Confidential Assistant to the Executive Director
Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board
Keith Calloway currently serves as the confidential assistant to the executive director of the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board. In this role he supports the training board’s mission of providing standards and training which enhance the ability of law enforcement to readily and quickly adapt to our rapidly changing society.
Before his tenure at the training board, Calloway served at the Chicago Police Department (CPD), retiring as the chief of the bureau of internal affairs after serving the agency for 32 years. During his time at CPD he held key leadership positions as the deputy chief and director of training of The Chicago Police Department’s Training Academy, and commander of the Englewood – 7th Police District. He also held command positions within the Detective and Organized Crime Bureaus.
Calloway is a lifelong resident of the City of Chicago, having completed his undergraduate studies at Northern Illinois University, and Chicago State University. He also earned a master’s in public administration from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and is a graduate of the Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command as well as the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) Senior Management Institute for Police.
Youth Division, Chicago Police Department
Commander Patricia Casey currently holds the position of Commander of the Youth Investigations Division. Her oversight includes the Juvenile Intervention and Support Center which has a focus on restorative justice, the Special Investigations Unit which investigates sex crimes and internet crimes against children, Criminal Registration Unit, and Youth Administration. She is an instructor at the Chicago Police Academy, teaching newly promoted officers, school resource officers, and officers attending crisis intervention training on recognizing signs of abuse in children and youth investigations.
Commander Casey also presents on youth-related topics for various community organizations. She is active with Chicago Police Peer Support and The Chicago Association of Women in Law Enforcement. She is married to a Chicago police officer and the proud mother of three children who have followed their parents footsteps in law-enforcement. She is also the proud mother of a fourth child who has a physical and cognitive disability. Due to this, when not working at the Chicago Police Department or enjoying time at home with her family, Commander Casey volunteers for several different organizations and advocates for people with disabilities and for families who need support. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in law enforcement management from Calumet College and a master of arts degree in police psychology from the Adler School of Psychology.
Representative Fred Crespo
State Representative 44th District
Representative Fred Crespo is the assistant house majority leader and serves as vice-chair for both the House Elementary & Secondary Education: School Curriculum and Policies Committee and the House Elementary & Secondary Education: Licensing & Charters Committee. As the former chairman, he worked closely with the Illinois State Board of Education on legislation to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Rep. Crespo was also part of Governor Rauner’s School Funding Task Force, and secured, for the first time, full funding for bilingual education. Additionally, he serves as a member of the Council of Chief State School Officers’ Diverse and Learner-Ready state team, which works to achieve greater diversity in teacher recruitment and ensure that all educators demonstrate a culturally responsive skill set. Rep. Crespo holds degrees from Loyola University of Chicago and Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology.
Illinois Prisoner Review Board Member
Edith Crigler is currently serving as a member of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board. She was one of the first advocates in Chicago’s Domestic Violence Court and has a long history of working on behalf of those who have experienced domestic violence with an interest protecting the rights of women and children. She has designed and conducted workshops for human service and law enforcement professionals focused on the myriad of issues germane to poverty. Crigler has served as a paralegal and policy specialist for Metropolitan Family Services where she reviewed systemic problems of poverty both in metropolitan Chicago and the rest of the State of Illinois. She has a strong expertise in simplifying complex bureaucratic language.
Crigler was the first and only director of the African American Caucus for the Family Resource Coalition of America (FRCA). At FRCA, she coordinated, supervised and directed all projects focused on African American family issues, which included publications, policy analysis, consulting and training. Before serving as a member of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, she was appointed by the Governor to the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission and served as a commissioner until 2011. Crigler received her MSW from the University of Chicago.
Mackenzie Eisen is currently the education analyst in the Office of the Governor of Illinois. Her work for the Office of the Governor of Illinois began in 2017 as an education intern before working as a Dunn Fellow for education policy. Eisen also has spent time in New York where she worked for the Fund for the Public Interest as a field manager. Over the course of the three months she was there, she raised close to $17,000 for the Human Rights Campaign’s lobbying efforts aimed at passing the Equality Act, the most sweeping piece of transgender rights legislation to date.
While completing her undergraduate program, Eisen gained research experience as an intern coordinator and researcher, and community narrative research fellow. She attended The George Washington University before transferring to Northwestern University where she receives her B.A in philosophy and political science.
President & CEO
Metropolitan Family Services
Ric Estrada is president and CEO of Metropolitan Family Services, a position he has held since March of 2011. Since his arrival Estrada has helped the agency more than double its operating budget and families served. Estrada has three decades of leadership experience in human services, philanthropy and government. Prior to joining Metropolitan, he served as first deputy commissioner of Chicago’s Department of Family and Support Services. Before that, he served as executive director of Erie Neighborhood House in Chicago. He serves on the board of trustees for the University of Illinois and the boards of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Woods Fund of Chicago, Grand Victoria Foundation, A Better Chicago and Erie Elementary School.
Estrada’s awards include being named an American Marshall Memorial Fellow as well as receiving the City Club of Chicago John A. McDermott Award for Distinguished Social Leadership, the University of Illinois at Chicago City Partner Award and the University of Chicago’s Inaugural 2014 SSA Social Impact Alumni Award. In 2018, he was named the Roberto Clemente honoree by the Chicago Cubs. In 2013, he was named Leadership Greater Chicago’s Distinguished Fellow, and Person of the Year by the Corporate Responsibility Group of Chicago. In 2012, he was honored by the Chicago Bears with an NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award. He received a Kellogg CEO Perspectives Fellowship in 2009. He also was selected as one of Crain’s Chicago Business’ “40 under 40” in 2002. Estrada’s educational background is grounded in social services and business, including an MBA from the University of Illinois at Chicago, an M.A. in social service policy and administration from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, and a B.S. in psychology from Loyola University of Chicago.
Commissioner Bridget Gainer
Cook County Board of Commissioners, 10th District
Commissioner Bridget Gainer was elected to the Cook County Board of Commissioners in 2010. Soon after being elected, she created Cook County’s first Pension Committee to find a pension reform solution that was fair to both taxpayers and workers. She later launched an open-data pension website (OpenPensions.org) that held details on plans and proposals. She created the Cook County Land Bank by bringing together realtors, private developers, civic and social leaders to create the region’s most comprehensive response to reduce the amount and impact of vacant land and abandoned buildings throughout Cook County.
In addition to Commissioner Gainer’s work with finance and foreclosure, she is creating a new asset for regional workforce development by bringing together community colleges, high schools and businesses to reimagine apprenticeships. This asset seeks to fight the training gap as well as the skills gap, ensuring that job training today looks more like the economy of tomorrow.
Commissioner Gainer has devoted special interest to the women and children in the County’s criminal justice system. She eliminated the practice of separating new mothers awaiting trial from their newborns; led the fight to ban shackling pregnant detainees during delivery; created the first citizen advisory board for the Juvenile Detention Center; and continues to lead the fight to reduce the number of non-violent offenders in county jail. Gainer holds degrees from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and the University of Chicago.
Representative Sonya Harper
Illinois State House of Representatives, 6th District
Representative Sonya Harper has been a member of the Illinois House of Representatives since 2015. She serves on various committees including the Agriculture & Conservation, Economic Opportunity & Equity, Appropriations – Public Safety, Elementary and Secondary Education Curriculum & Policies, Energy & Environment and Human Services.
Harper has sponsored legislation for the State to recognize urban agriculture and provide incentives for urban farmers. She has assisted in molding what is now the country’s most equitable cannabis legalization legislation bill by chairing the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus’s cannabis equity workgroup and engaging communities that have been harmed the most by the war on drugs in the policy conversation. Her grassroots engagement around the issue led to the creation of the Illinois Cannabis Equity Coalition. Harper is also responsible for legislation that created a statewide taskforce to develop opportunities for disconnected youth who are jobless and out of school.
Before her work in public office, Harper began a public relations and community organizing consulting firm, served as executive director for Grow Greater Englewood as well as director of outreach at Growing Home, Inc. Prior to that, she spent 10 years working in television news as a producer, writer and reporter for NBC, FOX and CBS affiliates throughout the Midwest. She began her journalism career as a legislative reporter covering state capitol news and issues in Jefferson City, Missouri.
Harper is a Bowhay Institute Fellow, an Edgar Fellow, a recently accepted Emerging Leaders Fellow as part of the State Legislative Leadership Foundation, and frequently presents her legislation at national conferences such as the National Black Caucus of State Legislators and National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women conferences. She holds a degree from University of Missouri-Columbia.
Sydney Holman is currently the house liaison to Illinois House of Representatives for the Governor’s Office. There, she covers the Health & Human Services and Education portfolios to advance the Governor’s agenda. Prior to that, she was a legislative coordinator for State Legislative Affairs for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle where she focused on criminal justice reform and healthcare related initiatives.
Holman was a research analyst for Illinois House Democrats from 2013 until 2017 where she staffed the Revenue & Finance Committee and assisted with the budget drafting process. She began her career in politics in 2009 as an intern for Toni Preckwinkle’s first campaign for Cook County Board President. Her heart for public service started when she was an intern for Streetwise and In These Times in college. Holman graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2012.
Lieutenant Governor’s Office
Bobby Mannis is the policy director for the Office of Illinois Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton. In addition to his work in state government, Mannis is co-founder and policy director of the MoVE Initiative (Millennial Voter Engagement), an organization with chapters in Chicago and New Orleans that seeks to empower young people to use their voting power to help shape the political system so that it reflects their values.
Mannis was formerly a Dunn Fellow for economic policy with the Office of the Governor of Illinois. He has experience organizing and supporting multiple campaigns while he lived in New Orleans. He holds a B.A in economics and political science from Tulane University where he also participated in student government.
Christopher D. Merrett
Governor’s Rural Affairs Council Member
Christopher D. Merrett is the director and professor for the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) at Western Illinois University. As IIRA director, he oversees a university-based research, outreach, teaching, and policy development unit comprised of 20 community development faculty and professionals.
In addition to his management role, he teaches courses in principles of community development, non-metro planning, and philosophy and history of geography. He also serves on the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council, is current chairperson of Rural Partners, and has raised over $6 million in external grant funding to support community and economic development outreach and research. His current research focuses on cooperatives and community development. Merrett co-edited two books on this topic, including A Cooperative Approach to Local Economic Development (2001) and Cooperatives and Local Development: Theory and Applications for the 21st Century (2003).
He has also published in a range of journals on topics such as value-added agriculture, cooperatives, rural land use, social justice, and rural community and economic development. He received his Ph.D. in geography from the University of Iowa, with a focus on regional development and international trade.
Senator Julie Morrison
Illinois State Senate, 29th District
Senator Julie Morrison has been serving Illinois’ 29th Senate District since 2013. She is chair of the Senate Human Services Committee, founding co-chair of the Special Needs Caucus, and forming member of the Children’s Health Caucus. She sits on the Public Health Committee as vice chair, as well as the Environment and Conservation, Local Government, and Transportation Committees.
Morrison has led the charge to reform the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, and currently serves as a co-chair of the recently formed Task Force on Strengthening the Child Welfare Workforce for Children and Families. She continues to work to pass bi-partisan common-sense gun reform and strengthen ethics measures for legislators. Morrison holds a degree from Knox College.
Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice
Heidi Mueller is the director of the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, overseeing the care, custody and services provided to youth committed to the Department by Illinois Courts. In this role, Mueller oversees five secure youth centers and eight aftercare (juvenile parole) offices, along with five Day Reporting Centers located throughout Illinois. Mueller previously served at the Department of Juvenile Justice as deputy director of programs where she was responsible for their service-array and program-related policies, including healthcare, behavioral health services, vocational and recreational programming. Prior to joining the Department, she served as the director of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission, advising the governor and general assembly regarding juvenile justice policy and practice and administering the state’s federal grant funding under the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act.
Her background includes development and management of community programs for justice-involved youth, legal practice, frontline youth services, and social science research. She earned a bachelor’s degree cum laude in psychology and history at Macalester College, completed graduate studies in social psychology at Stony Brook University and holds a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.
Representative Lindsay Parkhurst
Illinois State House of Representatives, 79th District
Representative Lindsay Parkhurst is the Illinois State Representative for the 79th District, serving on various committees including Judicial Civil, Judicial Criminal, and Restorative Justice. Parkhurst She is also a current candidate for Circuit Judge for the 21st Judicial Circuit with 30 years of experience as a general practice attorney. She practiced 11 years in Chicago and for the last 20 years, has owned and managed her own law firm in Kankakee concentrating in family law, bankruptcy, small corporate, traffic, and criminal law. In addition, Parkhurst served 10 years as a part-time assistant public defender for Juvenile Delinquent Abuse & Neglect court for the 21st Circuit Court of Kankakee County. She serves on many local community boards including the Grants Committee for the Community Foundation of Kankakee River Valley, president of the Society of Women in Law, and social chairperson of the Kankakee Bar Association.
Parkhurst is an Edgar’s Fellow, Council of State Governments Bowhay Institute Fellow, and awardee of the National Juvenile Defender Center Juvenile Training Immersion Program Academy at Georgetown Law, among other leadership accomplishments. She graduated with distinction in Honors English from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, received a J.D. from IIT-Chicago-Kent College of Law, and received an LL.M. in health law from DePaul University College of Law.
Cabrini Green Legal Aid
Colette Payne is the policy associate for Cabrini Green Legal Aid and has acted as the head of the Visible Voices program for the Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers (CLAIM) Program. At Cabrini Green Legal Aid, she engages those directly impacted by the criminal justice system to become agents of change and creators of solutions. She frequently speaks at community events on topics ranging from reunification of children and mothers, reproductive justice, mental health care, the need for increased programming in prisons, and barriers to employment for people criminal records.
In 2015, Payne joined the delegation to assess women’s prisons in Illinois, becoming the first formerly-incarcerated woman to serve in this role in the entire United States. She has appeared on television and spoken at conferences, churches and universities, as well as testified before legislative committees. She was selected as a 2016 Fellow for JustLeadershipUSA. Payne holds a degree from City Colleges of Chicago.
Dartesia A. Pitts
Deputy Chief of Staff and General Counsel
Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Illinois
Dartesia A. Pitts serves as Deputy Chief of Staff and General Counsel for the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Illinois. Prior to her current role, she held various legal positions in both private practice and other government entities with a focus in Real Estate law and Commercial litigation. She is the Past-President of the Cook County Bar Association and has served as a legal commentator for national cable and network television shows, including Nancy Grace and Fatal Attraction.
Her insightful counsel and commitment to community involvement are evidenced through her various accolades. She is recognized by many premier legal organizations including as a Forty under 40 recipient for both the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and the National Bar Association; as an Illinois Super Lawyer Rising Star, and an Emerging Lawyer of Illinois. In 2018, her alma mater law school, Northern Illinois University, awarded her for her excellence in leadership and service and she was conferred an Honorary Doctor of Law by her undergraduate alma mater, Kenyon College, in April 2019.
Illinois Council on Women and Girls Member
Dr. Vidhya Prakash is a member of the Illinois Council on Women and Girls in addition to being an associate professor at Southern Illinois University in the Department of Medicine and a member of the Infectious Diseases faculty. Her other roles include vice chair for Clinical Affairs and associate program director for the Internal Medicine Residency training program. She is also the founder and director of SIU Medicine’s Alliance for Women in Medicine and Science.
Through the Health Professions Scholarship Program, Dr. Prakash joined the United States Air Force and completed Internal Medicine residency at the San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium (SAUSHEC) in 2007 followed by Infectious Diseases fellowship training at SAUSHEC in 2009. She stayed at the San Antonio Military Medical Center briefly as an attending physician in Infectious Diseases before transitioning to Wright-Patterson Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio in 2010. There, she served as an Infectious Diseases faculty, chief of the Infectious Diseases Clinic, and associate program director for the Internal Medicine Residency training program.
She graduated from the Ohio State University in 2000 with a BA in English and from the College of Medicine at the University of Cincinnati with an M.D. degree in 2004.
Justice, Equity, and Opportunity Initiative
Quinn Rallins is the director of the Justice, Equity, and Opportunity Initiative in Illinois. In this position, he leads the work with state agencies and other organizations across Illinois to conduct research, create pilot programs and advocate for legislation with an approach centered in restorative justice which prioritizes rehabilitation over incarceration.
Before his work with the Justice, Equity and Opportunity Initiative, Rallins was program director at the Illinois Justice Project and a community justice law fellow at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law. He holds a B.A from Morehouse College, an M.Sc from the University of Oxford and a J.D from Northeastern University School of Law.
Vice President of Public Policy & Advocacy
Illinois Action for Children
Teresa Ramos is the vice president of public policy and advocacy at Illinois Action for Children (IAFC). Prior to joining IAFC, she was the director of community engagement at Advance Illinois where she engaged community members in policy, advocacy, and community-building to strengthen the Illinois public school system. Ramos previously served as education organizer and manager of the Grow Your Own Teachers program at ONE (now ONE Northside). She earned her Ph.D. in anthropology, focused on school culture and educational policy, with a minor in Latina/Latino studies from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council
Kathryn Saltmarsh is the executive director of the Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council (SPAC), a position she began in 2010 after working as the legislative affairs director for the Office of the Illinois Attorney General. Before working for the Attorney General, Saltmarsh did appellate and legislative work for the Office of the State Appellate Defender where she was actively involved in the negotiation and passage of death penalty reform legislation. She also had the opportunity to serve as co-director of the Criminal Law Edit, Alignment and Reform (CLEAR) Commission. The CLEAR Commission drafted the statute that created SPAC and sponsored multiple bills to simplify and modernize the Illinois Criminal Code and Code of Corrections.
Saltmarsh worked on the Washington staff of Senator Paul Simon before deciding to go to law school. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1992 and later moved to Springfield to begin her legal career. As an associate with the law firm of Metnick, Wise, Cherry & Frazier, she practiced both civil and criminal law. After losing interest in civil practice, she embarked on her public service career focusing on criminal justice after her experience on the post-conviction legal team for a wrongfully convicted death-row inmate who was released after 17 years in prison. Saltmarsh holds degrees from the University of Illinois.
Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority
Jason Stamps was named executive director for the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority in June 2019. He has nearly two decades of experience in law enforcement research and training, and most recently served as acting director of the Center for Public Safety and Justice (CPSJ) at the University of Illinois at Chicago. There, he was involved in projects with topics ranging from executive training, procedural justice and community policing to cyber security and emergency response. Stamps is a nationally-recognized speaker on procedural justice. Prior to joining CPSJ, he was director of the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety Professional Training Division and also served as the director of new programs, associate director of the management training division, and an instructor in the School of Police Staff and Command where he lectured in resource allocation and deployment and applied statistics. Stamps also worked for the Institute for Public Safety Partnerships (IPSP) at University of Illinois-Chicago.
Starting as a graduate research assistant for IPSP, he rose to the position of assistant director of operations, managing all grant funds supporting the institute. His research activities included developing and implementing a research protocol to study UIC Clery mandatory reporter system effectiveness and designing survey instruments and performing data analysis for several police departments in response to state-mandated traffic stop data collection efforts. Prior to moving to Illinois, he served as a dispatcher and 911 operator for the Tuscaloosa, Alabama Police Department, serving in all capacities within the communications division.
Stamps earned his B.A. in criminal justice from the University of Alabama and M.A. in criminal justice from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has also holds a M.A. in public policy and administration from Northwestern University.
State’s Attorney Daniel Wright was appointed to serve Sangamon County in October, 2018 and will stand for election in November, 2020. He began his work there in 2016 as an assistant state’s attorney in the Felony Division and was promoted to first assistant state’s attorney in 2017.
Before his work serving Sangamon County, Wright was a partner with the Springfield law firm of Brown, Hay & Stephens an a past chair of the board for the United Way of Central Illinois and board member for Crime Stoppers of Sangamon and Menard Counties. He currently serves on the boards of Memorial Behavioral Health, Catholic Charities and the grants committee for the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln. Wright received his J.D from St. Louis University and his undergraduate degree from Illinois College in Jacksonville.