Christine M. Cole
Executive Director of the Crime and Justice Institute; Vice President of Community Resources for Justice617-482-2520 x2127 email@example.com
Christine Cole has more than 30 years’ experience in the safety and justice sector — in policing, institutional and community-based corrections, victim advocacy, community organizing, and prosecution in the United States, Africa, Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and the Caribbean. She has extensive experience as a collaborator and facilitator with practitioners, community members, and academics, working as a change agent across a variety of topics and levels of government. Christine has contributed to research and writing about police organization, leadership, oversight and the organization of first responders to mass casualty and active shooter events. Her current focus is on safety and justice reform that embraces data to understand the current situation, design the right solution, and communicate results. Christine holds a MPA from Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, MA in community psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and BA from Boston College.
Barbara Pierce, M.P.P.M.
Director of Justice Initiativesbpierce@cjinstitute.org
Barbara Pierce has more than 20 years’ experience in criminal justice and consulting at the county, state, and federal levels. Barbara leads a multi-site effort to assist states with the implementation of comprehensive criminal justice policy reforms through Justice Reinvestment, coordinates projects to improve criminal justice responses to those with mental health issues, and directs CJI’s Restrictive Housing projects to safely reduce the use of segregation in prisons and jails. Barbara’s innovative approach to segregation reform has been featured in corrections publications and presentations to national audiences. Barbara is committed to improving the trajectory of criminal justice policy and practice through strong and diverse partnerships and the real-world application of research to achieve better public and institutional safety outcomes. Barbara received her Master’s degree in Public Policy and Management from the University of Southern Maine and has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Providence College.
Leonard W. Engel, Esq.
Director of Policy & Campaigns617-482-2520 x2129 firstname.lastname@example.org
Len Engel has been working on criminal and juvenile justice policy issues for more than 25 years and today leads CJI’s work in both areas. Since joining CJI in 2005, Len’s focus has been on policy analysis and legislative and regulatory reform. He has directed criminal justice reform projects in South Carolina, Arkansas, Georgia, Oregon, South Dakota, Mississippi, Utah, Maryland, and Alaska as part of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative of the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Pew Charitable Trusts. With leaders at Pew, Len helped create a Justice Reinvestment approach that assists states in developing data-driven, evidence-based strategies that improve safety, reduce the unnecessary use of incarceration, and redirect resources to recidivism reduction policies and practices. Before joining CJI, Len worked in the Massachusetts State Senate, as an ombudsman under contract with the Connecticut Department of Corrections, and as a practicing lawyer.
Colby Dawley has focused primarily on CJI’s Justice Reinvestment Initiative project, assisting states reform their criminal justice system to reduce recidivism and improve public safety. Colby leads a team that reviews a state’s criminal justice system, makes policy recommendations, and helps with drafting, passage, and implementation of reforms. Before joining CJI in 2010, Colby worked for several criminal defense attorneys, gaining a thorough understanding of the justice system and developing her passion for legal research on federal and state criminal laws. Colby is committed to assisting states in the development and implementation of criminal justice reforms that align with the research on what works to reduce recidivism, increase public safety, and improve outcomes for offenders. Colby holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of New Hampshire and a Master of Science in Crime and Justice Studies from Suffolk University.
Margot has 10 years of experience in state legislative work and organizational and project management, focused on criminal and juvenile justice reform. Margot leads CJI’s juvenile justice policy work, as well as several other criminal justice policy technical assistance efforts. Margot has extensive experience leading bipartisan, multi-stakeholder efforts to pass and secure meaningful reform. Previously, Margot served as the Managing Director of Vera Solutions, providing technical assistance to non-profits on the implementation of data collection and analysis systems, and as a Legislative Aide in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. She is driven to improve equity and long-term outcomes for youth, families, and communities through sustainable change to the criminal justice system. Margot holds a bachelor’s degree in History from Stanford University, and a master’s degree in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.
Deputy Director617-482-2520 x2124 email@example.com
Michael Kane has been working in the criminal justice field for more than 10 years, with a focus on applied research. Mike leads a variety of efforts for CJI, including acting as site lead and managing CJI’s Justice Reinvestment at Local Level efforts, and overseeing the pilot testing of a domestic violence risk assessment tool for a state probation agency. Mike has experience working with a wide variety of criminal justice stakeholders, with a particular focus on corrections and community corrections, in research, technical assistance, and consulting capacities. Mike is committed to improving criminal justice systems through structured assessment, application of research, collection of data, and analysis. Mike holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Northeastern University and a Master of Arts in Social Science from the University of Chicago.
Tessa Upin has over a decade of experience in juvenile and criminal justice reform at the state and local levels. Her work focuses primarily on assisting juvenile justice agencies to design and implement data and research-driven policies. Tessa leads implementation of comprehensive juvenile justice reform policies in jurisdictions across the country and oversees youth and adult policy assessment and risk assessment validation studies. Prior to joining CJI, Tessa worked for the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission and was awarded the New Jersey Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Innovation for her work on statewide implementation of the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI). Tessa is driven by the positive impact juvenile and criminal justice system reform has on communities and works to build strong partnerships and local capacity to sustain change. Tessa graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Master of Science in Criminology.
Contracts & Business Manager617-482-2520 x2123 firstname.lastname@example.org
Martha Gilford has over 20 years of experience in the public sector with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, first as a social worker in child protection and later in the Finance and Business Administration arena. For the last 7 years she has focused her work in the fiscal departments of several mission driven nonprofit agencies and most recently managed the state and federal contracts for a Domestic Violence agency. She is committed to using her knowledge of federal contracts and budgeting to support the work of the Institute. Martha has a Bachelor of Arts in Social Services and Minors in Criminal Justice and Psychology from the University of New Hampshire.
Jessica Hickman has focused her career on victim services within the criminal justice system, specifically working with offenders, victims, and children who have been involved with, experienced, or witnessed domestic violence. Jessica splits her time at CJI between the Phase II Justice Reinvestment Initiative and supporting Pretrial Technical Assistance in various states. Over the years in direct service, Jessica has seen the impact trauma and interactions with the criminal justice system can have on both victims and offenders. She is passionate about improving the justice system for all parties involved and is committed to effective, evidence-based policy reform. Jessica holds a BA in Criminal Justice from the University of Delaware and a Master of Public Administration from Georgia State University.
Valerie Meade has worked in criminal justice for over 20 years, with expertise in the areas of cognitive behavioral interventions, case management, model fidelity, and continuous quality improvement, and extensive experience with adult and juvenile populations on community supervision, in correctional facilities, and in substance abuse treatment. In her current role, Valerie assists states throughout the country with implementation and sustainability of Justice Reinvestment policies. Valerie was named Community Corrections Employee of the Year for the State of Kansas in 2012 for implementing sustainable evidence-based practices and Supervisor of the Year in 2017 for supporting staff through culture change to foster evidence-based practices. Valerie is committed to improving the quality of criminal justice programs and interventions through collaboration and implementation of sustainable research-based strategies that lead to improved public safety. Valerie graduated from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Criminal Justice.
Katie Zafft, Ph.D.
Katie Zafft has over 10 years of experience working in criminal justice policy evaluation and implementation. Katie’s professional research experience includes both quantitative and qualitative data analysis at the local, state, and national level to evaluate a wide range of criminal justice topics, including the intersection of law enforcement and drug policy, community supervision strategies, drug court implementation, sentencing guidelines, and felony theft statutes. Her work for The Pew Charitable Trusts’ public safety performance project involved evaluating state criminal justice policy reforms to advance research-based strategies in sentencing and corrections. Katie is passionate about the development and use of criminal justice data systems to inform implementation of criminal justice policies and practices. She holds a BA in Psychology from St. Catherine’s University in St. Paul, Minnesota, an MA in Criminology from the University of Minnesota, and a Ph.D. in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland.
Erin Jemison joined CJI in May 2020, bringing over 20 years of experience as a collaborative community leader in women’s issues, policy advocacy, and nonprofit management. She supports staff and manages multiple projects in CJI’s legislative policy portfolio. Erin most recently led YWCA Utah’s policy work in women’s economic advancement, racial justice, and health and safety. Before relocating to Salt Lake City, Erin served as Executive Director of the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault, where she managed all staff, operations, grants, and finances as well as oversaw statewide technical assistance and public policy focused on reducing sexual offense recidivism, supporting survivors, and promoting public safety. Erin is dedicated to bringing people to the table to find effective, bipartisan policy approaches to complex issues that impact outcomes for all justice system stakeholders. She holds a BA in Sociology from William Smith College and a Master of Public Administration from Montana State University.
Senior Trainer and Policy Specialistjchristie@cjinstitute.org
Jen Christie has more than 15 years of experience working in criminal and juvenile justice, with a focus on education, training, and research. Jen leads training and implementation efforts for legislative reform initiatives for both the Justice Reinvestment Initiative and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Smart on Juvenile Justice Initiative. In her previous work, Jen has taught and trained students, researchers, and criminal justice staff on policing, corrections, evidence-based practices, trafficking, and theoretical criminology and sociology. Jen is focused on improving the criminal and juvenile justice systems through education, research, and utilization of current knowledge. She holds a BA in Sociology from Kansas State University, a BA Honours in Criminology and MCrim from Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) and completed the course work and qualifying exams for a Ph.D at Northeastern University.
Jasmine J. Jackson
Senior Policy Specialistjjackson@cjinstitute.org
Jasmine Jackson has worked as a juvenile justice practitioner for 10 years, and joined the Crime and Justice Institute in February 2017. Jasmine leads efforts for states implementing system-wide juvenile justice improvement through enacted legislation or strategic planning. Her CJI implementation work is part of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Juvenile Justice System Improvement initiative. Prior to joining CJI, she worked in the areas of court investigation, probation, and reentry at the state level. Jasmine is very passionate about improving outcomes for youth involved in the juvenile justice system, especially youth of color, and her career focuses on finding effective ways of doing what is best for youth. Jasmine is especially dedicated to improving the lives of young people through direct care, system reform, and community impact. Jasmine holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Benedict College and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati.
Senior Policy Specialistslawrence@cjinstitute.org
Sarah Lawrence has more than 15 years of experience in research and policy analysis in the field of criminal justice. Sarah leads an assessment of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services’ Collaborative Reform Initiative looking at program implementation at seven police departments across the country. Sarah has experience as a research partner with a variety of criminal justice agencies including police departments, sheriffs’ departments, and state departments of corrections. Sarah is interested in improving justice systems by bridging the worlds of practice and research. Sarah graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley.
Senior Policy Specialist617-482-2520 x2131 email@example.com
Abigail Strait joined CJI in August of 2015 while finishing her graduate degree and came on full time in June 2016 after graduation. Abby has worked on many projects during her time with CJI and currently manages a team implementing criminal justice policy changes made through the Justice Reinvestment Initiative. Abby is driven by a desire to work with jurisdictions to increase fairness, justice, and community safety. Abby holds a Bachelor’s degree from Hamline University in Minnesota and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Brandeis University in Massachusetts; during her graduate program she concentrated on criminal justice policy analysis.
Senior Data and Policy Specialistvthompkins@cjinstitute.org
Vienna Thompkins joined CJI in May 2018. At CJI, Vienna supports implementation efforts for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Smart on Juvenile Justice Initiative, as well as contributing to pretrial justice work. Prior to joining CJI, Vienna conducted research and data analysis for a study pertaining to the use of fines and fees across nine counties and three states, in addition to supporting an economic impact of mass incarceration study and reporting on national crime trends. Vienna is committed to developing creative, data-driven solutions to issues in the criminal justice system, and to improving the management and accessibility of data for the benefit of internal and external stakeholders. Vienna graduated from Northeastern University with a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs and Economics and a Master of Public Administration, with a Certificate in Data Analytics.
Quentin Weld, Esq.
Senior Policy Specialistqweld@cjinstitute.org
Quentin joined CJI in September of 2017. Before that he spent five years at the Essex County District Attorney’s Office, where he worked as an ADA in the Appeals, Superior, and District Court Divisions. He has litigated many jury trials in the District and Superior Courts, and has argued dozens of criminal cases before the Massachusetts Appeals Court and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
Drawing on his extensive experience as a practitioner, he is committed to improving the effectiveness, fairness, and safety of criminal justice systems through the use of evidence-based policies. He has a JD from Northeastern University School of Law, and a BFA from New York University.
Erin Allain joined CJI in March 2018 and brings years of experience in research and teaching on the criminal justice system. At CJI, Erin works on the NIC Transition from Jail to Community Initiative and the training team. Erin previously worked with victim advocacy programs in addition to being a Program Monitor at CRJ’s McGrath House in Boston. More recently, she assisted with research projects at UMass Boston, including a Shannon-grant funded project focused on collaborating with community partners and law enforcement to prevent youth and gang violence. Erin is currently a doctoral candidate in the Sociology Department at UMass Boston. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Crime and Justice Studies from UMass Dartmouth and a Master of Science in Crime and Justice Studies from Suffolk University.
Data and Policy Specialistnatchison@cjinstitute.org
Noah Atchison joined CJI in July 2019. He supports CJI’s pretrial work where he analyzes pretrial outcomes and performs risk assessment validation. He also assists states implementing reforms through the Justice Reinvestment Initiative with performance measure development more broadly. Before joining CJI, Noah worked at the Brennan Center for Justice on a long-term study of the fiscal impact of criminal fines and fees. As part of this role he managed data collection and analysis, as well as organizing court watching, survey development, and stakeholder outreach. He is committed to developing comprehensive and ethical means of tracking outcomes in the justice system, and to improving data transparency as part of broader criminal justice reform efforts. Noah holds a BA in Economics from Reed College.
Josh joined CJI in August 2020. Before joining CJI he worked as a Policy and Program Manager for the Justice and Accountability Center of Louisiana where he successfully led a campaign that successfully passed Clean Slate reform bills in Louisiana and created a first of its kind statewide virtual traffic program to help remove traffic warrants and fines and fees. He also has experience in class action litigation and civil rights violations working at the Juvenile Law Center, where he also led a campaign to remove the imposition of fines and fees against juveniles and their families.
Using his policy and legislative advocacy experience, Josh is committed to improving effective, fair, and safe criminal justice systems using evidence-based practices. He has a JD from Georgetown University Law Center and a BA from Penn State University Schreyer Honors College.
Gracie Burger joined CJI in July 2017. She splits her time at CJI between the national Clean Slate Initiative, which supports state legislative campaigns aimed at automating criminal record clearance, and the development of evidence-based strategies that inform criminal justice policy regarding the use of jails. Her earlier work at CJI included the implementation of an effort to improve criminal justice responses to individuals with mental illness in South Dakota, and the development of a constitutional policing resource based on an analysis of federal consent decrees. Prior to joining CJI, Gracie did legislative education and research in the juvenile justice system and case management for previously incarcerated individuals. Her direct service experience has motivated her to understand the nuanced challenges associated with criminal and juvenile justice policy at all levels of government. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Development Studies from the University of Virginia, and a Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Northeastern University.
Reid joined CJI in 2019 after several years as a practicing attorney working in indigent defense. In his previous position, as supervising attorney at North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, Reid represented clients at virtually every stage of the criminal justice system including trial level, appellate, post-conviction, and parole revocation. His work ranged from hearings in small courthouses across the state to oral arguments in front of the North Carolina Supreme Court. At CJI, Reid applies his practical knowledge to promoting systemic change of criminal justices systems through the use of evidence-based policies.
He has a JD from Penn Law and a BA in Political Science and History from Duke University.
Data and Policy Specialistcchapman@cjinstitute.org
Carrie Chapman has over a decade of public management and research design experience. For the last four years, Carrie was an analyst with the Division of Probation Services in Colorado, where she was responsible for creating statewide projects and providing extensive data analysis and technical support to local stakeholders. Her public management research has been published in such peer-reviewed journals as Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly and Public Administration, and she has taught Evidence-Based Decision Making for the Masters of Public Administration program at the University of Colorado Denver. At CJI, Carrie joins the Justice Reinvestment Initiative team to support their data analysis and policy initiatives. She is driven by a commitment to helping local communities through the adoption of evidence-informed, data-driven decision making techniques. Carrie received her BA in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Asheville and her Ph.D. in Public Affairs from the University of Colorado Denver.
Policy and Implementation Specialist617-482-2520 x2113 firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie Finn has been with CJI for more than 10 years and works on projects that support efforts to improve juvenile and criminal justice programs, policies, and services. Julie helps agencies and stakeholders use data to inform decision making, conducts action research, and provides information and project management. For seven years Julie provided technical assistance to the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services on implementation of the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI). During her work with DYS, she was awarded the Massachusetts JDAI “Unsung Hero” award for her efforts to increase the capacity of JDAI partners to make data-driven decisions for youth in the juvenile justice system. Julie is committed to working with project partners to improve systems and processes and to understand the challenges of implementing research-based practices in the field. Julie graduated from Colby College with a Bachelor of Arts in Government.
Data and Policy Specialistjfowler@cjinstitute.org
Justine Fowler joined the Crime and Justice Institute in January 2019. Justine supports CJI’s work advancing juvenile justice reform through the Justice Reinvestment Initiative. Prior to joining the staff of CJI, Justine worked for over seven years as the lead research analyst for Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission, a government entity responsible for the oversight of juvenile justice in the state. In that capacity, Justine was responsible for the development of reports and presentations for state and local stakeholders related to trend analyses, gap analyses, system resource utilization, the evaluation of implemented evidence-based practices, and outcome measures. Justine also completed the state’s recidivism work, a process she developed during her time as a Stoneleigh Foundation Fellow. Justine holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Mansfield University and a Master of Art in Criminal Justice from Penn State University.
Katie Hoglund joined the team at CJI in July 2019 with over 8 years of experience in the criminal justice field. At CJI, Katie focuses on adult justice policy analysis and reform at both the state and federal levels. In her last position, Katie served as Chief of Compliance and Integrity for the Maryland Division of Pretrial Detention and Services, where she ensured compliance with safety standards for Baltimore’s six pretrial facilities, through the development of policies and procedures, data monitoring, and operational integrity. Prior to that, Katie was a Senior Analyst at Abt Associates, focusing on project work related to human trafficking, the DEA’s response to high intensity drug trafficking, and the Prison Rape Elimination Act. Katie graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a master’s degree in Criminology, and from the University of Maryland with dual bachelor’s degrees in Criminology and Criminal Justice and Psychology.
Leila Khelfaoui has dedicated many years of employment to working with at-risk youth and children with behavioral challenges. Leila works to support the implementation of comprehensive juvenile justice reform legislation as part of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Smart on Juvenile Justice Initiative. Leila’s educational background encompasses a variety of criminal and juvenile justice interests such as justice-involved youth, community-based interventions and administrative segregation. Leila is motivated by juvenile justice reform that focuses on evidence-based practices and producing positive outcomes for the youth and families. Leila holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts and a Master of Science in Justice, Law and Criminology from American University.
Molly Robustelli joined CJI in February 2017 as a Research Assistant, having previously spent a period of time as a part-time intern. Molly assists in the production of the Coming Home Directory, a reentry resource guide for the Boston-area, in addition to supporting the policy development phase of CJI’s Justice Reinvestment Initiative projects. Molly is committed to reforming the justice system through the use of data-driven approaches that reduce the reliance on incarceration, while also creating safer and stronger communities. Molly holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Georgetown University in Government and Spanish.
Data and Policy Specialistmvlajnic@cjinstitute.org
Maja Vlajnic joined CJI’s data team in 2019 and works primarily with adult corrections and community supervision. She brings to the role an extensive background in scholarly research on criminal justice, as well as interdisciplinary experience in analytical work. In addition to her academic experience, she has worked on projects exploring the impact of forensic evidence on sexual assault case progression, investigating commodity misinvoicing in international trade data, and collecting and analyzing qualitative data on hate crimes. Maja is currently a doctoral candidate at Northeastern University’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. She graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a BA in English and a BA and MA in Criminology and Criminal Justice.
Data and Policy Specialistmbuchanan@cjinstitute.org
Molly Buchanan has nearly 20 years of experience in varied academic and non-academic roles that include direct supervision and advocacy for system-involved youths, crime victim advocacy, and criminology professor. Her early experiences led Molly to seek out the advanced theoretical and quantitative training she uses in her ongoing quantitative data analyst and collaborative researcher roles. She broadly categorizes her research as an epidemiological, life course view of consequences of criminal justice system involvement, all with an aim to inform and promote an evidence base. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including Criminology; Criminology & Public Policy; and American Journal of Criminal Justice. At CJI, Molly supports the advancement of adult and juvenile justice reform initiatives and data-driven policies. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Ph.D. in Criminology, Law, and Society.
Communications Manager857-293-8318 email@example.com
Erica’s main focus at CJI is content development and strategic communications. Erica worked in a variety of communications roles over the last 15 years, including at the national nonprofits City Year, Opportunity Nation, and Education Pioneers; additionally, she started her career serving two years as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Twin Cities RISE in Minnesota. She remains committed to developing and elevating accessible and inclusive stories. Erica holds a BA in Strategic Communications from the University of Minnesota and an MA in Communications/Nonprofits from Marquette University through the Trinity Fellows Program, a 21-month study/work program dedicated to developing leaders with a commitment to social and economic justice.
Communications Manager617-529-5856 firstname.lastname@example.org
Christian joined The Crime and Justice Institute in 2016 after spending 10 years working in newsrooms in Greater Boston, most recently at The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, where he covered the criminal justice system, government and led the paper’s coverage of the opioid epidemic. Christian oversees all aspects of the Institute’s external communications and media relations. He holds a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from Boston University.
Administrative Coordinator617.482.2520 x2132 email@example.com
Gina Abbondandolo joined CJI in September 2015 as an Administrative Assistant and has since become the Administrative Coordinator. She applies her technical and organizational skills to attend to CJI’s administrative infrastructure. Gina also provides support in bookkeeping, financial analysis and project assistance. She has previously worked in administrative settings within financial institutions before making the transition into the criminal justice field, combining her interest for criminal and social justice with her administrative experience. Gina holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in Criminal Justice Administration.
Policy Analyst IIjabaroafirstname.lastname@example.org
Joanna Abaroa-Ellison joined CJI in 2019. She began her career working in law enforcement and corrections in programmatic as well as data and research capacities. Joanna splits her time at CJI between policing and policy projects, working to improve public safety and the delivery of justice throughout the United States. Joanna is committed to using data-driven policies and practices to reduce disparities and the negative impact of the criminal justice system in the lives of those who come into contact with it. Joanna holds a BA in Criminology from the University of Pennsylvania and an MSW in Macro Social Work from Boston College.
Policy Analyst IIacoscia@cjinstitute.org
Amanda Coscia joined CJI in June of 2019 as a Policy Analyst. Amanda began her career in Washington, D.C. working with criminal justice practitioners and policy makers at the county, state and federal levels. Amanda works to support the policy development phase of CJI’s Justice Reinvestment Initiative, helping states utilize data-drive strategies to enhance public safety. Amanda is passionate about strengthening communities and improving the criminal justice system through the use of evidence-based policy reform. Amanda holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Emerson College in Communications.
Policy Analyst IIcgander@cjinstitute.org
Celeste began her career in criminal justice reform working in the non-profit sector and volunteering for the Department of Corrections in the state of Connecticut where she assisted with in-prison rehabilitation programs for incarcerated women. At CJI, Celeste is a member of the policy team, which helps state governments examine their criminal justice systems and develop evidence-based, data-driven policies. Celeste is committed to improving inefficient institutions, advancing rehabilitation initiatives for justice-involved individuals, and promoting more effective alternatives to incarceration. Celeste graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights Studies with minors in Legal Studies and French Language.
Policy Analyst IIarocha@cjinstitute.org
Adrian Rocha joined CJI in 2019. His main focus is conducting research and evaluating legislation, policies, and practices related to people involved in (and transitioning out of) the criminal and juvenile justice systems, as well as assisting in the development and delivery of presentations regarding evidence-based corrections practices. Prior to joining CJI, Adrian worked with families, faith-based organizations, nonprofits, and other community members and stakeholders in Mississippi and Louisiana on issues related to educational equity, youth incarceration, and access to behavioral health services. He is committed to informing and shaping systems that are responsive to a community’s need and prioritize public safety. Adrian holds a BA in political science from Texas Lutheran University.
Policy Analyst IIfstiefel@cjinstitute.org
Frank Stiefel has worked at the community, city, and state level to reform the criminal justice system and improve services for formerly incarcerated individuals in Camden, New Jersey and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Frank supports the implementation of comprehensive juvenile justice reform legislation as part of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Smart on Juvenile Justice Initiative. Frank is driven by the impact that criminal justice reform can have in transforming communities for the better. Frank holds a Bachelor of Arts in African/African-American Studies and Political Science from Elon University and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from New York University.
Policy Analyst II617-482-2520 ex. 2103 email@example.com
Melinda joined CJI in October 2018 after a year as a part-time intern. Melinda maintains the Coming Home Directory, CJI’s Boston area reentry resource guide, and provides support to the Shannon Community Safety Initiative in Fall River. Melinda is committed to improving the lives and promoting the rights of people involved in the justice system while emphasizing the importance of data driven policies. Melinda graduated from Suffolk University with a Bachelor of Sciences in Environmental Studies and a double minor in Sociology and Biology.
Avi Laudon joined CJI in May 2020. He brings experience from a range of roles in the criminal justice system, including with victim services, post-conviction appeals, and prosecuting attorneys. Most recently, he conducted policy research and analysis at the state and local level. At CJI, Avi supports the policy team through CJI’s Justice Reinvestment Initiative and other projects that utilize data-driven strategies to promote public safety. Avi is passionate about reducing racial disparities in the criminal justice system and improving outcomes for directly impacted individuals through the implementation of research-based strategies. Avi holds a B.A. in History with a focus on American Race Relations from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas and a M.A. in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution from the American University in Rome.
Andy Tisdel joined CJI in April 2020. He primarily supports CJI’s pretrial justice work, providing technical assistance and contributing to the assessment of pretrial systems in various states. Andy is committed to analyzing and promulgating effective, evidence-based policies that help states reform their justice systems and improve their outcomes. He holds a BA in English from the College of Wooster, as well as a Master of Public Policy and a Social Impact MBA from Brandeis University, where he focused on criminal justice policy analysis.
Cortnee Farris joined CJI in December 2020. She has over 10 years of juvenile and adult experience in criminal justice at the county level. Cortnee supports the policy team through policy research and analysts at the state and local level. Cortnee is passionate about improving outcomes for those directly impacted by the criminal justice system through policy reform and evidence based practices. Cortnee holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice from Missouri Southern State University.
Karina has recently joined CJI as a part-time intern. This past summer, Karina interned at Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts where she advocated for the humane and lawful treatment of incarcerated individuals through drafting of medical advocacy, mental health advocacy, and systematic advocacy for improved prison conditions. Karina is committed to reforming our criminal justice system and aspires to do so by developing and analyzing evidence-based policies that will help mitigate the harmful effects of mass incarceration. Karina holds a BA in Psychology as well as a secondary major in Legal Studies, a minor in Sociology and a certificate in Criminology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is currently working towards a Master in Public Policy at Simmons University.