Gov. Laura Kelly has appointed Sylvia Penner, a 1999 Tabor College graduate, to the Kansas Criminal Justice Reform Commission, effective July 26.
The KCJRC was created as part of HB 2290, which passed during the 2019 legislative session. The governor appoints one criminal defense attorney or public defender, one member of the faith-based community and one facilitator to provide administrative assistance to develop a project plan and assist the commission in its duties. Penner will fill the position of the criminal defense attorney appointment.
Penner, of Wichita, serves as an attorney at the firm Fleeson, Gooing, Coulson and Kitch, LLC. Previously, she was an instructor for both Tabor College in Wichita, and Washburn University School of Law in Topeka.
Penner received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Tabor College in 1999, and a juris doctor from the University of Kansas School of Law. She has held numerous leadership and membership positions, including: American Bar Association, Kansas Bar Association, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Wichita Crime Commission, Wichita Women Attorneys Association, Kansas Admissions Review Board and Kansas Appleseed board of directors.
Gov. Kelly said Penner has a proven track record of working hard in her community, and she is confident Penner is ready for the challenge and will become an integral voice in the discussion and work of the KCJRC.