Community Corrections Reform


Tuesday, February 1, 2022
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Session Type: Workshop

Community corrections practitioners are joined by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) like Arnold Ventures, Pew Charitable Trusts, and Reform Alliance to champion justice reform in general, and community corrections, more specifically. There is a deafening cry for substantive changes to probation, parole, and pretrial practices, policies, and protocols – changes that are in sync with the mission of community corrections. For the foreseeable future, public and NGOs must work in tandem to overhaul the field. APPA supports and urges substantial transformation – it’s important for the individuals who seek guidance and support and for society as a whole. During this session, practitioners will engage in a conversation about the changes we MUST see. It is important to lift up the voices of POs in reform conversations and this will serve as a “listening session” as panelists solicit ideas from the live and virtual audiences. This session will actually serve as the kickoff for a work group that will be tasked with developing short-term and long-term recommendations for reform.


Veronica Ballard Cunningham
Executive Director, American Probation and Parole Association

Veronica Ballard Cunningham is the Executive Director of the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA). She has responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the professional membership association for individuals serving in pretrial, probation, parole agencies, and community-based corrections and supervision. Policymakers, judges, law enforcement officers, researchers, educators, and others interested in reentry are also among the 34,000 members of APPA. In addition to professional development/training, APPA provides technical assistance and support, serves as an information clearinghouse, and advocates for reform effects and best-practices in the justice system in general, but community corrections, more specifically. Mrs. Ballard Cunningham has a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Louisiana State University. She was a justice system practitioner and reentry professional for more than 25 years – holding leadership positions as the Director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Parole Division and Chief of the Cook County Adult Probation Department in Chicago. She also spent time performing related work in other government entities, as well as not-for-profit organizations and a private corporation. She is a member of several professional associations including: American Correctional Association, International Community Corrections Association, International Corrections and Prisons Association, and National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies. She is the recipient of numerous recognitions and awards and has published in justice industry media. Away from work she is an active member of her church, a passionate volunteer, organizing guru, and a dedicated wife and proud mother.

Brian Richart
Chief Probation Officer, El Dorado County Probation

Brian Richart is the judicially appointed Chief Probation Officer for the County of El Dorado, CA. He received his appointment in 2013. Prior to his appointment, Chief Richart served three years as the Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief for Adult services in the county of Alameda and served a thirteen-year career with the County of Shasta, including four years as Chief Probation Officer. Chief Richart was recently re-appointed by the Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court to the Family and Juvenile Law Advisory Committee of the California Judicial Council. He was the 2020 President of the Chief Probation Officers of California (CPOC) and a member of their Legislative Advisory Committee and Juvenile Advisory Committee. Chief Richart is an active member of the Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice Practice Network, is a facilitator of the Arbinger Institute’s Outward Mindset principles and has participated in several state and national initiatives to improve practices and outcomes in both juvenile and criminal justice. Chief Richart advocates for the protection of all communities through the evolution of health, well-being, and accountability for all those probation serves.