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Biography

Kathleen Gnall is an independent consultant based in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, who works with criminal justice professionals, policy and decision-makers, community and business leaders, social service providers, and members of faith-based and non-profit organizations, towards the dual goals of enhancing public safety while improving individual outcomes.

Ms. Gnall spent seventeen years in public service as an employee of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PDOC). She held several positions with the PDOC, which included: the Executive Assistant to the Secretary of Corrections, the Director of Policy, Planning, Research, Evaluation and Grants, and the Deputy Secretary for Specialized Programs and Reentry.

In the Deputy Secretary role, Ms. Gnall was responsible for inmate assessment, all treatment programs including mental health and AOD (alcohol and other drug), education and vocational training as well as the practical aspects of offender reentry such as ensuring that offenders secure appropriate identification prior to prison release.  Ms. Gnall also oversaw all activities of the extensive community corrections system, through which more than one-half of all prison releases transitioned on their way to community living.  Ms. Gnall worked collaboratively with Board members and staff from the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole in improving the transition from prison to community supervision.

Ms. Gnall has extensive experience in providing educational and training sessions to: Criminal Justice Advisory Boards (CJABs), criminal court judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, corrections security and treatment staff, probation and parole officers, county commissioners and other groups on many topics, including: preparing offenders for community reintegration (assessment of risk and need, targeting risk factors through appropriate interventions, linking with community services) and, presenting research findings on the causes of criminal behavior and what approaches are proven or promising to address these risk factors.

In addition, Ms. Gnall has worked with executives and staff in behavioral health, education, workforce development, and housing as criminal justice clients are so often not unique to the justice system but are heavy users of multiple, publicly-funded services. She has led cross-agency teams in identifying workable solutions to fill gaps in services and has written multiple successful grant proposals, including federal Department of Justice Second Chance grants, which seek to address pressing policy needs.

During her tenure with the PDOC, Ms. Gnall served on numerous interagency committees including: the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s Victim Services Advisory Committee, Mental Health and Criminal Justice Committee, the Research and Evaluation Committee (chair) and the Population Projections Committee.  She also co-chaired the state-agency Reentry Task Force commissioned by Former PA Governor Ed Rendell.  Ms. Gnall has authored several articles and presented at both state and national conferences and workshops.  She holds a Master’s degree in Government from Lehigh University and a Bachelor’s degree in Politics summa cum laude from De Sales University.  Ms. Gnall completed the Pennsylvania Management Associate program and the Leadership Development Institute for Women in State Government.

  • Skills & Expertise

    • Expert Witness in prison adjustment, determining risk for reoffense and offender reentry.
    • Expert witness in Juvenile Lifer Without Possibility of Parole (JLWOP) resentencing.
    • Public Policy Analyses
    • Criminal Justice Research and Evaluation
    • Data Collection, Analyses and Presentation
    • Grant Writing and Management
    • Public Administration
    • Strategic Planning
    • Program Development and Monitoring
    • Public Speaking
    • Legislative Testimony
    • Leading Collaborative Teams
    • Training and Development
    • Budget Preparation