Madeline McPherson Joins Firm Headed by Former PA Corrections Secretary John Wetzel

HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 29, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Madeline K. McPherson, M.S., respected corrections public policy expert, has been named vice president of research, policy and innovation at Phronema Justice Strategies LLC, a Harrisburg-based national management consulting firm. The firm was founded by corrections thought leader John E. Wetzel, the longest serving Pennsylvania secretary of corrections and the only one to work under both Democratic and Republican governors.

McPherson has a decade of policy and legislative affairs experience working in state and local corrections, policing, and mental health. She worked as a senior policy analyst for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and has previously supported Phronema as an expert in translating research and evaluation into practical strategies for criminal justice reform. Among her other job duties, McPherson will head the firm’s research and policy development and lead its advocacy work.

“Maddie has been my policy go-to for many years and we are delighted to have her fulltime with us at Phronema as we continue our work breaking new ground in corrections innovation in the private sector,” said Wetzel. “As a key member of my team at the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, Maddie has helped with a number of notable corrections innovations, including the first prison population reduction in Pennsylvania in more than four decades, the restructuring of the community corrections and mental health systems, and the reengineering of nearly every internal department of corrections process in a sustained effort to yield a more efficient system of program delivery. With Maddie on board, we are confident that Phronema will lead in carceral systems improvements.”

“There is not a more dynamic or provocative thinker on corrections policy and practice in this country than John Wetzel,” McPherson said. “I am honored to continue my work with him in corrections, reentry, and recidivism prevention, identifying and implementing the creative strategies needed to solve the most intractable and expensive corrections problems.”

Currently in her fifth year as a doctoral student in Criminology, Law & Society at George Mason University, McPherson also previously worked as a legislative project coordinator for the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and has been involved in research with George Mason’s Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy, its Early Justice Strategies Lab, as well as its Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence (ACE!). A Hershey, Pa. native, McPherson received an M.S. in Justice, Law, & Criminology from American University and a dual B.A. in Sociology and Psychology from Duquesne University.

Founded by John E. Wetzel, the longest serving Pennsylvania Secretary of Corrections and nationally recognized corrections expert and innovator, Phronema Justice Strategies, L.L.C. is a national management consulting firm focusing on bringing disruptive innovation to public safety, especially as it relates to mitigating correctional staffing issues.