Meet the Commissioners

Cranston J. Mitchell | Patricia K. Cushwa | J. Patricia Wilson Smoot
Charles T. Massarone

Vice Chairman Cranston J. Mitchell

Photo of Cranston J. Mitchell Mr. Cranston J. Mitchell was nominated to the United States Parole Commission by President George W. Bush. The nomination was confirmed by the United States Senate on March 6, 2003. President Barack Obama nominated Commissioner Mitchell for reappointment on May 21, 2009. On August 7, 2009, the Senate confirmed Commissioner Mitchell's reappointment.

At the time of Mr. Mitchell's appointment to the Parole Commission he was serving as a Correctional Program Specialist for the Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections (NIC) in Washington, DC. Prior to the NIC position he spent approximately twenty five (25) years in state government, working for the State of Missouri. His longest tenure in state government was eighteen years (18) with the Missouri Department of Corrections as Chairman and Director of the Board of Probation and Parole. He also worked as a counselor and administrator in the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and as a police officer in the City of St. Louis, Missouri for seven (7) years.

Mr. Mitchell is a native of St. Louis, Missouri and graduated from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with a BS degree, majoring in political science.

Commissioner Patricia K. Cushwa

Photo of Patricia K. Cushwa President George W. Bush nominated Patricia K. Cushwa to the United States Parole Commission and the United States Senate confirmed her nomination on November 20, 2004.

Prior to her appointment to U.S. Parole, Patricia Cushwa served for 12 years on the Maryland Parole Commission, seven of those years as Chair. She received her B.A. and M.A. from Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. Her prior experience includes serving as a Maryland State Senator, and as a member of the adjunct faculty of Hagerstown Community College. She was elected to the Williamsport Town Council and served terms on the Maryland State Board of Education and the Maryland Human Relations Commission.

Commissioner Cushwa co-founded Washington County’s Spouse Abuse Agency, CASA (Citizens’ Assisting and Sheltering the Abused). Governor Martin O’Malley (D-MD.) appointed her to the Hagerstown Community College Board of Trustees and as Chair of the Washington County Judicial Nominating Commission for Trial Court Judges. A member of the Association of Paroling Authorities International, she received the President’s Award in 2002 for “significant contributions as a trainer for the National Communications Association.”

Patricia Cushwa resides in Williamsport, Washington County, Maryland.

Commissioner J. Patricia Wilson Smoot

Photo of J. Patricia Wilson Smoot J. Patricia Wilson Smoot was nominated to the United States Parole Commission by President Barack Obama. Commissioner Smoot was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 16, 2010. From 2002 until the time of her appointment, Commissioner Smoot served as Deputy State's Attorney in Prince George's County, Maryland, one of the largest prosecutor's offices in the State of Maryland. From 1994 to 2002, Commissioner Smoot served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Columbia, where she began as a trial attorney and departed as a member of senior management. During that time she received both the Department of Justice Special Achievement and Victims of Crime Awards. Commissioner Smoot also served as a Public Defender in Prince George's County, Maryland, as a litigation associate in private practice and a judicial law clerk in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia. As a result of her work in and outside of the office, Commissioner Smoot was named one of Maryland Top 100 Women by the Daily Record in 2008 and 2011.

Commissioner Smoot holds a B.A. in English and Sociology with a concentration in Legal Studies from Bucknell University and a J.D. from the Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America.

Commissioner Charles T. Massarone

Photo of Charles T. Massarone Charles T. Massarone was sworn in as a member of the U.S. Parole Commission on August 16, 2012, by the Honorable Karen K. Caldwell, U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Kentucky. On May 23, 2011, Mr. Massarone was nominated by President Barack Obama. The United States Senate confirmed the appointment on May 24, 2012.

Commissioner Massarone has 30 years' experience in law enforcement. Prior to his confirmation to the U.S. Parole Commission, Mr. Massarone spent over three years serving as a Member of the Kentucky Parole Board. As a Member, Massarone conducted approximately 16,000 state parole hearings each year.

From 2004 to 2007, Mr. Massarone served on the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, rising to become its Deputy Executive Director of Intergovernmental Affairs. From 2000 to 2004, he served as President of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge of Lexington, and before that he spent over fourteen years as a police officer in the State of Kentucky.

A native of Kentucky, Mr. Massarone is a graduate of the Criminal Justice Training program at Eastern Kentucky University.

Updated January 16, 2015