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Great Seal of the State of Idaho



May 30, 2013

CONTACT: Jon Hanian
(208) 334-2100


(BOISE) – Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter today appointed State Appellant Public Defender Sara B. Thomas chairman of the Idaho Criminal Justice Commission. She succeeds Idaho Department of Correction Director Brent Reinke in leading the commission’s work to improve Idaho’s criminal justice system.

“Because I believe strongly in the Criminal Justice Commission’s mission to bring together all branches of government to collaborate for a safer Idaho, I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as its chairman,” Thomas said. “Under Director Reinke’s leadership, the commission has been effective at bringing about important improvements to Idaho’s criminal justice system. I look forward to working with the members of the commission to continue this legacy by exploring effective programs and policies, identifying best practices, and seeking efficient methods of maintaining public safety.”

The Idaho Criminal Justice Commission was established by Executive Order of the Governor to “promote efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system and, where possible, encourage dialogue among the respective branches of government to achieve this effectiveness and efficiency.”

“Sara did a great job leading the commission’s work on identifying and addressing challenges facing our criminal defense bar, and was a strong advocate on behalf of the human trafficking legislation approved by the Legislature. As chairman, I know Sara’s passion and commitment will continue to help us find collaborative, consensus-based solutions to some of our toughest issues,” Governor Otter said. “I’m grateful she’s willing to take on this additional responsibility, and I thank Director Reinke for the great job he did guiding the ICJC.”

Its membership includes representatives from the Attorney General’s office, the Idaho Senate, the Idaho House of Representatives, the Department of Correction, Idaho State Police, Department of Juvenile Corrections, Office of Drug Policy, Idaho Department of Education, Commission of Pardons and Parole, State Appellant Public Defender, Department of Health and Welfare, the administrative director of the State courts, the Idaho judiciary, the Idaho Prosecuting Attorneys Association, the Commission on Hispanic Affairs, the Idaho Sheriffs’ Association, the Idaho Chiefs of Police Association, the Idaho Association of Counties, and two at-large citizens. Director Reinke remains a member of the commission.


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