Tara Wildes

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Tara Wildes was the Director of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Department of Corrections and served as the administrator of over 800 employees, 3400 incarcerated persons, three correctional facilities, as well as pretrial services, reentry, medical and court services with a budget of over 90 million dollars.  She retired from that position in 2016 and formed Wildes, Bowen and Associates, LLC, a corrections consulting firm that provides expert witness, training and other corrections specific reporting services.  She returned to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office in 2020 as their Reentry Coordinator and now serves as a Director at the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office Corrections Division. 

Tara serves on the boards of the National Alliance for Mental Illness, Prisoners of Christ and Disability Rights Florida.  She represents the incarcerated population for StopTB USA and the University of North Florida Institutional Review Board.   She is also on the Florida Bar Grievance Committee “D” for the 4th Judicial Circuit and is an adjunct instructor for Florida State College at Jacksonville.

Tara is committed to criminal justice system reform and is focused on improving correctional processes.  She is the recipient of numerous awards for her role as a mental health advocate, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from Mental Health America, the Above and Beyond Award from the State Attorney, 4th Judicial Circuit and Outstanding Alumnae Award from the University of North Florida Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

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Understanding the impact incarceration has on individuals and their families, I believe we improve public safety and chances to succeed upon reentry by assisting people with appropriate supports and reducing the stigma of incarceration.

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