Press Release

John Wetzel, former Pennsylvania Secretary of Corrections, joins FAMM Board of Directors

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John Wetzel, former Pennsylvania Secretary of Corrections, joins FAMM Board of Directors

WASHINGTON – FAMM President Kevin Ring today announced that John Wetzel, the former Pennsylvania Secretary of Corrections, will join the organization’s board of directors.

“We are thrilled to welcome John to our board,” said Ring. “He is a nationally recognized leader in prison administration and reform and he will bring a valuable and unique perspective and expertise to our work. He and I share a belief that incarcerated people and correctional officers both would benefit from better sentencing and prison policies.”

Wetzel was nominated by former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett in 2010 and confirmed in 2011. He was subsequently renominated by Governor Tom Wolf in 2015 and served until he resigned in October of 2021 as the longest serving Secretary of Corrections in the state and the only one to work under both Democratic and Republican governors.

Under Wetzel’s leadership, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections marked the first prison population reduction in more than forty years and saw the elimination of a 24-year average growth of 1,500 incarcerated people annually. He also oversaw the restructuring of the community corrections and mental health systems, and program delivery in Pennsylvania.

“FAMM has been a critical partner for so many of us engaged in improving the criminal justice system and supporting the creation of programs necessary to keep people out of the system in the first place, like expanded access to early childhood education and stronger social and economic safety nets,” Wetzel said. “It is my honor to join the FAMM board and continue this essential work together.”

Wetzel is currently the CEO of Phronema Justice Strategies, LLC, a national management consulting firm focused on bringing disruptive innovation to public safety, especially as it relates to mitigating correctional staffing issues.

He is also the Founding Director of the Keystone Restituere Justice Center, an affiliated foundation focused on real world, real time research for criminal justice systems and reinvesting in children living in poverty.

For more than three decades, FAMM has united the voices of affected families, the formerly incarcerated, and a range of stakeholders and advocates to fight for a more fair and effective justice system. FAMM has led the fight to reform extreme mandatory sentencing laws and to promote rehabilitation and dignity for all people in prison, 94 percent of whom will return to our neighborhoods one day.


FAMM is a national nonpartisan advocacy organization that promotes fair and effective criminal justice policies that safely reduce incarceration, save taxpayer dollars, and keep families together. Founded in 1991, FAMM has secured bold sentencing and prison reform across the country while elevating the voices of directly impacted individuals and families.