Meet the Under Secretary Marc Pelka

Marc Pelka, a Connecticut native, relies on the best available evidence and data analysis as his lodestar for criminal justice policy and practice, aspires to achieve bipartisan support wherever possible on criminal justice policy, and brings compassion to the experiences of people working in or affected by the criminal and juvenile justice systems.


Pelka worked for ten years at a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, The Council of State Governments Justice Center, where he helped state policymakers from across the country use a Justice Reinvestment approach to reduce spending on corrections and reinvest in public safety strategies. To that end, he worked intensively onsite in states providing intensive criminal justice system data analysis and presentations, extensively engaging system stakeholders, and helping state policymakers to develop and enact sweeping bipartisan legislation. The new statutes helped states reduce recidivism and shift a portion of savings into community substance addiction and mental health treatment, victim services, and stronger probation and parole supervision.


His engagement of crime victims and their advocates in states helped lead to the creation of a program at The CSG Justice Center dedicated to providing services and supports to this constituency. As part of Justice Reinvestment, he helped state policymakers and advocates develop and implement policies and strategies to help victims recover financially from crime. This assistance culminated in a nationally-recognized restitution model in Hawaii that both makes victims more whole after experiencing crime and enables people convicted of crime to fulfill obligations to themselves, the victim, and the community.


He served in public affairs and policy analysis positions in the Connecticut House of Representatives. His experience working long days at the capitol through legislative session was a touchstone during subsequent years working in other states.


He earned a Bachelor of Arts with Honors from New York University and was selected to represent Connecticut as a 2003 Harry S. Truman Scholar. The program recognizes college students dedicated to future careers in public service. He earned a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. While in graduate school, he served as Executive Vice President of Student Government and traveled with classmates to countries in South America, East Asia, and the Middle East.


Please feel free to contact Marc at:

Marc Pelka
Under Secretary
State of Connecticut
Office of Policy and Management
Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division
Phone: (860) 418-6394