Town Hall Panelists

Guest Panelists + Subject Matter Experts

During this moderated session, the following guest panelists and subject matter experts below will discuss the Governor's budget request and answer questions from the audience.


GUEST PANELISTS​:

Kevin A. Carr /  SECRETARY, WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Kevin A. Carr is the Secretary for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. Kevin previously worked as the U.S. Marshal in the Eastern District of Wisconsin and was appointed to that position by President Barack Obama. Previously, he spent 30 years working in the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office where he held numerous positions including Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, Deputy Inspector, and Inspector. As Inspector, Carr served as the second in charge of daily operations for the agency. He was instrumental in the creation of the Milwaukee County Criminal Justice Council. 

Secretary Carr holds a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice Management and an associate's degree in criminal justice from Concordia University. He has received post-graduate certificates from Harvard University, the FBI National Academy, and Northwestern University.​​

Melissa Roberts /  ASSISTANT DEPUTY SECRETARY, WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Melissa Roberts serves the Department of Corrections as Assistant Deputy Secretary. She is well-known and respected throughout our agency, due to a track record of success throughout her distinguished career in WI Department of Corrections. Melissa most recently served as the Administrator to the Division of Management Services (DMS), overseeing the Department's budget, information technology, records, fiscal, procurement, contracts and risk management bureaus. Prior to her current role, Melissa served as Assistant Administrator in DMS. 

Melissa's vast experience across many jurisdictions in criminal justice uniquely prepares her for her new role. Melissa started her career with DOC in the Division of Community Corrections as a Probation and Parole Agent, and then as a Field Supervisor. She continued her work in DCC, later promoting to the Director of Sex Offender Programs. In 2010, she joined the executive ranks in the Secretary's Office, serving as both Executive Assistant and Legislative Liaison. In 2015, Melissa broadened her experience in Corrections by accepting the Director of Parole position in Colorado DOC. Melissa returned to WIDOC in 2018, working as the Assistant Administrator in DAI and Director of the Office of Detention Facilities. 

​Melissa holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and Psychology, and was recognized with UW Platteville's Achievement in Criminal Justice Award in 2013. She has served on a variety of state and national councils in the field of corrections. ​

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SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS​:

Steve Krallis /  DIRECTOR, BUREAU OF BUDGET & FACILITIES MANAGEMENT, DIVISON OF MANAGEMENT SERVICES

Steve is the Director of the Bureau of Budget and Facilities management for the WI Department of Corrections.  He provides leadership and supervision to budget, leasing, real estate and engineering staff to execute the department budget.  Prior to joining DOC, Steve worked for the Departments of Administration, Natural Resources and Veterans Affairs as a Budget Analyst with experience in budget development and execution.  Prior to State service he served 23 years in the military, serving in the US Marines and US Army, he retired in 2006 as a Sergeant First Class.  He believes a life lived in service is a life well lived.

Dr. Silvia Jackson /  REENTRY DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY

​Dr. Silvia Jackson currently serves as the Department of Corrections Reentry Director having been appointed to that position in 2014.  In that capacity, Dr. Jackson provides leadership in DOC on reentry strategies that are designed to reduce recidivism by implementing evidence based practices.  

Dr. Jackson chairs the department’s Reentry Executive Team providing guidance on DOC policy, programs, assessment tools, staff training, and evaluation of DOC treatment and educational programs.  Current innovative initiatives she oversees include: establishing 10 institution based job centers for persons in our care, and delivery of vocational training academies in high demand fields where employers are seeking skilled labor. Dr.  Jackson administers $13 million in Becky Young Funding to support successful reentry efforts; and she serves as the Chairperson of the Council on Offender Reentry, the Milwaukee Reentry Network and numerous other state and local committees on behalf of the Secretary’s Office. 

Prior to her current position, Dr. Jackson has a long career in state government having served in a number of leadership positions in DOC including Juvenile Corrections Administrator and Assistant Administrator; Policy Chief in Community Corrections and Administrator of the Division of Economic Support in the Department of Health and Social Services. Regarding her academic background, Dr. Jackson earned both her Ph.D in Social Work, and a MSSW from the UW- Madison; and a BA in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire.

Sarah Cooper /  ADMINISTRATOR, DIVISION OF ADULT INSTITUTIONS

Sarah Cooper serves as the Administrator for the Division of Adult Institutions. She has worked in the Wisconsin Department of Corrections for 27 years, holding a variety of positions throughout her career, including Warden.  Sarah has worked at multiple institutions, including Oshkosh Correctional Institution, the Wisconsin Resource Center (a DHS facility which provides mental health services to the DOC population), Redgranite Correctional Institution, Green Bay Correctional Institution, Waupun Correctional Institution, and the Wisconsin Women's Correctional System. She has led and participated in several departmental and divisional committees, including the Unified Compas Coalition, Restricted Housing Reforms Committee, the Trauma Informed Care Committee and the Unified COMPAS Coalition Committee.

Lance Wiersma /  ADMINISTRATOR, DIVISON OF COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS

​Lance Wiersma is the Administrator for the Division of Community Corrections. The Division of Community Corrections (DCC) is charged with supervising more than 66,000 individuals placed by the courts on probation, parole or extended supervision in the community. The mission of the Division of Community Corrections is to enhance public safety through the management and reduction of risk by providing supervision and collaboration with community partners to assist clients to change their behavior and repair the harm they have done.

During his 27 year career, Lance has served in a variety of positions within the Department of Corrections. He was originally hired as a Probation and Parole Agent in 1993. Since 2001, Lance has served as a Corrections Field Supervisor, Assistant Regional Chief in Region 4, Director of Sex Offender Programs, Regional Chief in Region 1, and prior to his appointment to Administrator, he served as the DCC Assistant Administrator.

Lance received a Bachelor of Science - Social Work in 1993 from the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh. 

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MODERATOR​:

Zack Osell /  COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST, OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

Zack Osell is a Communications Specialist for the Department of Corrections in the Office of Public Affairs. In this role, he works primarily on internal and external stakeholder engagement for the agency. He was previously employed as a staff writer for a sports-based website and was part of the marketing staff at the University of Wisconsin-Press before transitioning to government service. Zack worked as a Communications Specialist for the Department of Workforce Development within the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation prior to joining the Department of Corrections. Zack has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications Arts and English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. ​​