1 MEETING NOTICE AND AGENDA PRISON REFORM TASK FORCE September 30, :00 p.m. 4:30 p.m. Alabama State House, Room 304, 11 South Union Street TIME DESCRIPTION PRESENTER 1:00 2:00 p.m. Welcome and Introductory Remarks Guest Speakers (Alphabetical Order) Senator Cam Ward, Task Force Chair Dr. Marilyn Beck President, Calhoun Community College Darlene Hutchinson-Biehl Volunteer Crime Victims Advocate Dr. Richard Fox Prison Ministries Diana Summerford Alabama Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE) U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance Northern District of Alabama 2:00 4:30 p.m. CSG Justice Center Update Sentencing Trends Prison Trends Andrew Barbee, Research Manager Council of State Governments Justice Center Community Supervision Next Steps and General Timeline
2 Dr. Marilyn Clark Beck, President Calhoun Community College Marilyn Clark Beck became the fourth president and first woman president of Calhoun Community College in January Prior to her appointment at Calhoun, she served for 15 years as the first female president of Lord Fairfax Community College in Virginia. While in Virginia, Dr. Beck became the first female member of the Strasburg Rotary Club and later served as its President. A long-time educator, Dr. Beck also held positions as Dean of Academic Affairs, Dean of Development, Title III Coordinator and Chair of the Mathematics and Science Division at Lurleen B. Wallace State Junior College. She also served as an adjunct professor at Troy State University and Auburn University at Montgomery. An Alabama native, Dr. Beck holds a bachelor s degree from Troy State and master s and doctoral degrees in mathematics from Auburn University. As a community college president, she has served in a number of leadership positions in many educational and professional associations, including the American Association of Community Colleges Commission on Community and Workforce Development, the Board of Directors for the American Association of Community Colleges, the Board of Directors for the Southern Association of Community Junior and Technical Colleges, the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. She has served on the National Advisory Board of DeVry University; Board of Directors, Decatur-Morgan County Economic Development Association; Board of Directors, Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce; Advisory Board, Huntsville Chamber of Commerce; Advisory Board, Wachovia Bank; Board, Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale; and was the first female member of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Clarke County in Virginia. Dr. Beck has received a number of honors and awards throughout her career, including: the establishment of a scholarship in her honor by the Foundation Board of Lord Fairfax Community College; Shenandoah Arts Council Artie Award for Patron of the Arts; Woman of the Year by the Winchester (Virginia) Business and Professional Women; Bennett Distinguished President Award; Outstanding Alumnus, Troy State University; Outstanding Alumnus of the College of Education, Auburn University; Outstanding Administrator, the Alabama Community College System; and commendations for distinguished service from the Alabama House of Representatives and the Alabama State Board of Education. Dr. Beck is married to A.L. Beck. They have two children and four grandchildren.
3 Darlene Hutchinson Biehl, Volunteer Crime Victims Advocate With a degree in Journalism from Troy State University, Darlene Hutchinson Biehl has worked 25 years in publishing, including 8 years as the editor of law enforcement publications in Alabama, Washington DC and Texas. She then worked 6 years as the Communications/Media Director for the Dallas Bar Association before moving back to her adopted home state of Alabama in Throughout her career in communications and publishing, she has also volunteered as a crime victims advocate. Darlene initially became aware of the inadequacies in the justice system and the needs of crime victims after being abducted at gunpoint from a small-town post office at the age of 20. Blindfolded and bound, she escaped the kidnapper on the second day. Since then, she has worked extensively on legislation and public policy, taught at police academies, and accompanied countless victims to court and parole hearings. In addition to volunteering a total of 10 years for 2 rape crisis centers, Darlene currently serves as president of the River Region VOCAL Chapter. In 1994, she was part of a small, core group responsible for the passage and ratification of Alabama's Constitutional Amendment guaranteeing basic rights to crime victims. And 3 years ago, Darlene was appointed by Attorney General Luther Strange to a task force to implement legislation that establishes an innovative victim notification system in Alabama. Dr. Richard Fox, Prison Ministries Dr. Richard Fox has been a southern Baptist pastor and evangelist for over 40 years and is also involved in jail ministry. Dr. Fox has served as pastor in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. He served more than seven and a half years in the Alabama National Guard, and four years as a Mess Sargent. He is married to Gail Thorpe Fox and has 4 children and 4 grandchildren. He is presently serving at Ford City Baptist Church in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Diana Summerford, Alabama Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE) AL CURE was founded when loved ones of inmates serving Life Without Parole for Non-violent crimes got together. We realized that there were so many in the DOC system waiting to die for non-violent crimes. We lobbied Montgomery for a change to the Habitual Offender Law that was passed in the late 1970s. This law was changed in 2000 and was made retro active in 2001, meaning those sentenced before 2000 would have an opportunity for change of sentence and judges were not forced by law to sentence to LWOP, they had discretion in sentencing. Many have received relief as a result of this effort.
4 Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE) is a grassroots organization that was founded in Texas in It became a national organization in We believe that prisons should be used only for those who absolutely must be incarcerated and that those who are incarcerated should have all of the resources they need to turn their lives around. We also believe that human rights documents provide a sound basis for ensuring that criminal justice systems meet these goals. CURE is a membership organization. We work hard to provide our members with the information and tools necessary to help them understand the criminal justice system and to advocate for changes. U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, Northern District of Alabama United States Attorney Joyce White Vance is the top-ranking federal law enforcement official in the Northern District of Alabama. She was one of the first five U.S. Attorneys nominated by President Barack Obama. Vance was confirmed by the Senate on August 7, The District she serves includes 31 counties and almost three million people, approximately 60% of Alabama s population. Vance oversees a staff of 105 employees, including 51 attorneys and 58 non-attorney support personnel, with offices in Birmingham and Huntsville. As U.S. Attorney, Vance directs the prosecution of federal crimes, the defense of the United States in civil cases, and the collection of debts owed to the United States. Ms. Vance s priorities for the District include terrorism and national security, financial fraud and public corruption, violent crime, and protecting vulnerable members of the community in areas including child exploitation and civil rights. The Office continues to aggressively pursue returning funds to the public through asset forfeiture, criminal restitution and fines, and other financial litigation. Those collections, during Vance's tenure to date, have exceeded the Office's budget. Vance was appointed to a two-year term on the Attorney General s Advisory Committee in December of 2009, where she helped to craft Justice Department policy. She co-chairs the AGAC s Criminal Practice Subcommittee and serves on the Management and Budget, Civil Rights, and Environmental Law Subcommittees. Vance started in the U.S. Attorney s office in July of 1991 as an Assistant U.S. Attorney with the Criminal Division. She served as trial counsel in cases involving civil rights violations, drug
5 trafficking, financial fraud, and violent crime. In 2001, she moved to the Office s Appellate Division. She became the Chief of that Division in 2004, supervising the Office s criminal and civil appellate work and arguing frequently before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Before coming to the U.S. Attorney s Office, Vance was a civil litigator in private practice in Washington, D.C. and Birmingham, Alabama. Vance is a graduate of Bates College in Lewiston, Maine and the University of Virginia School of Law. She is married to Alabama Circuit Judge Robert S. Vance, Jr. They have four children.
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