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First Prison Reform Advisory Board to Meet Tuesday

RALEIGH – The Department of Public Safety has announced the first meeting of the Prison Reform Advisory Board will be Tuesday, March 20. Secretary Erik A. Hooks has appointed retired Army Maj. Gen. Elizabeth (Beth) Austin as chairperson for the board.

“Major General Austin has a proven track record of leadership and advisory abilities based on many years of service with the National Guard,” Secretary Hooks stated. “In her role as assistant adjutant general, she advised the Adjutant General on plans and policies, as well as recruiting, retention, training, budget issues and personnel readiness.”

A Wake County native, Austin retired from the National Guard in 2017. She received her bachelor’s degree from Excelsior University and holds a Master of Science in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College. She was the NCNG’s first female general.

DPS established the eight-member Prison Reform Advisory Board predominantly consisting of experts in the field of corrections. The board members will provide ongoing expert advice on best practices for maintaining prison safety. The Board will look at various topics including operations, training, staffing, technology, facility design, and inmate work and program assignments.

The other Board members are:

Art Beeler, Retired Federal Bureau of Prisons;
Stanley Drewery, Retired Office of Staff Development and Training; President SEANC;
James French, Retired NCDPS; Former Deputy Secretary Adult Correction and former Department of Correction;
Stephanie Hollembaek, Retired Federal Bureau of Prisons;
Mike Killmer, Retired Federal Bureau of Prisons;
Dorothy Holmes Ledford, Retired former N.C. Department of Correction; and
Gary Mohr, Director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

The Board will work closely with Tracy Little, special assistant in the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice for prison reform. Little, a former deputy secretary for DPS in 2012 and deputy secretary for the former Department of Correction from 2001-2012, reports directly to Interim Chief Deputy Secretary Reuben Young, and assists with implementing reform measures to address the challenges facing the prison system.

For information regarding prison reform efforts, including updated action items and reports, please go to the Prison Reform webpage.

The Board meeting will take place at the Governor’s Crime Commission facility in Room 100, 1201 Front St., in Raleigh from 9 a.m. to noon.

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