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International parole group honors Kansas Prisoner Review Board chair

by Cheryl Cadue last modified Apr 15, 2019 09:52 AM
Kansas Prisoner Review Board (PRB) Chairman Jonathan Ogletree’s leadership at state and national levels recently earned him top recognition from the Association of Paroling Authorities International (APAI).
International parole group honors Kansas Prisoner Review Board chair

APAI President David Blumberg, PRB Chairman Jonathan Ogletree and APAI Vice President Danielle LaCost


Ogletree received the Vincent O’Leary Award for his vision, leadership and commitment to parole at the APAI’s annual meeting in Baltimore earlier this month.

“Jonathan has distinguished himself as a dedicated public servant time and again,” said Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) Secretary Roger Werholtz. “This latest honor shows that he continues to remain tireless in his drive to make our communities safer for everyone.”

In nominating Ogletree, APAI Vice President and Wisconsin Parole Commissioner Danielle LaCost noted Ogletree’s efforts to advance the National Institute of Correction’s (NIC) Structured Decision Making Framework, a guideline to help parole board members reach consistent, transparent and defensible release decisions.

Ogletree played a key role in implementing the project in Kansas, which served as a pilot site for the framework. Ogletree also helped develop the curriculum for the project and became a lead trainer as the NIC rolled out the project nationally in 2017.

“I met Jonathan in 2014 when we attended a mental health training provided by the National Resource Center and I was impressed by his vision and aspirations for our field,” LaCost stated. “Since that time, Jonathan has consistently taken advantage of continuing education opportunities so as to stay abreast of changing practices within our field and implement them into our practices.”

Ogletree has been a member of the Kansas PRB since 2011 and was named chairman in 2016. Last year, Ogletree, who was serving as a member of APAI’s professional development committee, was appointed APAI regional vice president of the central district that spans 12 states. Ogletree also currently serves as a member of the Kansas Sentencing Commission  and previously served on the Kansas Council for Interstate Adult Offender Committee.

He began his corrections career 30 years ago as a corrections officer at Lansing Correctional Facility. Ogletree steadily rose through the ranks before becoming the director of the Shawnee County Re-entry Program. Prior to joining the PRB, Ogletree served as the cognitive behavioral services coordinator at Lansing.

This marks the second time that a State of Kansas official received the APAI’s highest award. Former Kansas Parole Board Member Marilyn Scafe received the Vincent O’Leary award in 2007.

The award is named for Vincent O’Leary, a nationally recognized scholar in the criminal justice fields of probation and parole.

APAI, the only organization dedicated exclusively to parole and releasing authorities, serves as a national and international resource and discussion network for the exchange of information within all areas impacting parole. Its mission is to enhance public safety and the recognition of victim rights by being involved with the development of national and international research-based parole policy.


(Kansas PRB at APAI convention in Baltimore)

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