Abolish Private Prisons Board of Directors

William W. Ryan, President

William (“Bill”) Ryan is a retired Investigator/Supervisor from the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona. He has a Bachelor’s degree (1966) from Memphis State University in history and political science. He also has corrections and nonprofit experience. From 1968 to 1970, he worked for the Tennessee Department of Corrections in Memphis as a Probation Counselor. From 1970-1972, he worked as an investigator with EEOC in Memphis. From 1972 to his retirement in 2007. Bill worked for EEOC in Phoenix as an investigator and as a supervisor, his responsibilities primarily concerned investigation of claims of discrimination and enforcement of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and other federal anti-discrimination laws.

From 1992 to 1995, Bill served as a volunteer member of the St. Francis Xavier School Advisory Board. The school is part of the St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Parish Phoenix, an Arizona nonprofit Corporation

Robert Beckett, Treasurer

Mr. Beckett has been with Beckett & Anderson Law Partnership since 1978, where he practices law in Arizona. Mr. Beckett concentrates on estate planning, probate, guardianships and conservatorships and trusts, access to health and social services, particularly for families with handicapped members. He has been a Board Member of AFH (Arizona Corporation for the Handicapped); Arizonan Senior Citizens Law Project; Bethany Ranch Home, Inc.; Arc-San Diego; Association for Retarded Citizens – U.S.; Association for Retarded Citizens of Arizona, Inc.; Phoenix Association for Retarded Citizens. Mr. Beckett is also a member of the Arizona State Bar Committee on Legal Services for the Elderly; Chairperson 1981. Member of Arizona Governor’s Council for Children, Youth and Families; Chairperson, 1979-1981. He also has been a Vista Volunteer, Blackhawk County Legal Aid Society, Iowa.

Gary Harkins, Secretary

Gary Harkins is a retired Correctional Sergeant from the Oregon Department of Corrections. He currently lives in Oregon. He has a Bachelor of Science in Corrections and Business with some Masters coursework in Business Administration and Law. Gary spent four years as an Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) Corrections Policy Committee member. He has been involved in Corrections and its issues for over 35 years.

Ira P. Robbins

Ira P. Robbins is the Barnard T. Welsh Scholar and Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Criminal Justice Practice & Policy Institute at American University’s Washington College of Law. He teaches courses on Criminal Law, Post-Conviction Remedies, and Prisoners’ Rights. Professor Robbins has served as Acting Director of the Federal Judicial Center’s Division of Education and Training, and as the Reporter for the American Bar Association’s Task Force on Privatization of Corrections. He has also served as a special consultant to the Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules of the Judicial Conference of the United States.

An ardent opponent of private incarceration since its inception in the early 1980s, Professor Robbins has testified on the subject before the U.S. Congress, the President’s Commission on Privatization, and many state legislatures. He has also served as an expert witness on prison privatization. His publications include a book that is considered a classic in the field – The Legal Dimensions of Private Incarceration (American Bar Association, 1988) – as well as many articles, including Privatization of Corrections: Defining the Issues (Vanderbilt Law Review); The Impact of the Delegation Doctrine on Prison Privatization (UCLA Law Review); Privatization of Prisons: An Analysis of the State Action Requirement of the Fourteenth Amendment and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Connecticut Law Review); and Privatization of Corrections: A Violation of U.S. Domestic Law, International Human Rights, and Good Sense (Human Rights Brief). Robbins is also the author/editor of Prisoners and the Law (Thomson Reuters, six volumes, 2016).