membership directory
Return to Directory
  • Name: Pat Nolan

    Job Title: Director, Center for Criminal Justice Reform

    Company Name: American Conservative Union Foundation

    Bio: Pat Nolan is the Director of the American Conservative Union Foundation's Center for Criminal Justice Reform. The Center informs and mobilizes public support for criminal justice reforms based on conservative principles. It also works with government officials to implement those reforms effectively.

    Bio 2: Nolan is a leading voice on criminal justice reform, highlighting the skyrocketing costs of prison, fiscal responsibility in the criminal justice system and reforms for non-violent offenders. He is a strong advocate for treating each prisoner with dignity and respect, and offering them hope and practical assistance after they are released from prison. He worked with Chuck Colson for 15 years as President of Justice Fellowship. Together they built support for reforms among Christians and conservatives.

    Bio 3: Previously, he served 8 terms in the California State Assembly, two of them as the Assembly Republican Leader. He was a leader on crime issues, particularly on behalf of victims' rights, was one of the original sponsors of the Victims' Bill of Rights (Proposition 15), and was awarded the "Victims Advocate Award" by Parents of Murdered Children.

    Bio 4: Nolan was targeted for prosecution for a campaign contribution he accepted which turned out to be part of an FBI sting. He pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering and served 29 months in federal custody.

    Bio 5: Before entering prison a friend his told him that for centuries Christians have left their day-to-day world, humbled themselves, done menial labor, prayed and studied their faith. We call that a monastery. View this time as your monastic experience. Pat credits this friend with helping him enter prison in a frame of mind which allowed him to put the time to good use. Pat says he drew great comfort from the story of Joseph in Genesis. Man intended it for evil, but God intended it for good.

    Bio 6: Nolan is the author of When Prisoners Return, which describes the important role of the Church in helping prisoners get back on their feet after they are released. He is a frequent expert witness at Congressional hearings on important issues such as prison work programs, juvenile justice, prison safety, offender reintegration and religious freedom. He was a leader in the successful efforts to pass the Prison Rape Elimination Act, the Second Chance Act, the Fair Sentencing Act, and the recently enacted First Step Act. He is probably the only convicted felon to have participated in four signing ceremonies at the White House.

    Bio 7: Nolan has lectured at many judicial conferences and legal conventions. He has coauthored articles for the Notre Dame Law School Journal of Law, Ethics and Public Policy and the Regent Law School Law Review. He was member of the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission, which developed standards to hold prison officials accountable for preventing sexual assaults. He also served on the National Commission on Safety and Abuse in America's Prisons.

    Bio 8: Nolan was honored by the Freda Utley Foundation for his pioneering work for criminal justice reform. Nolan was the first American to receive this prestigious international honor. He received the Vera Institute of Justice Award for his leadership to reform the criminal justice system, and also received the Justice Roundtable's Advocate Award for his "tireless work championing criminal justice reform." Pat was also given the Architect of Justice Award from the Center for Policing Equity.

    Bio 9: His opinion pieces have appeared in numerous periodicals including the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the National Law Journal, National Review Online, and the Weekly Standard. He is a frequent guest on television and radio shows, including Fox News, Lou Dobbs, Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, the PBS News Hour, Sean Hannity, and Montel Williams. He has been featured in profiles in the New Yorker, the LA Times, and the Washington Monthly.

    Bio 10: Pat earned both his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and his Juris Doctorate at the University of Southern California. Pat and his wife Gail have three adult children. The Nolans live in Prescott, Arizona and are members of the Sacred Heart Parish. And a fun trivia fact: Pat rode as USC's mascot, Tommy Trojan, in the 1974 Rose Parade.