Internet Explorer 11 is not supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

The Politician Who Got a Standing-O From Prisoners

Chair-at-Large, Loudoun County, Va.

1807_WIG Phyllis Randall 02Ba
Before she was the first black woman elected chair of the Loudoun County, Va., Board of Supervisors in 2015, Phyllis Randall worked as a therapist at the Prince William County Adult Detention Center. Now, her background in mental health and substance abuse inspires her to push for better county services to fight addiction, including group therapy, medication therapy and a reinstated drug court. “There was almost no discussion around the importance of strong behavioral health and mental health,” she says. “Part of my goal has been to put new language into the county’s lexicon.”

Randall also wants to change the discussion when it comes to the opioid crisis. She stresses that opioids may be the issue of the moment, but addiction itself is the underlying concern. 

Randall’s work at the intersection of health and criminal justice includes a stint as chair of the Virginia Board of Corrections from 2014 to 2018. It certainly made an impression on the inmates she worked with in Prince William County. “A couple days after my election,” she says, “I walked back into the jail. They all stood up and started clapping.”

Read about the Women in Government program and the rest of the honorees.

Caroline Cournoyer is GOVERNING's senior web editor.
Special Projects
Sponsored Stories
In recent years, local governments have been forced to adapt to a wildly changing world, especially as it pertains to sending bills and collecting payments.
Workplace safety is in the spotlight as government leaders adapt to a prolonged pandemic.
While government employees, students and the general public had to wait in line for hours in the beginning of the pandemic, at-home test kits make it easy to diagnose for the novel coronavirus in less than 30 minutes.
Governments around the nation are working to design the best vaccine policies that keep both their employees and their residents safe. Although the latest data shows a variety of polarizing perspectives, there are clear emerging best practices that leading governments are following to put trust first: creating policies that are flexible and provide a range of options, and being in tune with the needs and sentiments of their employees so that they are able to be dynamic and accommodate the rapidly changing situation.
Service delivery and the individual experience within health and human services (HHS) is often very siloed and fragmented.
In this episode, Marianne Steger explains why health care for Pre-Medicare retirees and active employees just got easier.
Government organizations around the world are experiencing the consequences of plagiarism firsthand. A simple mistake can lead to loss of reputation, loss of trust and even lawsuits. It’s important to avoid plagiarism at all costs, and government organizations are held to a particularly high standard. Fortunately, technological solutions such as iThenticate allow government organizations to avoid instances of text plagiarism in an efficient manner.
Creating meaningful citizen experiences in a post-COVID world requires embracing digital initiatives like secure and ethical data sharing, artificial intelligence and more.
GHD identified four themes critical for municipalities to address to reach net-zero by 2050. Will you be ready?