A Criminal Justice Advocate
As a member of the Board of Corrections, Dr. Mary Parker has served the Arkansas Department of Corrections (ACD) and the Department of Community Corrections for 17 years. She is an institutional liaison to ACD, as well as the Legislative Coordination Committee chair and legislative liaison. She has authored bills in four legislative sessions and spent hours educating legislators and advocating for the system.
As professor and chair of the UALR Criminal Justice Department, Dr. Parker integrates the academic community with the practical application of corrections by organizing tours of correctional institutions as a component of her courses.
She serves on the College of Professional Studies Cabinet and the North Central Accreditation Self Study Group and is a member of other organizations, including the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and the American Corrections Association.
As a community service advocate, she developed the Children’s Books for Prison initiative, which resulted in the donation of more than 2,000 children’s books to four correctional institutions. The impact of those books is multiplied by the number of small hands they pass through during visitation every weekend. In addition, she has devoted countless hours to the CARE Program, a nonprofit organization that provides shelters for animals.
Dr. Parker received a doctorate from Sam Houston State University and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Northeast Louisiana University.