Secretary Jon E. Litscher
Jon Litscher is the Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, overseeing more than 10,000 employees throughout the state of Wisconsin. The Department of Corrections includes 36 adult correctional facilities, two juvenile correctional facilities, and 110 probation and parole units. DOC is charged with ensuring the safety and security of staff, youth, and offenders in DOC custody and providing community supervision to individuals on probation, parole, and extended supervision.
Prior to becoming Secretary, Litscher served most recently as the interim Superintendent at the Cambria-Friesland School District. He also served as the Secretary of the Department of Corrections from 1999 – 2003, Secretary of the Department of Employment Relations from 1991 – 1999, and Executive Secretary of the Higher Educational Aids Board from 1987 – 1990.
Litscher has also worked as an elementary school teacher, elementary school principal, and school district superintendent. He has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, and a specialist certificate in educational administration from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.
Litscher resides in Beaver Dam with his wife and has three grown children and three grandchildren.
Deputy Secretary Cathy Jess
Cathy Jess is the Deputy Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the agency. In her capacity as Deputy Secretary, she oversees more than 10,000 employees, including staff at 36 adult correctional facilities, 2 juvenile correctional facilities, and 110 probation and parole units.
Jess previously served as the administrator of DOC’s Division of Adult Institutions from February 2011 until her appointment as Deputy Secretary in February 2016.
Jess began at the Department of Corrections as a correctional officer at the Wisconsin Resource Center. She has served in the following roles:
- Warden at Dodge Correctional Institution;
- Warden of the Wisconsin Women’s Correctional System;
- Deputy Warden at Waupun Correctional Institution; and
- Deputy Warden at Oshkosh Correctional Institution.
She has also worked as a Recreation Leader, Institution Complaint Examiner, Program Coordinator, and Corrections Unit Supervisor.
Jess earned a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh.
Assistant Deputy Secretary Patrick Hughes
Patrick Hughes is the Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, responsible for budget coordination, overseeing policy analysis and research, and relations with external stakeholders.
Prior to his appointment, Hughes served as a senior policy advisor in the Office of Governor Scott Walker. He worked on budget, legislative, and policy issues involving transportation, agriculture, broadband internet and telecommunications, and agriculture.
Hughes has a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a law degree from Marquette University Law School. He is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin.