John Wetzel, widely recognized as one of the thought leaders in corrections today, was appointed Secretary of Corrections for the PA Department of Corrections (DOC) in January 2011 by Governor Corbett and reappointed by Governor Wolf in January 2015. During his tenure there has been an elimination of a 24-year average growth of 1500 inmates per year, presiding over the first population reduction in PA in over 4 decades, and a restructuring of the Community Corrections and mental health systems along with a re-engineering of internal processes to yield a more efficient system of program delivery.
He has over 27 years of experience in the corrections field, including corrections officer, treatment counselor, warden, and training academy director. Mr. Wetzel has been selected as Chair of the Council of State Government’s Justice Center’s Executive Board and Vice President of ASCA. He is a member of Harvard’s Executive Session on Community Corrections which is a joint project of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) consisting of 30 of the leading policymakers, practitioners and researchers nationally, in an effort to shape the meaning and future of community corrections policy in the US. He is a graduate of Bloomsburg University. In May 2016, the Indiana University of Pennsylvania presented to him an honorary doctor of laws.