Pat Nolan Biography
President, Justice Fellowship
Pat Nolan is president of Justice Fellowship, a public policy organization that advocates for criminal justice reform based on the principles of restorative justice found in the Bible. Justice Fellowship is an affiliate of Prison Fellowship, the nation's largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families. Collaborating with government officials, Justice Fellowship looks for practical ways to help victims of crime, transform the hearts and minds of offenders, and restore families and communities long plagued by crime. Justice Fellowship's efforts focus on ensuring that offenders are better prepared to live healthy, productive, law-abiding lives after their release.
Nolan's diverse background has equipped him to advocate for reform with credibility and conviction. From 1978-1994, Nolan served in the California State Assembly, four of those years as the Assembly Republican Leader. During his terms, Nolan was a leader in addressing issues of crime, particularly victims' rights. He was one of the original sponsors of the Victims' Bill of Rights (Proposition 15), was awarded the "Victims Advocate Award" by Parents of Murdered Children, and named Legislator of the Year by the Amvets for his work on behalf of Vietnam veterans.
In 1988, Nolan was targeted for prosecution regarding a campaign contribution he accepted, which turned out to be part of an FBI sting. Nolan pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering and served 25 months in a federal prison and four months in a halfway house.
Nolan is the author of When Prisoners Return, which describes the important role of the public in helping prisoners lead healthy, productive lives after their release. His opinion pieces have appeared in periodicals including the Los Angeles Times, the National Law Journal and The Washington Times. He has co-authored articles for the Notre Dame Law School Journal of Law, Ethics and Public Policy and the Regent Law School Law Review. Nolan is also a frequent media resource and has appeared on Hannity and Colmes, Fox News Channel, The Michael Reagan Talk Show and The Oliver North Radio Show.
A sought-after speaker on the issues of justice and faith, Nolan has testified on several occasions before congressional committees concerning prison work programs, juvenile justice, religious freedom, prison rape and prisoner re-entry. He has also lectured at judicial conferences and legal conventions.
In 2004, Nolan was appointed to the nine-member U.S. Prison Rape Elimination Commission by Speaker of the House of Representatives Dennis Hastert. He currently serves on the Commission on Safety and Abuse in America's Prisons and was appointed by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to a 14-member Rehabilitation Strike Team that recommended reforms to focus the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's away from merely housing inmates to preparing them to successfully re-enter their communities. In 2008, Nolan was instrumental in the passage of the Second Chance Act, a landmark bill sponsored by a broad, bipartisan Congressional coalition as a way to reduce recidivism and increase public safety.
The sixth of nine children, Nolan was born and raised in Southern California. He earned both his bachelor of arts and juris doctorate at the University of Southern California. Nolan and his wife Gail have three children and live in Leesburg, Va.