April 2012 PA Press Club: John Wetzel, PA Corrections Secretary

PA Press Club: John Wetzel, PA Corrections Secretary, view here.

Gov. Tom Corbett nominated John E. Wetzel as secretary of the Department of Corrections on December 17, 2010, and he 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

He also has had several national articles published on inmate labor, jail management and jail staffing.

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