Court Program. He served as a member of the Georgia Criminal Justice Reform Council for in 2011 and was appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to co-chair the Council from 2012 to the present. In 2011, Justice Boggs served as a member of the Georgia Judicial Nominating Commission; he currently serves on the Supreme Court of Georgia Committee on Justice for Children, and the National Center for State Courts Judicial Peer Group on Evidence-Based Sentencing and Committee on Fines, Fees, and Bail Reform.

 

Commissioner Marie Williams, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, TN
Marie Williams was appointed commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services by Governor Bill Haslam in October 2016. Prior to that, she was the department’s deputy director, serving as a top advisor to the commissioner and assisting in the closure of Lakeshore Mental Health Institute. The closure reinvested $20.5 million into community-based services and enlisted the support of three East Tennessee private psychiatric in-patient hospital partners to provide services to patients previously served by Lakeshore. She also worked with the commissioner to create of the Prescription for Success initiative, a multi-faceted strategy to address the prescription drug problem in Tennessee. Previously, Williams served as the Assistant Commissioner of Mental Health Services, where she worked to expand consumer-based recovery services and oversaw the statewide planning and implementation of the behavioral health safety net program. Williams also launched the Creating Homes Initiative, served as a Community Builder Fellow with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, was director of homeless services for Catholic Charities of Memphis, and led the Homeless Services at the Midtown Mental Health Center in Memphis.

Secretary John C. Tilley, Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, KY
John C. Tilley is secretary of the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. Previously, he chaired the Judiciary Committee as a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives. In his service to the state, Rep. Tilley has co-chaired many Senate task forces and sponsored significant legislation, including HB 463, which overhauled a good portion of Kentucky's criminal justice system. He has also led efforts to combat synthetic and prescription drugs, and helped write legislation designed to curb Kentucky’s heroin epidemic. In addition, he sponsored legislation expanding civil protective orders to include victims of dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Rep. Tilley has been the recipient of numerous awards, and has become a nationally recognized voice for effective public policy. He received his BA from the University of Kentucky and his JD from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University.

Senator Cam Ward, Chair, Judiciary Committee, State Senate, AL
Alabama Senator Cam Ward has served in the Alabama State Senate since 2010. In 2014, he was appointed by Governor Robert Bentley to serve as the chair of Alabama’s Prison Reform Task Force, which is a group of state policymakers and practitioners that guides the Justice Reinvestment Initiative in Alabama. Sen. Ward previously served two terms in the Alabama House of Representatives. He received his bachelor’s degree from Troy University and his JD from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University.

Secretary John Wetzel, Department of Corrections, PA
John Wetzel was appointed Secretary of Corrections for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections in January 2011 by Governor Tom Corbett and was reappointed by Governor Tom Wolf in January 2015. Wetzel has presided over the first prison population reduction in Pennsylvania in more than four decades, a restructuring of the community corrections and mental health systems, and a re-engineering of internal processes to yield a more efficient program delivery. He has nearly 30 years of experience in the corrections field, including as a corrections officer, treatment counselor, warden, and training academy director. He is a member of the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections, which is focused on reducing prison populations. He is also a member of Harvard’s Executive Session on Community Corrections, which is a joint project of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and the National Institute of Justice that works to shape the future of community corrections policy in the United States. He is a graduate of Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and, in May 2016, was presented with an honorary doctorate degree by the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

 

 

Board Members At-Large


Marsha R. Banks, Founder, Executive Director, Amiracle4sure, Inc., Reentry Services, PA
Marsha R. Banks is the founder and executive director of Amiracle4sure, Inc., a ministry that is focused on renewing, refreshing, and restoring the lives of people reentering the community after incarceration. Her work as an educator, counselor, and mentor has brought her to prisons, rehabilitation facilities, and churches with the intention of educating communities on the needs of this population. Marsha sits on the executive board for the Capital Region Ex-Offenders Coalition, is an advisory board member for Correctional Ministries Chaplains Association, and is a trainer and facilitator for Healing Communities of PA. She earned her associate degree at Harrisburg Area Community College, her bachelor’s at Lebanon Valley College, and an MA in public service leadership.

Commissioner Lynn T. Beshear, Alabama Department of Mental Health, AL
Lynn T. Beshear was appointed commissioner of the Alabama Department of Mental Health on July 10, 2017, by Governor Kay Ivey. Commissioner Beshear—who began her career as a nurse—has served on the boards of directors of several groups and councils, including the American Heart Association, Helping Montgomery Families Initiative, the Joint Public Charity Hospital Board, Medical AIDS Outreach Advisory Board, and more. In addition to these roles, Commissioner Beshear was part of the team that founded the Montgomery Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and the Alabama Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. From October 2020 through July 2017, Commissioner Beshear was the executive director of Envision 2020, a community-driven strategic planning effort in central Alabama counties that sought to develop 25 shared goals related to the quality of life through the use of active partnerships.

Pat Colloton, Retired Assistant Attorney General, KS
Pat Colloton served as the Assistant Attorney General of Kansas from 2013-2019, where she was charged with leading the newly created Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of the Kansas Attorney General's Office. Previously, she served in the Kansas House of Representatives from 2004 to 2012. In 2007, she successfully sponsored Justice Reinvestment legislation focused on improving recidivism rates and reducing the state prison population, while also chairing both the Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committees as well as the Joint Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice Oversight. In addition, she served on the House Education Committee and the Legislative Education Planning Committee. Earlier in her career, Assistant Attorney General Colloton practiced law in Kansas, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin, and served on local school boards in Illinois and Massachusetts. She currently serves on the Johnson County Criminal Advisory Board. Assistant Attorney General Colloton received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry and psychology and her JD from the University of Wisconsin.

Representative Eric K. Hutchings, House Chair, Executive Offices and Criminal Justice Appropriations Subcommittee, Utah House of Representatives, UT
Representative Eric K. Hutchings has served in the Utah House of Representatives since 2001. He serves on the Executive Offices and Criminal Justice Appropriations Subcommittee, the House Education Committee, and House Revenue and Taxation Committee, among others. Rep. Hutchings is a member of the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice and the Salt Lake County Commission on Youth and is the co­-chair of the Utah Reads Alliance Community. He has received the Community Leadership Award from the Utah Advisory Board on Children’s Justice and an Outstanding Public Service award from the Utah Sentencing Commission, among other honors. Rep. Hutchings received his BA in Asian studies from Brigham Young University.

Presiding Judge Sharon Keller, Court of Criminal Appeals, TX
Presiding Judge Sharon Keller was first elected to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in 1994, the first woman to serve on this court. She was elected Presiding Judge in 2000 and has twice been re-elected to that position. Presiding Judge Keller is the chairman of the Texas Indigent Defense Commission and a member of the Timothy Cole Exoneration Review Commission, and a former chair of the CSG Justice Center Advisory Board. She is a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and a member of the Judicial Advisory Council to the Community Justice Assistance Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. By virtue of her office, she is also vice-chair of the Texas Judicial Council. In 2003, Presiding Judge Keller received the Distinguished Alumni Award for Judicial Service from the SMU Dedman School of Law. A native Texan, she holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Rice University and a JD degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law.

Sheriff Peter John Koutoujian, Jr., Middlesex Sheriff’s Office, MA
During his nearly eight years in office, Sheriff Peter Koutoujian has initiated several landmark programs at the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office that have garnered national attention. These include a medication-assisted treatment program recognized as a Center of Excellence by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC). Under Sheriff Koutoujian, Middlesex County was also chosen as one of three Data Driven Justice (DDJ) Project pilot sites by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. In October of 2017, he was selected by his peers to serve as President of the Massachusetts Sheriffs’ Association; he is also a founding member of Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime & Incarceration and has been recognized as a “Champion of Justice Reform” by the Coalition for Public Safety. Sheriff Koutoujian is a graduate of Bridgewater State University, the New England School of Law, and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Anne L. Precythe, Director, Missouri Department of Corrections, MO
Anne L. Precythe became the director of the Missouri Department of Corrections in 2017. In this role, Precythe is responsible for 21 adult correctional facilities, 6 community supervision centers, a community release center, and more than 40 probation and parole offices across Missouri. She oversees more than 11,000 staff, 58,000 probationers and parolees, and 33,000 inmates. Before becoming the second woman to serve as director of the department, Precythe was the director of the Division of Community Corrections in the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, where she served from March 2013 to December 2016. Previously, Precythe served as the North Carolina Division of Community Corrections Supervision Services Administrator. In 2015, she was appointed by United States Attorney Eric Holder to the National Institute of Corrections Advisory Board, representing community corrections across the country.

Chief Gordon Ramsay, Wichita Police Department, KS
Chief Gordon Ramsay has been the Wichita Police Chief since January 2016. A long-time proponent of community policing, he also served for nearly a decade as police chief in Duluth, Minnesota, where he had been a member of the force since 1996. He is a past president of the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association and served as the general chair of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Midsize Agencies Division. Chief Ramsay received his BA in criminology and sociology from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and his MA in management from the College of St. Scholastica. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy Session 222.

Senator Richard Sears, Chair, Judiciary Committee, Vermont Senate, VT
Vermont Senator Richard Sears has served in the Vermont State Legislature for 24 years and has chaired the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee for 20 years. A passionate advocate for improving the criminal justice system, Sen. Sears also chairs the Corrections Oversight Committee and has worked with residential programs for troubled youth for more than 35 years. Sen. Sears began his public service in 1987, when he was elected to the Bennington Select Board, where he served for seven years before his election to the Vermont State Legislature in 1992. Sen. Sears received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont.

Charles A. Spahos, Chief Financial Crimes Prosecutor, North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys, NC
Charles A. “Chuck” Spahos has been the chief financial crimes prosecutor for the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys since January 2018. Prior to this role, Spahos served five-and-a-half years as the executive director of the Prosecuting Attorneys' Council of Georgia following more than 10 years as the elected solicitor-general of Henry County, Georgia. He previously practiced law as a sole practitioner and served as the solicitor for the City of McDonough Municipal Court during those three years. Additionally, Spahos is a certified police officer, having been a patrol officer, a narcotics investigator, and later the Chief Investigator of the Flint Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office; and also served as an assistant district attorney upon graduating from law school. Spahos received his BS in criminal justice from Mercer University in 1994 and graduated magna cum laude from John Marshall Law School in 1997. Spahos served in the U.S. Army National Guard from 1987-1992 and was on active duty during Operation Desert Storm.

Thomas Stickrath, Director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, OH
Thomas Stickrath brings more than 30 years of experience in the criminal justice field to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. Stickrath began his career in 1978 with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) and subsequently served as warden at the Orient Correctional Institution and regional director of the DRC, before being named assistant director in 1991. In 2005, Governor Bob Taft appointed him the director of the Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS). Under his leadership, the department achieved national accreditation for all of its programs, earning DYS the American Correctional Association’s distinguished Eagle Award. In May of 2010, Governor Ted Strickland appointed Stickrath the director of the Department of Public Safety, where he oversaw the State Highway Patrol, Bureau of Motor Vehicles, and Homeland Security. In January 2011, Attorney General Mike DeWine tapped Stickrath to serve as superintendent of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, overseeing the state crime lab and a team of law enforcement professionals. Stickrath also chairs Ohio’s Homeland Security Advisory Council. He has served extensively as a consultant on criminal justice issues to various organizations and state governments. Stickrath received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from The Ohio State University and his JD from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, and in 2011 received the University’s “Distinguished Service Award."

Justice Joseph A. Zayas, Administrative Judge, Supreme Court, Criminal Term, Queens County, NY
Joseph A. Zayas, an elected justice of the Supreme Court, was appointed the administrative judge for Supreme Court, Criminal Term, in Queens County, New York (11th Judicial District) in January 2013. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Justice Zayas also presides over jury trials and the county’s old case calendar. Previously, he served as judge of the Court of Claims, Acting Supreme Court Justice, and judge of the Criminal Court of the City of New York, presiding over Drug Treatment Court, Mental Health Court, and Youth Court. Earlier in his career, Justice Zayas served as the principal law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Rolando T. Acosta at the Harlem Community Justice Center, a multi-jurisdictional, problem-solving court serving the communities of East and Central Harlem. He is a frequent lecturer and presenter on legal and judicial subjects including drug, mental health, and youth courts, and conducts seminars for new judges. Justice Zayas received his bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Fordham University’s College at Lincoln Center and his JD from Columbia University School of Law, where he was a Charles Evan Hughes Fellow.