Council on Criminal Justice Task Forces are independent of the Council and solely responsible for the content of their reports. Task Force topics are selected by Council leadership and meetings are facilitated by Council staff and consultants, but neither the Board of Directors nor Board of Trustees approves or disapproves the findings and recommendations.

Diverse in backgrounds and perspectives, Task Force members strive to reach consensus on findings and policy proposals through private, nonpartisan discussions. Members are asked to join a consensus signifying that they endorse the general policy thrust and judgments reached by the group, though not necessarily every finding and recommendation. Task Force members may append to the group report an additional or dissenting view if they wish. Members participate in Task Forces in their individual, not their institutional, capacities, and professional affiliations included in Task Force reports do not imply institutional endorsement.

The 14-member Task Force on Federal Priorities is the Council’s first. It was convened from June 2019 through early March 2020 and was chaired by former Georgia Governor Nathan Deal. Prior to his two terms as governor, Deal served 18 years in Congress and was a Georgia state legislator, a criminal and juvenile judge, and a prosecutor.


Task force Members

Nathan Deal - Former Governor of Georgia

Nathan deal (chair)

Former Governor of Georgia, Member of Congress, Georgia Legislator, Criminal and Juvenile Judge, Prosecutor

Sally Yates - Partner, King & Spalding

Sally Yates

Partner, King & Spalding; Former Deputy Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice

Eduardo Bocanegra - Senior Director, READI Chicago

Eddie bocanegra

Senior Director, READI Chicago

Steve Chanenson - Professor of Law, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

steve chanenson

Professor, Villanova University’s Charles Widger School of Law; Editor, Federal Sentencing Reporter; Former Chair, Pennsylvania Sentencing Commission

Mark Holden - Board Chairman, Americans for Prosperity

mark holden

Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Retired, Koch Industries, Inc.

Nancy La Vigne - Executive Director, CCJ Task Force on Policing

Nancy La Vigne

Vice President of Justice Policy, Urban Institute; Former Executive Director, congressionally-created Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections (2016)

Janelle Melohn - Director, Office of Victims of Crime, Victims of Crime Act Center, National Criminal Justice Association

Janelle Melohn

Victim Services Director, Iowa Office of the Attorney General; President, National Association of Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Assistance Administrators

Michael Nutter - Former Mayor, City of Philadelphia

Michael Nutter

Former Mayor of Philadelphia; former President, U.S. Conference of Mayors

Charles Ramsey - Former Chief of Police and Commissioner, Cities of Washington, DC, Philadelphia, and Chicago

Charles ramsey

Former Police Chief, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia

David Safavian - Deputy Director, Center for Criminal Justice Reform, American Conservative Union Foundation

David Safavian

General Counsel, American Conservative Union, and Deputy Director, American Conservative Union Foundation Nolan Center for Justice; Former Chief of Staff, U.S. General Services Administration

Donald Stern - Managing Director, Corporate Monitoring and Consulting Services, Affiliated Motors, Inc.

Donald Stern

Of Counsel, Yurko, Salvesen & Remz; Former U.S. Attorney, Massachusetts

Christina Swarns - Executive Director, Innocence Project

Christina Swarns

President and Attorney-in-Charge, Office of the Appellate Defender (New York City); Former Supervising Assistant Federal Defender (Philadelphia)

Kimá Joy Taylor - Principal, Anka Consulting LLC

Kimá taylor

Managing Principal, Anka Consulting LLC; Former Director, Open Society Foundations Addiction Programs; Former Baltimore Deputy Health Commissioner

About The Art

The banner design was created by an adult in custody designer in the Oregon Corrections Enterprises (OCE) Graphic Design program. The mission of OCE, in partnership with the Oregon Department of Corrections, is to promote public safety by providing adults in custody with work and training opportunities in a self-sustaining organization.


The Task Force was supported in part by Arnold Ventures. Additional resources were provided by the Council’s general donors.