Contact: David Chapman
Phone: (904) 255-3004
Cell: (904) 524-6626

July 23, 2019


State Attorney Melissa Nelson has been appointed as a trustee to the Council on Criminal Justice, a new national criminal justice organization.

Independent and nonpartisan, the Council is an invitational membership organization and think tank that advances understanding of the criminal justice policy choices facing the nation. It will build consensus for solutions that enhance safety and justice for all. The organization believes a fair and effective criminal justice system is essential to democracy and a core measure of our nation’s well-being.

“This esteemed group of criminal justice thought leaders will make a difference in their communities and our country as a whole,” said Nelson. “I am honored to be a part of this organization whose mission of improving safety and justice aligns with mine.”

The Council’s advisory Board of Trustees includes U.S. Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, Mark Holden of Koch Industries, Four-star U.S. Army General Peter Chiarelli and State Sen. Jeff Brandes of Florida. Nelson is currently the only state or district attorney on the board of trustees.

The Council is governed by a 16-member Board of Directors led by Laurie Robinson, who twice served as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs. The Council was founded by its president and chief executive officer, Adam Gelb, a former journalist, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee staffer, and director of public safety initiatives at The Pew Charitable Trusts.

“Melissa has a growing reputation nationally and across Florida as someone who’s helping define prosecution as being about protecting public safety and administering justice, not just about locking up as many people for as long as possible,” said Gelb. “We selected people who have done serious and amazing work to improve the system and people who are willing to come to the table and have honest conversations about the issues and not just dig in their heels with their preexisting positions or on behalf of the stakeholder groups they represent in their day jobs. That’s Melissa.”

Nelson and other trustees will advise the Council about which public safety and justice issues it should focus on, help select general Council members, and how the Council can best fulfill its mission and serve its members and the field at large.



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