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Professional Resume

Kathleen Gnall
38 Sycamore Drive, Mechanicsburg PA 17050
(717) 795-1753,

Professional Experience | Education | Selected Presentations, Publications & Other Works | Professional Activities


Owner, Gnall Consulting, Mechanicsburg, PA (8/2011-Present)

  • Provide consulting services to government agencies, non-profit organizations, private businesses and professional associations who work with justice system-involved adults. The primary goals are to improve individual outcomes and enhance public health and safety.
  • Educate, train and provide on-going implementation consulting to justice agencies interested in adopting actuarial risk and needs assessment tools and using the results to determine the best allocation of limited resources.
  • Assess offender risk for continuing criminal behavior through reviewing historical case records, conducting offender interviews, and administering actuarial risk and need assessment instruments.
  • Retained by legal counsel as expert on: offender risk for continuing criminal behavior, prison adjustment, and preparation for parole release. Prepare expert reports and testimony in juvenile lifer without parole (JLWOP) resentencing hearings.
  • Develop comprehensive, collaborative reentry plans for offenders released from county jail.
  • Develop, recommend and evaluate strategies aimed at preventing at-risk populations from becoming involved in the justice system and curtailing further penetration into the justice system by individuals already having touches with law enforcement.
  • Evaluate prison treatment, education and vocational training programs. Author reports summarizing findings and making recommendations for improvement.
  • Write grant applications on behalf of clients in response to competitive solicitations issued by state and federal government agencies and private foundations.
  • Promote the use of evidence in criminal justice decisionmaking through webinars, live training and workshops.

Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, Camp Hill, PA (1995-2011)

Director, Bureau of Planning, Research and Statistics (April 2011 to August 2011)

  • Directed all activities of the bureau including: analyzing and managing data, writing analytical reports on corrections and justice-system policy issues, developing a research and evaluation agenda, partnering with university researchers and securing external funding to evaluate programs and services, and informing correctional practice in the areas of safety, security and offender rehabilitation.

Director, Policy, Planning, Research and Reentry   (February 2010 to March 2011)

  • Developed plans for managing the growing state inmate population.
  • Worked with the Governor’s senior staff, state legislators, and leadership from key stakeholder organizations, to identify potential strategies to reduce crime and the state prison population simultaneously.
  • Conducted literature reviews, interpreted research and evaluation study findings, developed recommendations, wrote briefing papers, and delivered presentations on criminal justice system reforms.
  • Provided input, advice, guidance and oral and written testimony to executive agency directors and state legislators on the impact of legislative and policy initiatives in an effort to inform public policy formulation with scientific evidence.
  • Played key role on team responsible for designing the Pennsylvania State Intermediate Punishment (SIP) program and securing passage of legislation creating this sentencing option.
  • Devised reentry strategies for state inmates which allow them to transition through county jails in their home communities thus connecting former offenders with critical local resources which will improve public safety and offender outcomes.
  • Chaired the Research and Evaluation Committee of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

Deputy Secretary for Reentry and Specialized Programs  (April 2007 to February 2010)

  • Established vision and direction on how best to prepare state prison inmates for law-abiding community living upon release.
  • Ensured that inmate actuarial risk and needs assessment, treatment programs, educational and vocational courses and reentry services offered in prisons and half-way houses adhered to established principles for correcting offender behavior.
  • Led teams of representatives from state and county government agencies, social service providers, non­profit, faith-based and community organizations toward designing and implementing strategies to manage offender transitions from prison to communities to reduce instances of citizen victimization.
  • Served on numerous inter-agency teams whose goals are to improve the criminal justice system.  Among these are: the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s Victim Services Advisory Committee, and Mental Health and Criminal Justice Advisory Committee; the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing’s Parole Guideline Committee and the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts Problem-Solving Court Committee.
  • Served as the Departmental liaison to the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole.
  • Managed the Directors of the Bureaus of Treatment Services, Correction Education, Community Corrections, Planning, Research, Statistics and Grants and Victim Services.

Acting Director, Programs and Reentry (February 2006 to March 2007)

  • Wrote grant, technical assistance and training applications, and white papers describing the Commonwealth’s overarching approach to enhancing public safety and requesting funding to support specific elements of the strategy. Prepared several successful grant and technical assistance applications issued under competitive solicitations from organizations including: the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education, the National Governors’ Association and the Council for State Governments.
  • Provided advice and made recommendations to the Secretary of Corrections and the Governor’s Policy Director on incorporating evidence-based strategies and best practices into the Commonwealth’s overall criminal justice plan.

Policy Director (February 2005 to January 2006)

  • Co-chaired the Governor’s Reentry Task Force, a multi-disciplinary, state agency team which developed action plans aimed at improving state offender outcomes.
  • Worked with the Governor’s Policy Director and staff to develop macro-level adult criminal justice policy with a focus on corrections and parole.

Director, Office of Planning, Research, Statistics and Grants (February 1998 to January 2005)

  • Guided all activities of the office including: securing third-party funding to partner with university-based researchers in evaluating prison and halfway house treatment and education programs; writing program and research grant applications; managing $100 million in federal grant money; preparing standard and ad hoc analytical reports; identifying emerging criminal justice population trends; conducting policy and legislative impact analyses; developing instrumentation and procedures for data collection, analyses and presentation; designing and maintaining the Department’s internal and public websites; monitoring the climate of correctional institutions using a  key indicator system; writing, designing and producing publications highlighting Department initiatives.

Executive Assistant to the Secretary of Corrections (July 1995 to January 1998)

  • Provided research and analytical support on special projects to the Secretary of Corrections and other senior-level staff. Assisted the Secretary and Deputy Secretaries in monitoring program and policy effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Served as Department expert on prison privatization issues.  Authored reports and information pieces on prison privatization.
  • Drafted boot camp regulations.

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA
Pennsylvania Management Associate (July 1994 to June 1995)

  • Selected to participate in an intensive management development program for those who recently earned graduate degrees and wished to enter public service.  The program was designed to provide exposure to state agencies and strengthen skills in policy analysis, employee relations, budget and management information systems.

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Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA
Master of Arts in Government,  4.0 GPA
Teaching and Research Assistant, full scholarship

DeSales University, Center Valley, PA
Bachelor of Arts in Politics, Minor in American Studies
Graduated Summa Cum Laude, Recipient of Politics Prize

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  • “Offender Risk and Need Assessment for General and Specific Crime.” Presentation at the Pennsylvania DUI Association Annual Meeting, October 27, 2016.
  • “Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics or The Numbers Don’t Lie?  What’s a Practitioner to Do?” Presentation at the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania Homes Within Reach conference, November 17, 2014.
  • Webinars sponsored by the Council of State Governments National Reentry Resource Center and the Bureau of Justice Assistance.
    • “How Organizations Implement Evidence-Based Practices: Strategies, Tips and Tools.  Delivered June 12, 2013.
    • “Halfway Houses, Work Release and Day Reporting Centers: What Impact Do They Have on Public Safety?”  Delivered April 10, 2013.
    • “Learning From People Who Succeed Upon Release: Strategies, Approaches and Tools That Can Make a Difference.”  Delivered August 14, 2012.
    • “Developing Optimal Individual Reentry Plans: Balancing Offender Needs, Community Factors and Practical Realities”. Delivered July 11, 2012.
    • “Implementing Effective Institutional-Based Cognitive Behavioral Interventions.”Delivered February 29, 2012.
  • “Individual Risk and Need Assessment in Criminal Justice.” Presented at the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency Criminal Justice Advisory Board Conference. October 28, 2013.
  • “Transitioning State Offenders Through County Jails.”  Pennsylvania County News, a County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania publication. (May/June 2010).

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  • Member of the American Correctional Association and the American Probation and Parole Association.
  • Peer Reviewer for grant applications for the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance.
  • Practitioner Reviewer for research and evaluation studies sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice National Institute of Justice.
  • Graduate of the Leadership Development Institute for Women in Pennsylvania State Government.
  • Certified to administer all components of the Ohio Risk Assessment System (ORAS).

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  • 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