Tuesday, August 22, 2017
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today announced the appointment of former House Speaker Kris Steele to the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board.
Steele, who was speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 2010 until 2012, will serve a term that expires in January 2019. By law, Pardon and Parole Board terms are concurrent with the governor. Confirmation from the Oklahoma Senate is not required.
Steele, of Shawnee, succeeds Vanessa Price.
Steele is executive director of TEEM, The Education and Employment Ministry, which is an organization dedicated to breaking cycles of incarceration and poverty through education, personal development, and work readiness training.
Before joining TEEM in November 2012, Steele was pastor of Wesley United Methodist Church in Shawnee.
“Kris Steele is passionate about criminal justice and is respected for his fairness,” said Fallin. “He will serve on the Pardon and Parole Board with integrity, and he will carefully weigh the rights of victims as well as potential parolees.”
Steele was elected to the state House of Representatives in 2000 and served until 2012. He could not seek re-election in 2012 because of 12-year legislative term limits. During his tenure, he authored legislation to reform the state’s correction sand criminal justice systems by implementing proven, data-driving policies.
“I learned much about Oklahoma's prison system when I served in the Legislature,” he said. “I look forward to the challenge of working with the Pardon and Parole Board in making sure we keep in custody those who are not yet ready to be released while granting relief to those who have shown they can be responsible citizens.”
Steele earned a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma Baptist University and a master’s degree from East Central University. He and his wife, Kellie, have two children.