Cushwa named parole board head

April 19, 1997


Staff Writer

Former Maryland Sen. Patricia K. Cushwa was named the first woman to chair the state Parole Commission Friday by Gov. Parris N. Glendening.

"This gives me the opportunity to go ahead and really make a difference," said Cushwa, a Williamsport resident and member of the Parole Commission since 1992.

Glendening said he appointed Cushwa because of her experience - both on and off the panel.

"She will play an integral role in our ongoing efforts to make our communities safer," he said.

Cushwa has served in various state and local offices, including Williamsport Town Council, the state Board of Education and the Human Relations Commission. She co-founded Citizens Assisting and Sheltering the Abused and is a part-time instructor at Hagerstown Junior College.


She said her latest appointment will combine those experiences.

"I'm excited. It's going to be a challenge, but I think it's going to include so many areas of my background," she said.

The Parole Commission makes decisions on whether parole should be granted or revoked, and on other matters involving inmates.

Cushwa said she wants to use her position as chairwoman to promote the board's activities, such as its open-hearing policy.

"It's something not enough people know about," she said.

Cushwa is the widow of the late Sen. Victor Cushwa, who served in the General Assembly for 13 years. After his appointment to the state Public Service Commission in 1990, Patricia Cushwa was named to fill the final five months of his unexpired Senate term. She lost in the election that fall to Donald F. Munson, who currently serves as senator.

Victor Cushwa died in 1991.

Pat Cushwa said Glendening shares many of her values and those of her late husband's, such as a belief in victims' rights and a desire to see that violent offenders serve their sentences.

"I see the governor's commitments being very similar to what Vic Cushwa had," she said.

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