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

Professional Experience | Education | Selected Publications & Other Work | Professional/Personal Affiliations


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

  • Providing consulting services to government agencies, and non-profit and for-profit organizations which work with justice system-involved individuals. The overarching goals for this work are to promote safer, healthier communities and better outcomes for individuals.  Specific services include:
    •  designing and delivering webinars on implementing effective treatment programs, developing offender reentry plans and working with community members to effect successful transitions from prisons and jails to the community;
    •  writing, reviewing and editing policy papers, grant applications and technical reports;
    •  developing and delivering training and educational seminars for judges and other key justice-system professionals, which translate the findings from scientifically-sound research and evaluation studies into practical strategies which promote better public policy outcomes while efficiently using taxpayer dollars.
    •  Clients include: the Council of State Governments’ National Reentry Resource Center, The Moss Group, Inc., Northpointe, Inc. and Nueva Esperenza, Inc.

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 office including: data analyses and management, producing analytical reports aimed at preventing and solving public safety issues and safely managing the growing state prison population.

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

  • Worked with key policy staff in the Governor’s Office, legislators, the District Attorneys’ Association, and the leadership from key stakeholder organizations, to identify potential strategies to reduce crime and the state prison population simultaneously.
  • Provided input, advice, and guidance to Agency Secretaries, lawmakers and stakeholder organizations on how the findings of research and evaluation studies might best be used in the development of sound, fiscally responsible policy initiatives.
  • Provided analyses, interpreted research findings, and shared results from other jurisdictions which implemented criminal justice system reforms.  Designed strategic criminal justice system initiatives to maximize public safety and efficiently allocate taxpayer dollars.
  • Designed 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.
  • Ensured that inmate 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.
  • Prepared and delivered workshops, keynote addresses and legislative testimony suggesting how to translate evidence from evaluation studies into strategies, programs and policies which optimize opportunities to enhance public safety by safely transitioning offenders into communities.
  • Worked collaboratively with leadership from other state agencies: including Public Welfare, Health, Labor and Industry and Transportation to develop specific protocols for ensuring inmate needs for continuing behavioral health treatment, employment and training and having proper identification were addressed.
  • 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, the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts Problem-Solving Court Committee, and the Interagency Prison and Parole Population Projections 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, Planning, Research, Statistics and Grants and Victim Services.
  • Oversaw the expansion and operation of the department’s state-owned community correction centers and contracted facilities for two years.

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 to organizations including: the Bureau of Justice Assistance within the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Education, the National Governor’s Association, and the Council of State Governments.
  • Provided advice and made recommendations to the Secretary of Corrections and the Governor’s Secretary of Policy and Planning on incorporating evidence-based strategies and best practices into the Commonwealth’s overall criminal justice plan.
  • Oversaw all activities of the Bureaus of Treatment Services, Community Corrections and Planning, Research, Statistics and Grants.

Policy Director (February 2005 to January 2006)

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

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

  • Oversaw all activities of the office including: developing a research agenda; partnering with university-based researchers to evaluate prison 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 managing 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.
  • Developed, recommended and implemented changes to Department policies, procedures, programs and information systems based on the results of research findings and best practices in the field.

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 the Departmental expert on prison privatization issues.  Authored reports and information pieces on prison privatization.

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.

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

De Sales University, Center Valley, PA
Bachelor of Arts in Politics with minor in American Studies. Graduated Summa Cum Laude. Recipient of the Politics Prize.

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  • “Learning from People Who Succeed Upon Release: Strategies, Approaches and Tools That Can Make a Difference.” Webinar sponsored by the National Reentry Resource Center and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S., Department of Justice. Delivered August 14, 2012. Archived recording and slides available at:
  • “Developing Optimal Individual Reentry Plans: Balancing Offender Needs, Community Factors and Practical Realities.” Webinar sponsored by the National Reentry Resource Center and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice. Delivered July 11, 2012. Archived recording and slides available at:
  • “Implementing Effective Institutional-Based Cognitive Behavioral Interventions.” Webinar sponsored by the National Reentry Resource Center and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice.  Delivered February 29, 2012. Archived Recording and slides available at:
  • ““Transitioning State Offenders Through County Jails.”  Pennsylvania County News, a County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania publication. (May/June 2010).
  • “Can the Correctional System Live Up to Its Name? Offender Rehabilitation in America.”  Status Report: University of Pittsburgh Institute of Politics. An Interview with Bruce Barron and Judy Feldman. (November 2009).
  • “A Perspective on Corrections Health Care.” with Jeffrey A. Beard. Journal of Law & Policy Vol. 22. (August 2008).
  •  “Assessing for Success in Offender Reentry.” With Gary Zajac. Corrections Today. (April 2005.)
  •  “Understanding and Responding to the Needs of Parole Violators.” with Kristofer Bucklen and Gary Zajac. Corrections Today. (April 2004).

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  • Member of the American Correctional Association
  • Member of the American Probation and Parole Association.
  • Serve as a Peer Reviewer for grant applications for the Bureau of Justice Assistance within the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • Serve as a Technical Assistance provider for the National Institute of Corrections.
  • Graduate of the Leadership Development Institute for Women in Pennsylvania State Government.
  • Girl Scout Troop Leader.

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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