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John Wetzel

Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
In December of 2010, John Wetzel was selected as the 11th Secretary of Corrections for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by Governor-elect Corbett. His tenure there saw an elimination of a 24-year average growth of 1500 inmates per year, presiding over the first population reduction in PA in over 4 decades. Additionally, he oversaw the restructuring of the Community Corrections system, the mental health system and a re-engineering of internal processes to yield a more efficient system of program delivery. With over 27 years of experience, his career began in Lebanon County (PA) as a corrections officer in 1989. His time there was followed by 9 years at Berks County (PA) where he served as a Correctional Officer, Counselor, Treatment Supervisor and finally Director of the Training Academy. Then, in January of 2002, he began his 9-year tenure as Warden of the Franklin County (PA) Jail. It was there where he was credited with leading an effort that resulted in the transformation of their correctional system. Under his leadership, Franklin County saw a 20% reduction in their population while the crime rate declined. Franklin County was at the forefront of maximizing their correctional continuum to reduce reliance on incarceration while focusing on improving outcomes for offenders. Specifically, they developed a Day Reporting Center, established a Jail Industries Program and initiated several programs targeting improved services for mentally ill offenders, not the least of which being a Certified Peer Specialist program in 2006.
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