Program Coordinator, Staten Island Youth Justice Center
Arnold Adams is the after-school coordinator/compliance monitor for Project READY (Richmond Engagement Activities for Determined Youth), the alternative-to-detention program within the Staten Island Youth Justice Center. In this role, he creates and facilities substantive after-school programming for young people with open delinquency cases in Family Court. Prior this position, Mr. Adams was a site coordinator at LEAP (Leadership Education Athletics in Partnership), in New Haven, Connecticut, where he ran an after-school program and summer camp for inner-city youth. He is a graduate of Post University in Waterbury, Connecticut where he received a BS in Marketing. Mr. Adams will be attending John Jay College in the Fall of 2011 in pursuit of a Master’s degree in Public Administration.
Project Director, Red Hook Community Justice Center
Julian Adler is the director of the Red Hook Community Justice Center, the nation’s first multi-jurisdictional community court. He joined the Justice Center in 2008, serving as the clinical director and then as the deputy director. Mr. Adler co-chairs the Center for Court Innovation's evidence-based practices initiative and is actively involved in a broad range of agency-wide clinical projects. He also assisted with planning and start-up operations for Newark Community Solutions, the first community court in New Jersey. Mr. Adler is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and an admitted attorney in the State of New York. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University, Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service, and Fordham Law School.
Director, Domestic Violence & Family Court Programs
Liberty Aldrich oversees the planning and implementation of the Center's Domestic Violence initiatives. This includes providing technical assistance to domestic violence courts, integrated domestic violence courts, family courts, and sex offender programs across the country. As General Counsel, Ms. Aldrich provides legal support to the Center's director, senior management team, and program directors on contract, personnel, real estate, and compliance issues. Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Aldrich was the director of legal services at Safe Horizon, where she represented domestic violence victims in family and supreme courts and federal immigration proceedings, in addition to supervising staff attorneys and program development. Ms. Aldrich is the co-founder and a current director of Legal Information for Families Today, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to informing New Yorkers about their legal rights in family court. She has authored numerous articles on domestic violence law and policy, and she received the Association of the Bar of the City of New York’s annual Equal Access to Justice award in 2000. Ms. Aldrich graduated from Harvard University and New York University School of Law.
Taí Merey Alex
Project Manager, Harlem Community Justice Center
Taí Merey Alex is the project manager for the Harlem Justice Corps at the Harlem Community Justice Center. Taí oversees program planning, coordination, and operations for the Harlem Justice Corps, a NYC Justice Corps program, which provides education, community benefits, and employment services to justice-involved young adults. Prior to this position, she was the Help Center Coordinator at the Harlem Community Justice Center, where she managed the provision of legal and financial assistance, case management, mediation, and specialized referrals. Taí is a New York Peace Institute certified mediator and coordinates the Harlem Community Justice Center Mediation Institute. Prior to joining the Center for Court Innovation, she worked at Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc. and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest. Taí received her B.A. in English from Pace University and her J.D. from the City University of New York School of Law.
Project Director, Bronx Community Solutions
Maria Almonte-Weston is currently the project director for Bronx Community Solutions, the largest effort at going to scale with problem-solving by applying that approach to all misdemeanor cases in the Bronx Criminal Court Division. Prior to that position, Ms. Almonte-Weston worked at the Midtown Community Court where she provided direct case management and counseling services to mandated and voluntary clients. Ms. Almonte-Weston also collaborated with the NYPD to offer street outreach services to a homeless population living in the west Midtown area. Ms. Almonte-Weston received her Master's degree from Hunter School of Social Work which has enabled her to integrate those clinical skills within a non-clinical environment like the criminal justice system.
Project Director, Newark Community Court
Jethro Antoine is currently the project director of Newark Community Solutions, the first community court in New Jersey. In this capacity, he is responsible for maintaining all aspects of the project, including programming, operations, development, and services. From 2007 to 2010, he was the project’s principle planner. Prior to that, Mr. Antoine was the deputy director of the Center’s technology team where he helped stakeholders and partner agencies integrate process improvements and new technologies into their organizations. Before he joined the Center, Mr. Antoine practiced law. He also served as a senior management consultant in the public and private sectors. He is a graduate of New York University, New York Law School, and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
Director, Syracuse Office and Tribal Courts Technical Assistance
As director of the Syracuse Office, Aaron Arnold is responsible for providing planning and technical assistance to problem-solving courts throughout upstate New York. Mr. Arnold is currently working to promote problem-solving justice in the greater Syracuse area. In addition, Mr. Arnold serves as director of tribal courts technical assistance. In this capacity, Mr. Arnold leads the Center's Tribal Justice Exchange, which seeks to promote the sharing of information between state and tribal courts, assist tribal communities in enhancing their justice systems, and explore ways in which state courts can benefit from traditional tribal justice practices. Before joining the Center, Mr. Arnold was a prosecutor with the Maricopa County Attorney's Office in Phoenix, Arizona, where he gained first-hand experience working in several problem-solving courts. He has also worked as a litigation associate at Fennemore Craig, one of Arizona's oldest law firms. Mr. Arnold is a native of Syracuse and a graduate of Cornell University and the University of Arizona College of Law.
Alternative Sanctions Associate, Red Hook Community Justice Center
Associate Director, Youth Justice Programs
Linda Baird is the associate director of Youth Justice Programs. Ms. Baird manages the Center’s Youth Justice Board program, including curriculum design, lesson planning, outreach to program partners, facilitating Board sessions, and supervising a program associate and interns. Ms. Baird led the development of the Youth Justice Board’s 2009 curriculum and operations tool kit and supports technical assistance initiatives related to youth program development. She also oversees the Center’s Police-Youth Dialogue Project, funded by the federal office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). Through this project, the Center will publish a tool kit in 2014 summarizing promising practices associated with positive teen-police communication. Ms. Baird earned a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and a M.Ed. from Lesley University.
Youth Court Coordinator, Harlem Community Justice Center
Sonia Balaram is the coordinator for the Harlem Youth Court, an early intervention program for youth who have committed violations, minor misdemeanors, and other minor offenses. As coordinator, Ms. Balaram trains youth court members on the various roles of the youth court, facilitates youth court sessions, conducts outreach with community members, and manages the cases referred to the youth court from schools, police precincts, probation, the Law Department, and criminal court. Ms. Balaram is a member of the New York State's Juvenile Justice Strategic Planning Working Group and a volunteer organizer of DC Desi Summer, a social justice leadership and empowerment program for South Asian youth. Ms. Balaram first joined the Center for Court Innovation as a Youth Justice Board member in 2004 and since then she has worked extensively on youth development and justice-related projects. Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Balaram taught high school in the Bronx as part of the Teach for America program. She has also interned at the Legal Aid Society and South Asian Youth Action. Ms. Balaram graduated magna cum laude from Brown University with a degree in Political Science.
Youth Developer, Queens Engagement Strategies for Teens
Project Director, Bronx Futures
Kate Barrow is the project director of Bronx Futures, a juvenile justice/mental health project for youth with delinquency cases. Prior to this position, she was the youth services coordinator at Midtown Community Court for two years, where she developed programming for court-involved youth, enhanced services for LGBT sex workers, and co-authored a trauma-informed client assessment. Before joining the Center, her work focused on creating programs for marginalized youth, including mentally ill adolescents in foster care, homeless LGBT youth, and educationally at-risk teens. Ms. Barrow has received awards from New York University and the National Association of Social Workers-NYC Chapter for her community organizing work, and spoken around New York about integrating social work and anti-oppressive practices. She received her B.A. in Contemplative Psychology from Naropa University and her M.S.W. from the Silver School of Social Work at New York University.
Deputy Project Director, Bronx Community Solutions
Robin Berg is the deputy project director of Bronx Community Solutions where she is responsible for the day-to-day management of project operations, assisting with grant writing and reporting, and research projects. Prior to this she was an intern at Jacobi Medical Center and Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, working in a clinical capacity with patients and their families. She has also worked for the Domestic Violence Programs at the Center as a program associate. Ms. Berg received her B.A. from Vassar College and holds a licensed Master's of Science degree in Social Work from Columbia University.
Greg Berman is the director of the Center for Court Innovation. Part of the founding team responsible for creating the Center, he has helped guide the organization from start-up to an annual budget of more than $24 million. He has accepted numerous awards on behalf of the Center, including the Peter F. Drucker Award for Non-profit Innovation. He is the co-author of Trial & Error in Criminal Justice Reform: Learning from Failure (Urban Institute Press, 2010) and Good Courts: The Case for Problem-Solving Justice (The New Press, 2005). He has contributed to numerous books and periodicals, including The Judges Journal (guest editor), New Statesman, The Guardian, National Law Journal, Chronicle of Philanthropy, and Philadelphia Inquirer. Prior to being named director of the Center for Court Innovation in 2002, he served as deputy director of the Center and as the lead planner of the Red Hook Community Justice Center. In the early 1990s, while working for the New York Foundation, he created the New York Common Application, a universal form designed to expedite the foundation grant proposal process for community groups in the New York area. He has also worked in development (New Israel Fund) and as a freelance journalist (Providence Journal). He has served on numerous boards and task forces including: New York City Board of Correction, Wesleyan Center for Prison Education, Coro New York, Sloan Public Service Awards, Poets House, Police Foundation, and Cy Vance/Manhattan District Attorney Transition Team. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University and a former Coro Fellow in Public Affairs.
Intake Specialist, Bronx Community Solutions
Deputy Director of Reentry Initiatives, Harlem Community Justice Center
Debbie Boar oversees the Harlem Community Justice Center's reentry initiatives, including the Harlem Parole Reentry Court and the Upper Manhattan Reentry Task Force. As deputy director, Ms. Boar designs and implements population specific, evidence-based offender reentry strategies, strengthens partnership among stakeholders, and provides expert assistance to jurisdictions seeking to develop reentry programs. Prior to this position, Ms. Boar served as a criminal defense attorney at the Legal Aid Society of New York City. She received her B.A. from Haverford College and her J.D. from Rutgers-Newark School of Law.
Director, Centre for Justice Innovation
Phil Bowen is the director of the Centre for Justice Innovation, an institution that seeks to support practitioners and policymakers in promoting thoughtful criminal justice reform throughout the United Kingdom. From 2011 to March 2012, he was a consultant at Adam Smith International, helping shape centre of government operations in South Sudan. Prior to that, he spent nine years working in the British civil service. He worked for the Home Office and Ministry of Justice on community policing, counter terrorism, and probation reform before becoming a delivery advisor in the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit. During his time in the civil service, he spent 14 months on secondment to the Center for Court Innovation in New York, working at Bronx Community Solutions and helping start the Center's work on failure in criminal justice reform. He holds a Master's in History from St. Andrews University and an MBA with Merit from Imperial College London.
Project Coordinator, Midtown Community Court
Dida Brassey has worked with the Midtown Community Court since 1998 and is currently the project coordinator for the Alternative Sanctions Department. She received her BS in Human Services and holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Hunter College. Ms. Brassey is a certified crisis counselor, a SAVI volunteer, and a bible study teacher.
Project Director, Staten Island Youth Justice Center
Beth Broderick is the project director of the Staten Island Youth Justice Center, a project of the Center for Court Innovation. In this role, Beth oversees daily operations of multiple programs, including Project READY, an alternative to detention program, AIM (Advocate, Intervene, Mentor), READY Futures, and the Staten Island Youth Court. Previously, Beth served as the Program Coordinator at the Center's Greenpoint and Brownsville Youth Courts, and supported technical assistance work with the Center's Youth Justice Programs, including school-based trainings focused on youth court and restorative justice. In addition, Beth has worked as an assistant instructor with the Brooklyn Law School Mediation Clinic, focusing on disputes in small claims and civil court. Beth maintains certification as a mediator with the New York Peace Institute; and she holds a BA from Columbia University and a JD from Brooklyn Law School.
Project Director, Brownsville Community Justice Center and NYC Community Cleanup
James Brodick is project director of both the Brownsville Community Justice Center and NYC Community Cleanup. Currently in the planning stage, the Brownsville Community Justice Center is the Center for Court Innovation's newest project. Mr. Brodick is working with the New York State Office for Court Administration, elected officials, the Kings County District Attorney's Office, the New York Police Department, community organizations and residents to build support and raise money for the project. Brownsville will be modeled after the Red Hook Community Justice Center, which Mr. Brodick directed for seven years, and the Midtown Community Court. As director of NYC Community Cleanup, Mr. Brodick oversees the day-to-day operations of teams in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. Mr. Brodick joined the Center for Court Innovation in 1998. Before becoming project director of the Red Hook Justice Center, he served as the Justice Center's deputy director and director of community programs. Mr. Brodick graduated from Saint John's University and is a New York State certified mediator.
Youth Program Associate, Harlem Community Justice Center
Damon Brown-Dobbs is the youth development coordinator at the Harlem Community Justice Center, and is responsible for the Harlem Hard H.A.T.S. (Helping Adolescents Think Strategically), a community service and youth leadership program. The Harlem Hard H.A.T.S. is unique civic leadership program that accepts both mandated youth and young people who volunteer to serve their community, the Hard H.A.T.S. project brings together teens to plan and implement community service-learning projects. Hard H.A.T.S provides opportunities and supports for youth to engage in meaningful community service, explore their interests, gain valuable leadership skills, and enhance their knowledge of important issues in their community. Mr. Brown-Dobbs, a former AmeriCorps member and graduate of the College of New Rochelle, who spent his service year working at the Justice Center, is responsible for implementing the service-learning program, providing training to youth on core skills, recruiting community stakeholders, and tracking and reporting on project outcomes.
YYouth Engagement/Community Service Specialist, Bronx Community Solutions
Justin Briggs is a former AmeriCorps member who is currently a full time staff member at Bronx Community Solutions. Justin wears many hats at Bronx Community Solutions, including intake specialist and community service crew supervisor, as well as the facilitator of the Youth Life Skills class. Justin is also responsible for scheduling clients charged with a DWI offense to be screened and assessed with partnered substance abuse clinics.
Project Director, Midtown Community Court
Courtney Bryan is the project director of the Midtown Community Court, a demonstration project of the Center for Court Innovation. She has held several positions at the Center both before and after receiving her law degree, including in the domestic violence and community court technical assistance teams, and at the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center. Before returning to the Center in 2008, she was a criminal defense attorney with The Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn, New York. Previously, she was a staff attorney at the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women, an organization that provides technical assistance to criminal defense attorneys representing battered women defendants. She is a graduate of the University of Georgia and Temple University School of Law.
Principal Research Associate
Jennifer L. Bryan is a principal research associate, currently working on a national study of the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) and serving as Principal Investigator for an evaluation of the Bronx Family Treatment Court. Prior to joining the Center, Jennifer worked on issues of prisoner reentry and urban justice with the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO), the Vera Institute of Justice, and the Center for Urban Research and Policy at Columbia University. Jennifer holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Yale University and a B.A. in Criminal Justice and Psychology from Rutgers University. Her work on the post-9/11 experiences of Arab Muslims in Jersey City was published by the Russell Sage Foundation (2005), and she has published several reports and articles on issues of criminal justice. In addition to her work at the Center, Jennifer teaches courses in criminal justice at New Jersey City University.
Sharon R. Bryant
Program Coordinator, Crown Heights Mediation Center
Ruby-Beth Buitekant is the program coordinator for Youth Organizing to Save Our Streets (YO S.O.S.) a program of the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center. She works to provide resources and support for the Youth Organizers who are training to become anti-violence community organizers. In addition to one-on-one support, she facilitates workshops, writes curricula, and coordinates the social media efforts of the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center by managing the online accounts and building the Mediation Center's online presence. She has led and founded groups focused on gender, sexual health, race, and law. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University with a B.A. in African American Studies and American Studies.
Resource Coordinator, Midtown Community Court
Darcel Calixte has worked at the Midtown Community Court since 2007, starting as an intern in 2005 and advancing to her current position as resource coordinator. She received her Bachelor’s degree from John Jay College in 2007. In the fall, she will begin her studies in law at Touro Law School.
Intake Specialist, Bronx Community Solutions
Youth Court Coordinator, Red Hook Community Justice Center
Sabrina Carter is the coordinator of Youth and Community Programs at the Red Hook Community Justice Center, a demonstration project of the Center for Court Innovation and the nation's first multi-jurisdictional community court. Ms. Carter first joined the Center for Court Innovation/Red Hook Community Justice Center 10 years ago as a Red Hook Youth Court member and since then has participated in numerous youth programs at the Red Hook Community Justice Center. She later joined the Americorps program and, following her two years of service as an Americorps member, she then worked as a program associate developing the Staten Island Youth Court in 2008. In 2010 she rejoined the Red Hook Community Justice Center as the coordinator of the Red Hook Youth Court where she now oversees and coordinates all the youth programming at the Red Hook Community Justice Center. Sabrina obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from John Jay College for Criminal Justice with a minor in Sociology in May 2009.
Associate Director of Research
Lenore Cerniglia is the associate director of Research for the Center’s demonstration projects. Ms. Cerniglia oversees all research pertaining to the Center’s demonstration projects, including Midtown Community Court, Harlem Community Justice Center, Red Hook Community Justice Center, Bronx Community Solutions, Newark Community Solutions, and Brooklyn Mental Health Court. She is also currently working on a risk-assessment tool to assist police departments engaging in diversion programs. Previously at the Center, Ms. Cerniglia worked on an evaluation of a gun violence prevention program in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, a nationwide evaluation of adult reentry courts, and an evaluation of the predictors of success at mental health courts. Prior to working at the Center, Ms. Cerniglia held the position of crime analyst supervisor in the Phoenix Police Department’s Crime Analysis and Research Unit where she was responsible for analyzing crime trends and completing research projects and reports. Ms. Cerniglia holds a B.S. and a Master’s in Criminal Justice from Arizona State University.
Coordinator of Anti-Violence Programs
Program Associate, Technical Assistance
Sonia Chowdhury is the program associate for Training and Technical Assistance at the Center for Court Innovation. Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Chowdhury served as the assistant to the senior director of student affairs at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. In addition to serving in this role, she increased visibility for the LGBTQ population on campus while serving as the coordinator of the LGBTQ Taskforce. Previously, Ms. Chowdhury served as the assistant coordinator of community outreach at John Jay College, where she helped to strengthen the relationship between John Jay College and the Center for Court Innovation through the New York Juvenile Justice Corps. Ms. Chowdhury has also presented at the American Society of Criminology meetings focusing on African Americans and Muslims in U.S. prisons. She is a graduate of John Jay College of Criminal Justice with a B.A. in Justice Studies and a M.P.A in Public Administration with a focus on Criminal Justice Policy and Administration.
Nicholas Chung is the Youth Justice Programs associate at the Center, where he works on the Youth Justice Board and the Adolescent Diversion Program at the Staten Island Youth Justice Center. He is interested in innovative approaches to the design of education and juvenile justice policy. Prior to joining the Center, he was a junior fellow at the Center for an Urban Future. He earned his B.A. from Brown University and his M.A. in Education Policy and Social Analysis from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Principal Research Associate
Amanda B. Cissner is a senior research associate at the Center for Court Innovation. She was the principal investigator on a process evaluation of the Brooklyn Youthful Offender Domestic Violence Court for adolescent perpetrators of relationship violence, and is currently working on an impact evaluation of that program. In addition, she is currently the principal investigator of a research intervention testing the effects of a dating violence prevention curriculum administered to college students at Syracuse University; the project director of a randomized trial testing the impact of intensive judicial monitoring on domestic violence offenders in Rochester, New York; and the lead analyst on a five-site Integrated Domestic Violence Court evaluation. She previously completed a study examining the impact of two different batterer program models on offender outcomes in Brooklyn and co-authored the Center’s statewide evaluation of adult drug courts.
Clinical Case Manager, Red Hook Community Justice Center
Patient Navigator, Syracuse Office
Viccarra Coker operates the Patient Navigator Program, a project of the Center’s Syracuse office. As the patient navigator, Ms. Coker provides direct, one-on-one services to court-involved women who are pregnant or parenting young children, connecting them with local health care providers and community-based resources to better their health and the health of their children. Specific services include establishing a “health care home” for clients and their children, assisting clients in accessing needed services, accompanying clients to health care appointments and meetings with social service providers, and providing necessities such as clothing, diapers, formula, and other supplies. Ms. Coker also works to improve coordination between the justice system, health care providers, and service providers. Ms. Coker graduated from the Licensed Practical Nurse program at Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES in 2003 and has worked in several nursing-related positions in the Syracuse community.
Deputy Project Director, Red Hook Community Justice Center
Jessica Colon is the deputy project director of the Red Hook Community Justice Center, a community court in South Brooklyn and a project of the Center for Court Innovation. She oversees community programs and outreach, court operations, and strategic planning. She also manages the Center's AmeriCorps program, the New York Juvenile Justice Corps. Jessica is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Administration at the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University where she lectures on the impact of the criminal justice system on communities. Previously, she served as deputy policy director for Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion before his appointment as director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs for President Obama. Ms. Colon previously worked for the New York City Mayor's Office Criminal Justice Coordinator John Feinblatt, and assisted in developing innovative criminal justice initiatives and capital planning projects. She also worked at the Vera Institute of Justice, and coordinated technical assistance to counties around the country to justly and effectively address issues like domestic violence and reentry. She received her Master's in Public Affairs and Urban and Regional Planning from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and her B.S. in International Relations from Seton Hall University. Jessica was born and raised in South Brooklyn, New York and still calls her favorite borough of Brooklyn home.
Program Associate, Drug Court Programs
Coordinator, Domestic Violence Programs
Katie Crank is the coordinator of domestic violence programs at the Center for Court Innovation. She provides technical assistance and strategic planning advice to courts wishing to improve their response to domestic violence cases. Ms. Crank is interested in the response to domestic violence both nationally and internationally, having spent a year developing a crisis hotline with a domestic violence agency in Ghana, as well as having assisted two Missouri jurisdictions with the planning and implementation of specialized domestic violence courts during her law school tenure. She also provides trauma-informed therapy to children who have witnessed or been the victims of violence through the Center for Court Innovation’s Child and Adolescent Witness Support Program, located in the Bronx. She earned her B.A. from Indiana University-Bloomington, and received both a J.D. and a Master's in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis.
Office Manager, Midtown Community Court
Elizabeth Delmonte-Hatton, has been with the Center for Court Innovation since 2007. She started as an AmeriCorps member with the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center where she worked as the Office Manager and resource coordinator. Currently she works as an Office Manager at the Midtown Community Court. Elizabeth has a B.S. in Community Health and Human Services and is currently in the process of pursuing a Master’s Degree in Social Work.
Operations Coordinator, Crown Heights Community Mediation Center
Lizzie has been at the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center since October 2010, when she began as an Americorps member with the New York Juvenile Justice Corps. In this capacity she worked with walk-in clients and as the office manager, and she joined the team as a staff member when her year of service was complete. As the current operations coordinator, Lizzie continues to oversee "neighbor services," manage fiscal and administrative needs, and plan community programming and events. As of October 2012, she also joined the staff of YO S.O.S. as the youth workshop facilitator. Lizzie holds a B.A. in International Relations from Tufts University and is in the process of becoming a state-certified mediator with the New York Peace Institute.
Intake Counselor, Midtown Community Court
Aissatou Diop joined the Midtown Community Court in 2007 as an Americorps member. Currently she holds a position as intake counselor and foreign group facilitator. Aissatou is certified in French Wolof and is fluent in Fulani, German, and English. In her spare time, Aissatou works as an independent translator.
Case Manager, Harlem Community Justice Center
Alison Dockery Ervin is a reentry case manager with the Harlem Parole Reentry Court. Ms. Dockery-Ervin graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from John Jay College of the City University of New York, where she also earned her Master’s of Arts in Forensic Psychology. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.
Director, Crown Heights Mediation Center
As director of the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center, Amy Ellenbogen oversees the day to day operations of the neighborhood problem solving center. She is currently focused on providing conflict resolution and youth court programming to schools and youth organizations in Brooklyn. She has worked in New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles as an educator, social worker, community activist and program founder. She founded ROOTED (Respecting Ourselves and Others Through Education), a Columbia University program designed to facilitate student dialogue around issues of identity as they relate to power and privilege. Ms. Ellenbogen has a BA degree in Ethnic studies and a Master's degree in Social Work from Columbia University.
Program Coordinator, Technical Assistance
Carmen Facciolo is the coordinator of Technical Assistance at the Center for Court Innovation. Prior to joining the Center, Mr. Facciolo served as the state problem-solving court coordinator with the Delaware Administrative Office of the Courts, where he assisted local jurisdictions plan and coordinate problem-solving justice and grant activities. Previously, Mr. Facciolo oversaw the Mental Health Court, Reentry Court, and Drug Courts for the Superior Court of Delaware. In this capacity, he assisted the judiciary implement multiple problem-solving courts including a statewide felony-level Mental Health Court and Veterans Court. Mr. Facciolo has presented at regional and national conferences on various topics relating to problem-solving courts. He is a recipient of the 2010 State of Delaware Governor’s Team Excellence Award for his collaborative efforts to use continuous quality improvement tools to excel in leadership, team dynamics, and communication to produce superior customer service and tangible results. Mr. Facciolo received a B.A. from the University of Delaware, a M.B.A. from Wilmington University, and attended the Widener University School of Law.
Senior Research Associate
Erin J. Farley is a senior research associate at the Center for Court Innovation and is currently a working on the New York Medical Liability and Patient Safety Demonstration Project, a randomized trial of an evidence-based assessment protocol in New York City drug courts; and a cost-benefit analysis of Rockefeller Drug Law reform. Prior to joining the Center, she was a professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Erin’s additional research areas include juror decision making, lay comprehension of scientific evidence and substance use and misuse among youth and young adults. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Virginia Tech and her Ph.D. in Criminology from the University of Delaware. She has co-authored articles examining college student misuse of illicit prescription drugs, adolescent misuse of over-the-counter drugs and juror comprehension of scientific evidence.
Planner, Red Hook Community Justice Center
Rachel Finkelstein is the Planner at the Red Hook Community Justice Center. Previously, Rachel served as the Program Associate for the Center's Technical Assistance department. Prior to joining the staff at the Center, she worked as a research assistant to a group of professors and nonprofit leaders working on a task force through Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer's office to reform the "Blue Book," the set of standards by which overcrowding is calculated in New York City public schools. She has also taught English in Spain through a fellowship with the Spanish Ministry of Education. She graduated with honors from Wesleyan University with a B.A. in Sociology and Spanish Literature.
Project Director, Youth Justice Programs
Nancy Fishman is the project director for Youth Justice Programs, overseeing the coordination and development of the Center's early intervention, prevention and diversion programs for young people. Her work also includes direct supervision of some of the Center's youth court, truancy, and youth development programs, as well as technical assistance on youth court development and other youth justice issues. Prior to joining the Center, she served as project director for the Criminal Justice/Mental Health Consensus Project at the Council of State Governments Justice Center, a national initiative focused on improving how the criminal justice system responds to people with mental illness. Ms. Fishman previously worked as the senior law and policy analyst and director of the Equal Justice Initiative for the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, where her work focused on community and economic development and criminal justice policy reform. She has taught at New York University School of Law, and was a Skadden Fellow at the Legal Aid Society of New York. Ms. Fishman received her J.D. and B.A. from Yale University and also received an M.A. in Human Development and Social Policy from Northwestern University.
Director, Mental Health Court Programs
Carol Fisler is the director of Mental Health Court Programs at the Center for Court Innovation, overseeing initiatives that address mental illness and the courts. She coordinated the planning and implementation of the Brooklyn Mental Health Court, the first specialized court for offenders with mental illness in New York, and a juvenile justice/mental health initiative for young people with mental health disorders charged with delinquency. She has provided extensive training and technical assistance to more than 50 mental health court planning teams in New York State and around the country and speaks frequently at national and regional conferences. Ms. Fisler has extensive public and private sector legal and managerial experience, serving as the president of a start-up welfare-to-work staffing company, deputy general counsel of the New York City Housing Authority, assistant commissioner for legal affairs of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and an associate at a major New York City law firm. Ms. Fisler graduated from Harvard University and Stanford Law School.
Senior Associate, Tribal Justice Exchange and Domestic Violence Programs
As a senior associate at the Center for Court Innovation, Kathryn Ford addresses the issues of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse through needs assessment research, dissemination of best practices, and the provision of training and technical assistance, including through the Center’s Tribal Justice Exchange. She has published articles in Family and Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly, and NCADV’s The Voice, and has conducted training workshops for over 3,000 participants from multiple disciplines. Ms. Ford also conducts trauma-focused individual and group therapy and provides court support services through the Child and Adolescent Witness Support Program at the Bronx District Attorney’s Office. Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Ford was a social worker in Safe Horizon's Supervised Visitation Program at Bronx Family Court and an intern in the Kings County District Attorney's Office’s Counseling Services Unit. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Sociology from Tufts University and a Master’s in Social Work from Columbia University, and is certified in Rape Crisis Counseling.
Director of Strategic Planning
Aubrey Fox is the director of Strategic Planning at the Center for Court Innovation. In November 2011, he launched the Centre for Justice Innovation, an institution that seeks to promote thoughtful criminal justice reform in the United Kingdom by focusing on the use of demonstration projects. Prior to that, Aubrey was the project director of Bronx Community Solutions, a one-of-its-kind initiative launched in January 2005 that seeks to meet the ambitious goal of changing a large and tradition-bound public agency's approach to low-level crime. Aubrey graduated with a Master's degree in public policy from the University of California at Berkeley, served as a VISTA Volunteer in San Antonio, Texas, and was a Warren Weaver Fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation and a member of Coro's Leadership New York program. His work has appeared in Newsday, the Gotham Gazette, Judicature, the Justice System Journal and Court Review, among other publications. Finally, he is the co-author of Trial & Error in Criminal Justice Reform: Learning from Failure (Urban Institute Press, 2010).
Case Manager, Bronx Community Solutions
Deputy Director, Planning and Development
Emily works on a variety of special initiatives. She is currently the project manager for the Improving Courtroom Communications project, an effort to enhance perceptions of fairness by improving communication strategies used by criminal courtroom staff. She also writes and conducts research for the Trial and Error Initiative, a multi-year inquiry into the role that failure and the trial and error process play in criminal justice reform. Emily is also on the planning team for the Brownsville Community Justice Center, a new community court to be opened in Central Brooklyn, and assists with securing funding for other Center projects. She is a graduate of Pomona College and the University of Wisconsin Law School.
Clinical Coordinator, Midtown Community Court
Miriam Goodman is the women’s specialist at Midtown Community Court (MCC). Miriam oversees and facilitates the Women’s Independence Safety and Empowerment (WISE) program, a comprehensive psycho-educational and therapeutic program for women arrested for prostitution. Miriam’s focus is in trauma work and she has trained extensively in evidence-based practices for working with trauma survivors. Miriam is also a therapist at the Safe Horizon’s Counseling Center, where she provides trauma-focused therapy for crime victims. She received her BA in Sociology from Dickinson College and her MSW from the Silver School of Social Work at New York University.
Coordinator of Operations, Brownsville Community Justice Center
Viviana Gordon is the coordinator of operations for the Brownsville Community Justice Center. Currently in the planning stage, the Brownsville Community Justice Center is the Center for Court Innovation’s newest project. Brownsville will be modeled after the Red Hook Community Justice Center, where Ms. Gordon previously worked for more than 4 years. Most recently, Ms. Gordon directed the New York Juvenile Justice Corps, an AmeriCorps national service program which places fifty-eight Corps members throughout Center for Court Innovation projects, at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Office of Children an Family Services (OCFS). Previously, Ms. Gordon worked as a case manager with criminal court defendants and as the interim family court coordinator in the Red Hook Community Justice Center’s clinical department. Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Gordon worked as a detention alternatives advocate at the Juvenile Rights Project in Portland, Oregon and as a social services intern the Defender Association of Philadelphia. Ms. Gordon received her B.A. from Whitman College in Washington State in 2008.
Planner, Midtown Community Court
Deputy Director, Youth Justice Programs
Dory Hack is deputy director of Youth Justice Programs at the Center for Court Innovation. In this capacity she develops and supports a range of youth engagement initiatives, including youth courts and staff training. Previously, Dory Hack was deputy director of the Center's Courts and the Community project, in which she focused on creating and promoting resources for civic education in New York state. Ms. Hack began her work in youth programming as project coordinator of the Youth Justice Board. Prior to this, Ms. Hack developed case management systems for problem-solving courts. Ms. Hack received her BA from Wesleyan University.
Senior Research Associate
Josy Hahn is a senior research associate at the Center for Court Innovation. She is currently in charge of all research pertaining to Newark Community Solutions and the impact evaluation of QUEST Futures, a comprehensive mental health initiative for young people in the juvenile justice system. Prior to working at the Center, Josy was a researcher at the Vera Institute of Justice, where she was responsible for building domestic and sexual violence research for its Center on Victimization and Safety, and played a key role in implementing the process and impact evaluations for Common Justice, an alternative to incarceration based on restorative justice principles. Her dissertation examined risk factors of domestic violence perpetration and victimization in a national sample. Josy has a B.A. from Princeton University, an M.P.H. from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ in Newark, and a doctorate from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Office Administrator, Syracuse Office
Kate Halleron is the office administrator for the Syracuse Office. Prior to this position, Kate was the Court Clerk for the Village of Baldwinsville. Kate graduated from Columbia College of Missouri with a B.A. in Criminal Justice Administration
Resource Coordinator, Newark Community Solutions
Marie Hargrove is a resource coordinator at Newark Community Solutions. In this capacity, Ms. Hargrove serves as the primary liaison and representative between clinical and alternative sanction staff and court room staff. She assesses defendants to ensure the appropriateness of alternative sanction recommendations and provides information on programs and services, responds to questions or concerns by courtroom staff, visitors, and the public. Before joining Newark Community Solutions, Ms. Hargrove worked as a project manager at Sandji Community Development and interned at the Newark Housing Authority. Ms. Hargrove is an alumnus of Ramapo College of New Jersey and is pursuing a graduate degree in Diplomacy from the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy.
Lama Hassoun Ayoub
Senior Research Associate
Lama Hassoun Ayoub is a senior research associate at the Center for Court Innovation and the senior researcher at the Harlem Community Justice Center. She is currently managing several projects including a randomized control trial evaluating a teen dating violence prevention program in schools in the Bronx as well as the evaluation of the Harlem Parole Reentry Court. She is also working on the evaluation of Defending Childhood, the U.S. Attorney General's multi-site initiative to address children's exposure to violence, and a national multi-site evaluation of specialized reentry courts. Lama is involved with several other research projects based at Harlem Community Justice Center and serves on the Institutional Review Board at CCI. She received her Master's of Science from the Harvard University School of Public Health and her B.S. from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
Program Coordinator, New York Juvenile Justice Corps
Medina Henry is the New York Juvenile Justice Corps program coordinator. The New York Juvenile Justice Corps is an AmeriCorps national service program which places fifty-eight Corps members throughout Center for Court Innovation projects. Prior to this position, Ms. Henry served as a program director of an after-school program, and as a youth development specialist for a child welfare agency assisting foster care youth prepare for adulthood. She received a BA from Hunter College and a MPA from Baruch College.
Alternative Sanctions Specialist, Newark Community Court
Raul Hernandez is an alternative sanctions specialist at Newark Community Solutions. In this role, Mr. Hernandez serves as the primary liaison and representative between clinical staff and courtroom staff. Mr. Hernandez is responsible for assessing the suitability of defendants who are arraigned at the court for various alternative sanctions and making appropriate recommendations to the judge. Before he joined Newark Community Solutions, Mr. Hernandez led youth mentoring and recreational programs at the Bridge Youth in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
Deputy Projector Director, Midtown Community Court
Jeff Hobbs is the deputy director at the Midtown Community Court, and has been with the Court since its “experimental phase” in August of 1993. Starting out as the community service coordinator, he assisted in pioneering the first community service sites. In his current role, Mr. Hobbs oversees the Dads United Parenting program, Alternative Sanctions Department, as well as Facilities Management. Before coming to Midtown, Mr. Hobbs was director of central operations for the Vera Institute of Justice’s Neighborhood Work Project. Mr. Hobbs is the recipient of the prestigious Samuel and May Rudin Community Service Award for his efforts and commitment to the Midtown community.
Clinical Coordinator, Newark Community Court
Sienna Hunter-Cuyjet, LMSW is clinical coordinator at Newark Community Solutions. In this capacity Ms. Hunter-Cuyjet oversees clinical and social services for defendants coming through Newark Community Solutions, including intake screening, clinical assessments, treatment recommendations, referrals to community-based providers, compliance monitoring, on-site psycho-educational groups, case management, crisis intervention, and counseling services. Before joining Newark Community Solutions, Ms. Hunter-Cuyjet worked for COPAY, Inc., a non-profit agency that provides outpatient medical and substance abuse services to families and individuals. Ms. Hunter-Cuyjet as a graduate of Smith College and Stony Brook University’s Graduate School of Social Welfare.
Suvi Hynynen Lambson
Senior Research Associate
Suvi Hynynen Lambson is a senior research associate at the Center for Court Innovation. She is the on-site researcher at the Red Hook Community Justice Center, currently focusing on evaluating the Peacemaking pilot program and the Adolescent Diversion Program. In addition to her work in Red Hook, she has led a number of community surveys and is conducting an evaluation of an anti-gun violence initiative in Brownsville, Brooklyn. She is also working on the development of a short risk and needs assessment tool specifically geared towards misdemeanor offenders. Prior to joining the Center, she worked with various non-profit organizations on issues including domestic violence, transparency in foreign aid, and women’s rights. Ms. Hynynen Lambson received her B.A. from Brigham Young University and her Master’s of Public Administration from New York University in 2009.
Facilities Manager, Midtown Community Court
Community Service Supervisor, Red Hook Community Justice Center
Project Director, Brooklyn Mental Health Court
Lucille Jackson, Project/Clinical Director for the Brooklyn Mental Health Court at the Center for Court Innovation, has a master’s degree in clinical social work from the Hunter College School of Social Work. Before joining CCI, she was the program director for New York City’s first Forensic Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team, providing on-going in vivo services to court-mandated adults with serious and persistent mental illness, and the program director for an outreach program for adults with serious mental illness living in homeless encampments in New York City. In addition, she has a part-time private practice in Manhattan.
Program Manager, Crown Heights Community Mediation Center
Employment Specialist, Midtown Community Court
Jasmin Jenoure is the employment specialist for Times Square Ink Job Readiness Program. Ms. Jenoure facilitates job readiness workshops, resume clinics, and job boot camp sessions. Prior to joining Midtown Community Court, she was a career exploration coordinator for Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES). Jasmin is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Urban Studies from Long Island University.
Senior Research Associate
Elise Jensen is a senior research associate at the Center for Court Innovation. She is currently working on the Improving Courtroom Communication project and the Defending Childhood Initiative. In addition, she is involved with the evaluation of youth courts in schools. Prior to working at the Center, she has held research positions at several agencies such as the National Gang Center, Florida State University Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research, and the State of Florida Commission on Capital Cases. Her research background is in neighborhood disadvantage, culture, antisocial behaviors, and juvenile delinquency prevention and interventions. Elise received a B.A. in Criminal Justice and B.S. in Psychology from the University of Georgia, and she holds a M.S. and Ph.D. in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Florida State University.
Reentry Case Manager, Newark Community Solutions
Ahlam Jerai is the reentry case manager at Newark Community Solutions. Ms. Jerai is responsible for coordinating the projects reentry focused interventions and provides a range of court-based clinical and social services to adult defendants coming through Newark Community Solutions. In this role, Ms. Jerai works with clinical and court staff to develop new initiatives that serve participants who are reentering the community after a period of detention in a state or county correctional facility. She also coordinates collaborations between Newark Community Solutions and local reentry programs. Ms. Jerai is a graduate of William Paterson University and Rutgers University’s School of Social Work, where she graduated with a Master’s degree in Social Work.
Resource Center Coordinator, Red Hook Community Justice Center
Social worker, Red Hook Community Justice Center
Associate Director of Research
Melissa Labriola is a principal research associate at the Center for Court Innovation. She is currently the principal investigator of a randomized trial testing the impact of intensive judicial monitoring on domestic violence offenders in Rochester, New York. She is also project director of a national study of specialized domestic violence courts; and is participating in an evaluation of a New York City-based initiative to address the commercial sexual exploitation of children. She previously served as lead analyst on the Center’s randomized trial testing the impact of batterer programs; served as project director of a national survey of court responses to offender noncompliance with batterer program mandates; and participated in the Center’s statewide evaluation of adult drug courts.
Director, Technical Assistance
Julius Lang is Director of Technical Assistance at the Center for Court Innovation. Mr. Lang oversees the Center's consulting services - including workshops, site visits and in-person consulting - for jurisdictions around the nation and internationally. He currently spearheads national technical assistance efforts for the Community-Based Problem-Solving Criminal Justice Initiative, the newest effort of the Bureau of Justice Assistance at the U.S. Department of Justice to promote the wider use of problem-solving principles and practices. Previously, Mr. Lang served as the Coordinator of the Midtown Community Court – the Center’s first demonstration project – in Manhattan’s Times Square neighborhood. Prior to joining the Midtown Community Court, Mr. Lang was chief of staff to New York City’s Commissioner of Housing Preservation and Development. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Villanova University School of Law. He also spent several years as an associate at the international law firm of Shearman & Sterling, serving in their New York and London offices.
Communications Coordinator, Youth Justice Programs
Colin Lentz is the communications coordinator for Youth Justice Programs at the Center for Court Innovation. He is responsible for managing social media, including the Youth@Center blog, for the Youth Justice Programs project. He is also currently working on a project to create a best practices tool kit about using dialogue to build stronger relationships between police officers and young people. Previously, he was a program associate with the Development department and with the Youth Justice Board. He is 2009 graduate of Brown University.
Group Work Specialist, Harlem Community Justice Center
Ms. Leverett joined the Center for Court Innovation in March 2010, as a group work specialist. She facilitates anger management groups for adolescents, as well as cognitive behavioral groups for formerly incarcerated persons returning to the community on parole. Ms. Leverett is a New York State Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) with over 10 years of experience working with high risk populations. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the College of New Rochelle. Ms. Leverett is currently pursuing a Master’s of Social Work degree from Lehman College.
Amy Levitt Kotler
Director, Finance & Administration
Amy Levitt Kotler directs the Center’s fiscal and administrative staff and works closely with the Center's Director. She is responsible for fiscal planning, management and oversight, contract compliance, risk management, human resources and employee relations. Her duties include the management of an operating budget in excess of $20 million annually. She developed and is responsible for overseeing Center fiscal and administrative policy and procedures. In addition, she manages the Center’s performance review program and promotes staff welfare and workplace satisfaction for over 200 employees. Amy is a 1986 graduate of the School of Business at the State University of New York at Albany. She is a Coro alumna of Leadership New York XV. She has served as the Administrator for the 9/11 Court Families Assistance Fund and the UCS Katrina Courts & Families Recovery Fund. Amy has held financial positions in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors in New York City.
Director, Queens Engagement Strategies for Teens
David Long is the Project Director of an Alternative to Detention program operated by the Center for juveniles arrested in Queens County, New York. He previously served as the Deputy Project Director of the Red Hook Community Justice Center, and has over 20 years experience in criminal justice, including service as an NYPD police officer, Associate Counsel with the New York City Probation Department, litigator prosecuting employee misconduct for the New York City Department of Education, and litigator for the Narcotics Eviction Unit of the New York City Housing and Preservation Department. He is also a certified mediator and a former arbitrator for Small Claims Court in New York City. Additionally, he has been an adjunct professor for the last 10 years, the first eight years at St. Francis College and the last two at Monroe College. He holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a J.D. degree from Fordham Law School.
Administrative Associate, Harlem Community Justice Center
Edith Lopez is the facilities and administrative associate at the Harlem Community Justice Center. Ms. Lopez handles all clerical and fiscal work, and provides intake support to the Help Center, helping clients access housing assistance and other social services. Ms. Lopez received her Associate’s Degree in Entrepreneurship in 2005, and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing Communications in 2007, both from Johnson & Wales University.
Intake specialist, Red Hook Community Justice Center
Court Liaison, Queens Engagement Strategies for Teens
Michele Maestri is the Center Court Innovation's office manager. She comes to the Center with over 25 years of office management, facilities, and human resources experience in both large and small institutions. Additionally, Michele spent 13 years volunteering for Canstruction, a charity of the architectural and engineering industry, whose goal is to fight hunger. She is a graduate of Hunter College with a degree in Psychology and Education.
Associate Director, Technical Assistance
Danielle Malangone is the associate director of technical assistance at the Center for Court Innovation. Prior to joining the technical assistance team, she served as the deputy project director of the Midtown Community Court, where she directed the court’s clinical and workforce development operations, as well as its research and planning projects. Mrs. Malangone also helped develop and implement new community court projects in the Bronx and Newark, and she currently co-chairs the Center’s evidence-based practices initiative. Before joining the Center in 2005, she worked as a clinical supervisor for the Brooklyn TASC program, where her work helped create alternatives to incarceration for offenders with co-occurring substance use and mental illness. Mrs. Malangone is an adjunct professor at the New School University and a graduate of Coro Leadership New York XVIII. She received her B.A. from Oswego State University and M.A. in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
HTML, Graphic and Multimedia Specialist
Adam Mansky is the Center for Court Innovation’s director of operations. Adam supervises Bronx Community Solutions; Midtown Community Court; Newark Community Solutions; and the Red Hook Community Justice Center. He also supervises the Center’s technology department. Adam served as the Red Hook Community Justice Center’s planner, coordinating all aspects of design, construction and program development, and then, its first project director. He also led the planning and implementation of New Jersey’s Newark Community Solutions and provided support to the British government during the initial program design phase of the North Liverpool Community Justice Centre. Before joining the Center for Court Innovation, Adam practiced corporate law at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and securities litigation at Weil, Gotshal & Manges. He received a B.A. from the University of Michigan and a J.D., cum laude, from New York University School of Law.
Senior Associate, Domestic Violence Program
Sarah Martino is a senior associate with the Center’s Domestic Violence Program. She supports the program’s national technical assistance and works with staff on national and statewide planning initiatives. Prior to joining the Center, she served on the Board of Students Active for Ending Rape, a non-profit focused on changing college and university responses to sexual violence. She also worked in communications for the William T. Grant Foundation. Ms. Martino received her B.A. from Bard College in 2007, and her Master's of Public Administration from New York University in 2012.
Director of Special Projects, Violence Against Women
Robyn Mazur is currently the director, Special Projects, Violence Against Womens at the Center for Court Innovation. In this capacity, Ms. Mazur provides technical assistance and strategic planning advice to courts and communities who are interested in changing their response to violence against women and children by supplying best practice information, written materials, needs assessments, trainings, and consultation. Ms. Mazur also coordinates and provides training to judges and community leaders across the U.S. and internationally on the issues of violence against women. Ms. Mazur is an attorney and has extensive experience in the field of violence against women. She was a staff attorney at the National Network to End Domestic Violence and was the staff director of the Mayor’s Commission on Violence Against Women both in Washington, D.C. She was an attorney at the House of Ruth Shelter, Domestic Violence Legal Clinic in Baltimore, Maryland where she represented battered women clients in civil cases. Ms. Mazur is a graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law and Tulane University.
Deputy Project Director, Harlem Community Justice Center
John Megaw, LCSW, MPA, is the deputy project director at the Harlem Community Justice Center. Mr. Megaw oversees the staff at the Justice Center including the clinical team which provides services to parolees, juveniles, families, and other Justice Center clients. Mr. Megaw was the first clinical director at the Midtown Community Court, the nation’s first community court, which opened in 1993. He was named the coordinator of the Parole Reentry Program in 2001 and became the Justice Center’s deputy project director in 2006. Mr. Megaw is responsible for overall project implementation including operation of one of the nation's first parole reentry court projects designed to help stabilize parolees in the initial phase of their community reintegration. Mr. Megaw has a master’s in Social Work from the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Work and a master’s in Public Administration from New York University's Wagner School of Public Service.
Social Worker & Program Associate, Red Hook Community Justice Center
Reentry Case Aid, Harlem Community Justice Center
Cramon Milline joined the Center’s staff in October of 2010 in his current role as a reentry case aide with the Harlem Parole Reentry Court. Prior to joining the staff, Mr. Milline served two years in the Center’s AmeriCorps program where he assisted men and women retuning from prison. In his current position, Mr. Milline works with the reentry team to help men and women in the first six months of their return from prison to the community by providing positive support and service referrals.
Case Manager, Bronx Community Solutions
Program Director, Midtown Community Court
Jonathan Monsalve is the program coordinator for Times Square Ink. Prior to coordinating the Workforce Development Program, Jonathan served as the job developer for the Times Square Ink and Dad's United for Parenting programs. Jonathan continues to develop and maintain new sector based employment prospects for the Times Square Ink and Dad's United for Parenting programs. He holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice, and an M.S. in Criminal Justice from New Jersey City University.
Crew Supervisor, Newark Community Solutions
Johnathan Mosley is a crew supervisor at Newark Community Solutions. Mr. Mosley is responsible for supervising offenders assigned to community service projects in Newark. In this role, Mr. Mosley works with one other Newark Community Solutions staff to ensure a highly responsive, well-run community service program and supervises crews participants ordered to perform community service by the Newark Municipal Court.
Court Operations Coordinator, Newark Community Court
Kelly Mulligan-Brown is the court operations coordinator at Newark Community Solutions. Ms. Mulligan-Brown oversees all court operations and leads the implementation of several program enhancements, including expanding candidate screening capacity and the incorporation of community service crew supervision into operations. Ms. Brown has been with Newark Community Solutions since its inception, serving as the project’s first resource coordinator. Before joining Newark Community Solutions, Ms. Brown worked for Psychiatric Emergency Screening Program at Bergen Regional Medical Center and for the Integrated Care Management Services unit of Care Plus NJ. In both positions, her duties included helping identify appropriate diagnoses, creating treatment plans, and making appropriate referrals to community-based service providers. Ms. Mulligan-Brown is graduated from Lafayette College and John Jay College of Criminal Justice with a Master’s degree in Forensic Psychology.
Associate Director of Development
Case Manager, Bronx Community Solutions
Melissa Novock currently works with women arrested for prostitution in the Bronx, as a member of the STARS (Services to Access Resources and Safety) team at Bronx Community Solutions. Ms. Novock has extensively worked with survivors of violence within the context of the court system and various not-for-profit organizations in the Detroit area. She is a graduate of Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, and the University of Detroit Law School.
Associate Director, Crown Heights Community Mediation Center
Marlon Peterson is the program coordinator of Youth Organizing to Save Our Streets, the youth development anti-violence program of Save Our Streets at the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center. He is also the founder of a youth mentoring program based in a Brownsville middle school named How Our Lives Link Altogether (H.O.L.L.A.!). Mr. Peterson has an extensive history in youth development, prison re-entry, and program facilitation. He also served as the youth coordinator of Families for Freedom, an immigrant advocacy organization. Additionally, Mr. Peterson received his Associates Degree in Criminal Justice from Ashworth University and is currently completing his B.S. in Organizational Behavior & Communications from New York University.
Associate Director of Research
Sarah Picard-Fritsche currently serves as project director of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of evidence-based assessment protocol in three New York City drug courts. She also collaborates with the Center’s director of mental health court programs to shape a research agenda for that department and is the principal investigator on a BJA-funded evaluation of a violence prevention program utilizing the Chicago Ceasefire model in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Ms. Fritsche brings particular expertise in mixed-methods research design, data analysis, and project management. She also has particular knowledge regarding evidence-based risk and need assessment and experience with the implementation of applied research in court settings. Ms. Fritsche holds a Master’s degree in Applied Social Research from Hunter College in New York.
Parent Advocate, Midtown Community Court
Jermaine Pilgrim is the parent advocate for Dads United for Parenting, a nurturing fatherhood initiative at the Midtown Community Court designed to increase fathers’ emotional engagement and financial support of their children. Jermaine holds a BA in Political Science/African American Studies from SUNY Cortland and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from CUNY John Jay.
Youth Developer, Queens Engagement Strategies for Teens
Employment Specialist, Midtown Community Court
Genna Plumitallo is the employment workshop facilitator in the Times Square Ink Program at the Midtown Community Court. Prior to coming to Midtown as a student volunteer, Genna held a position as a community service representative for John Jay College of Criminal Justice through Americorps. After volunteering, Genna stayed as an intern and then acquired the Times Square Ink Americorps member position, which led to her current role as the employment workshop facilitator. Currently, her role as the employment workshop facilitator involves facilitating job readiness workshops and cognitive behavioral therapy. Genna is currently pursing a BA in International Criminal Justice at John Jay College.
Times Square Express Supervisor, Midtown Community Court
Tia Pooler is a research associate at the Center for Court Innovation. She is currently involved in on-site research at the Midtown Community Court, Harlem Community Justice Center, and Bronx Community Solutions. Before joining the Center, Tia held the position of team leader at the British Judicial Appointments Commission in London, the organization responsible for selecting the judiciary in England and Wales. During her time in the U.K., she also carried out research for the Action for Prisoners' Families organization, looking at the impact of imprisonment on the families of offenders. Her most recent academic research project analyzed public perceptions of police legitimacy across Europe. She holds a B.A. in Economics from Boston University, a Master's of Science in Criminal Justice Policy, and a Master's of Science in Social Research Methods, both from the London School of Economics.
Director, Child & Adolescent Witness Support Program
Amy is the program director for the Child and Adolescent Witness Support Program. Her role is to develop and sustain the program’s ability to address the mental health needs of young survivors of violent crime. She is a member of the Bronx Multidisciplinary Team on Child Physical and Sexual Abuse. Over the last fifteen years, Amy has worked with youth and families in foster care, psychiatric hospitals, and community-based programs. Amy has also worked as a diversity trainer for graduate students and as a consultant for a creative healing arts organization. She has volunteered as a birth assistant; a companion for dying patients; and as an art curator and events planner for a social justice community space. Amy received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Villanova University and her graduate degree in social work from Columbia University.
Marketing and Communications Planning Intern, Centre for Justice Innovation
Arsheen Qasim is the marketing and communications planning Intern at the Centre for Justice Innovation. She recently graduated from the MSc Human Rights Programme at London School of Economics and Political Science. Coming from a journalistic background she has written for various publications including The Irish Times and worked as a Researcher and Production Manager on various National-level television programs and documentaries in Ireland.
Juvenile Justice Program Associate, Staten Island Youth Justice Center
Director, Drug Court Programs
As the director of drug treatment court projects at the Center for Court Innovation, Valerie Raine assists New York’s Unified Court System in developing and training drug treatment courts across New York State. She also oversees the Statewide Drug Court Training & Technical Assistance initiative which is supported by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. From 1996 to 2000, she was project director of the Brooklyn Treatment Court, where she helped develop and manage New York City's first drug treatment court. She is the immediate past president of the New York Association of Drug Treatment Court Professionals and is a former member of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals. Ms. Raine created and taught a course on problem-solving justice at Fordham Law School, has served as faculty for the National Drug Court Institute and presented on drug treatment courts at numerous conferences over the past 16 years. Previously, she worked for 14 years at the Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division in Kings County, where she was appointed attorney-in-charge in 1994. Ms. Raine is a graduate of Hunter College (1977) and the University of Virginia School of Law (1982).
Clinical Social Worker, Midtown Community Court
Deputy Director of Finance & Administration
Director of Court Operations, Red Hook Community Justice Center
Naureen Rashid is the director of court operations at the Red Hook Community Justice Center. In her current role, she oversees all aspects of development, implementation, and operations across the Justice Center’s family, housing, and criminal court jurisdictions. She also supervises the Alternative Sanctions Department, the Housing Resource Center, and the Clinic. Ms. Rashid also works closely with the community service team to spearhead initiatives and is integrally involved in the development of a community educational workshop series. She also serves as a member on the Domestic Violence working group. Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Rashid practiced primarily as a litigation and housing attorney at various New York City law firms. Notably, Ms. Rashid was co-counsel in bringing forth a seminal case of first impression on behalf of NYC Yellow cab drivers and their union, the New York City Taxi Workers Alliance, challenging the constitutionality of the installation of GPS technology into NYC yellow cabs. Ms. Rashid received her B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, from Hofstra University and received her J.D. from Saint John’s University, School of Law.
Deputy Director, Syracuse Office and Tribal Courts Technical Assistance
Sarah Reckess is the deputy director of the Syracuse office and a senior associate of the Tribal Justice Exchange. Sarah provides planning and technical assistance to problem-solving courts and justice initiatives in Upstate New York, as well as planning and technical assistance to tribal communities around the U.S. Sarah has taken the lead on writing a number of tribal publications for the Center. Her areas of interest include drug courts/ healing to wellness courts, reentry courts, and juvenile justice. Before joining the Center, Sarah provided legal assistance to Legal Services of Central New York, the Onondaga Nation, and the Syracuse Medical-Legal Partnership. She also worked as the interim director of the Syracuse University Family Law and Social Policy Center. Currently she provides pro bono legal assistance to the 5th Judicial District Pro Bono-University Hospital Clinic. Sarah holds a B.A. in American Studies from Mount Holyoke College, an M.A. in Literature and Environment from the University of Nevada, Reno, and a J.D. with a concentration in Family Law and Social Policy from Syracuse University College of Law.
Principal Research Associate
Warren Reich is a principal research associate at the Center. He is currently working on a validation study of the Misdemeanor Evidence-Based Assessment; an analysis of the prevalence and comorbidity of mental health indicators among youth enrolled in three of the Center’s alternative to detention programs; the national impact study of District Attorneys’ Pretrial Diversion programs; and the documentation of trends in case outcomes for young shoplifters in Staten Island. Prior to joining the Center, he was a program evaluator for The Family Center and a Visiting Assistant Professor in Psychology at Rutgers University. He currently teaches at Hunter College and maintains an interest in developing methods for the study of identity and well-being. He received a B.S. in Psychology from the Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D. in Social-Personality Psychology from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Deputy Project Director for Drug Court Programs
As the Deputy Director of Drug Court Programs, Dennis A. Reilly Esq. provides training, technical assistance, and development support for drug treatment courts. He has served as the Director of the Brooklyn Treatment Court and the Problem-Solving Courts Coordinator for the Kings Supreme Court. Previously, he worked for the Connecticut Judicial Branch as a Special Deputy Sheriff, Trial Court Clerk, Pretrial Services Officer, Supervision Officer, Court Planner, and as a founding team member of the first two drug courts in Connecticut. He also worked as a Deputy Director at the National Drug Court Institute, developing and initiating the Drug Court Planning Initiative, and is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, School of Administration and Management, the University of Denver, College of Law, and the University of Amsterdam School for Executive Development in International Relations.
Project Manger, Technology
Norman Reiss works with the Center for Court Innovation's programming staff to support and enhance the Justice Center Application (JCA), used by multiple demonstration projects. For five alternative to detention providers, which also use JCA, Mr. Reiss monitors the annual workplan, trains staff, and leads group meetings. He is also managing database development projects at the Harlem Community Justice Center, Midtown Community Court and Red Hook Community Justice Center. Since joining the nonprofit sector in 2000, he has worked for multiple organizations in project management and online technology/communication roles, most recently at Bend the Arc and the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. Mr. Reiss is a Project Management Professional (PMP) and a CUNY alumnus with a MBA from Baruch College and a BS from Brooklyn College.
Michael Rempel is research director at the Center for Court Innovation, ultimately overseeing all research conducted at the agency. He is currently directing a statewide evaluation of specialized drug courts in New York; a randomized trial of evidence-based assessment tools; a national study of the commercial sexual exploitation of children; and a multi-site formative study of initiatives to address children’s exposure to violence. He is also co-principal investigator on a multi-site evaluation of specialized reentry courts and a study of the Red Hook (Brooklyn) community court. In the past, he has published extensively on research related to drug courts (including NIJ’s Multi-Site Adult Drug Court Evaluation) and criminal justice interventions in cases of intimate partner violence. Recent publications also concern specialized domestic violence courts; the commercial sexual exploitation of children; research methodology; and the potential to apply problem-solving techniques more broadly in traditional court settings. His work has recently appeared in research journals such as the Journal of Experimental Criminology, Justice Quarterly, Criminology and Public Policy, and Violence Against Women; as well as practitioner-oriented journals such as the Justice System Journal, Judicature, Drug Court Review, and Criminal Justice Magazine. He is co-editor of Documenting Results: Research on Problem-Solving Justice (2007). Previously, he published articles on contemporary social theory and the political sociology of advanced industrial societies and co-edited Citizen Politics in Post-Industrial Societies (1997).
Coordinator Community Service, Bronx Community Solutions
Assistant Manager of Facilities, Red Hook Community Justice Center
Case Manager, Midtown Community Court
Resource Coordinator, Bronx Community Solutions
Orleny Rojas is a resource coordinator and in this capacity she serves as the primary liaison and representative between Bronx Community Solutions (BCS) and court room staff. As such, she must be prepared to provide information on programs and services, respond to questions or concerns by courtroom staff, visitors or the public. In addition, the resource coordinator assists judges in identifying appropriate community service/social service sanctions for defendants and provides detailed case information when individuals are returned to the courts on a warrant. Orleny has a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration, a Master’s in Social Work, and is currently working on her Juris Doctorate. Prior to working at Bronx Community solutions she worked at Inwood Community Services, Inc. and Fordham University.
Coordinator, Staten Island Youth Court
Jacklyn Romanoff, is the youth court coordinator, of the Staten Island Youth Court, located within the Staten Island Youth Justice Center. Jacklyn has been with the Center for Court Innovation since 2001. Prior to this position, Jacklyn was the senior case manager at the Red Hook Community Justice Center’s clinic for seven years. In this capacity, she worked with adults struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues. Before coming to the Center, Jacklyn was a domestic violence coordinator for Safe Horizon, the city’s largest victim’s services organization. There she assisted thousands of families by providing assistance in receiving emergency shelter placement and benefits.
Case Manager, Harlem Community Justice Center
Omarax Rosa joined the Center in 2002 as an intake specialist for the youth and mediation programs at the Harlem Community Justice Center. In her current role as the youth and family case manager, she provides assessment and treatment referrals for clients in the Justice Center’s Family Court, housing court, youth programs, and help center. She also graduated from Hunter College with a BA in Urban Studies in 2001.
Associate Director, Drug Court Programs
As the Associate Director of Drug Court Programs, Gregg Roth, Esq. provides training, technical assistance and development support to drug treatment courts. Gregg is formerly a Deputy County Attorney, Senior Trial Counsel, for the Nassau County Attorney’s Office where he prosecuted juvenile delinquents and helped create Nassau County, New York’s first juvenile drug treatment court. As part of the Nassau County Juvenile Treatment Court team, he also served as the Reclaiming Futures Juvenile Justice Fellow. Prior and subsequent to being a prosecutor, Gregg was a litigator with a focus on matrimonial and family law and served on a panel of Attorneys for Children where he represented children of all ages in juvenile delinquency, PINS, abuse and neglect, custody and visitation, family offense, guardianship and child support cases. Gregg has been invited to speak locally and nationally on topics including the prosecutor’s role in juvenile drug courts, evidence-based practices and Reclaiming Futures and is currently an adjunct college professor of criminal justice. Gregg graduated from the George Washington University in 1989 and the Hofstra University School of Law in 1993.
Project Manager, Drug Court Programs
Program Coordinator, Syracuse
Leah Russell is the coordinator of the Center's English-as-a-Second-Language program in Syracuse, New York, where she provides English language instruction to Spanish-speaking participants in the Syracuse Drug Treatment Court. Through a combination of classroom-style instruction and experiential learning, Leah helps her students improve their English language proficiency and develop the communication and literacy skills needed to successfully navigate the justice system and communicate independently with judges and court staff. As part of the ESL program, Leah also offers opportunities for community engagement, provides specialized case management services, and facilitates the development of basic vocational and computer skills. She will also be working to create a toolkit designed to assist other drug courts in New York State in developing effective ESL programs of their own. Leah received her Master's Degree in Latin American and Iberian Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara in 2010.
Associate Director of Court Operations, Harlem Community Justice Center
Sally Sanchez is the associate director of Court Operations at the Harlem Community Justice Center. Ms. Sanchez oversees and supervises the provision of services by case management staff who work with youth, adults, and families involved in the Justice Center’s programs and the Help Center whose services include legal and financial assistance, mediation, and specialized referrals. Ms. Sanchez joined the Center for Court Innovation team in 2005 and has held various positions since then, originally starting as a case manager for the Juvenile Intervention Court and later as parent coordinator for the new Custody and Visitation Court. Prior to coming to the Harlem Community Justice Center, Ms. Sanchez worked as a domestic violence advocate with Safe Horizons’ Domestic Violence Police Program. Ms. Sanchez received her Master’s of Science Degree in Nonprofit Management from Milano, The New School for Management and Urban Policy in 2011.
Peacemaking Program Director, Tribal Justice Exchange
Erika Sasson is the peacemaking program director for the Center of Court Innovation, responsible for the planning and implementation of the peacemaking program. Ms. Sasson also serves as senior associate on the Tribal Justice Exchange, providing planning and technical assistance to tribal communities across the United States. Originally from Montreal, Ms. Sasson received her Bachelor's degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Toronto and her civil and common law degrees from McGill University. Prior to joining the Center, she worked in Toronto as a federal prosecutor, where she handled drug, gun, and gang cases. Ms. Sasson completed fellowships on monitoring and preventing torture for the National Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, on criminal justice and civil rights for the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, and on the penal system of the indigenous Awá nation for an NGO in Ecuador. Ms. Sasson moved to New York in 2009 to attend New York University, where she received an L.L.M. degree in criminal justice.
Senior Writer, Technical Assistance
Sarah Schweig is a senior writer at the Center, where she writes and edits print and online publications, conducts research and interviews on justice reform topics, and works on the production of podcasts and videos. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Columbia University, where her thesis was the recipient of the David Craig Austin Memorial Award. Her writing has appeared in Bomb Magazine, Boston Review, Gulf Coast, Painted Bride Quarterly, Western Humanities Review, and Verse Daily, among others, and her chapbook, S, has been published by Dancing Girl Press.
Outreach Worker Supervisor, Crown Heights Mediation Center
Case Manager, Harlem Community Justice Center
Jean Semelfort is one of the Reentry Case Managers here at the Harlem Community Justice Center. He assists clients with stabilization needs through advocacy, discovering and referring clients to various resources that will help them with an array of issues from obtaining housing to substance abuse treatment. He provides individual counseling to clients on an as needed basis to support them through their reintegration process within the community. Jean Semelfort has provided individual and group counseling to individuals during their time of incarceration for close to 3 years as well as created groups to address specific issues of the population. Jean Semelfort received his B.A. in psychology from the Ramapo College of New Jersey and is near his completion of a M.A. in Counseling Psychology with a specialization in Forensic Mental Health Counseling from College of Saint Elizabeth.
Community Service Supervisor, Bronx Community Solutions
Jillian Shagan oversees the Center’s development department and is responsible for coordinating Center-wide fundraising efforts. Before leading the development team, she worked on planning and implementing new community justice projects, including the Juvenile Reentry Network and the Juvenile Accountability Court. Ms. Shagan also spent two years as the coordinator of the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center, a Center project that works to provide community residents with the skills and tools to settle their own conflicts and solve their own problems. She is a certified mediator, has given multiple trainings in conflict management to youth and adults, and continues to coordinate conflict resolution projects for the Center. Before joining the Center, Ms. Shagan directed the legal division of Lutheran Family and Community Services, an immigration and refugee resettlement agency, where she managed three church-based community immigration clinics and oversaw almost five hundred cases. She received her B.A. from Oberlin College and her law degree from the New York University School of Law.
Planner, Queens Engagement Strategies for Teens
Senior Planner, Centre for Justice Innovation
Anton Shelupanov has worked with criminal justice systems around the world since 1999. Over the course of his career he has managed a number of high profile prison reform projects in Europe and Asia, assisted the World Health Organization and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to establish global guidelines for better prison healthcare, and has worked with global funders including Soros and the Ford Foundation to improve the observance of human rights in a number of countries, including China and Russia. More recently he has worked at the Young Foundation in London to promote, support, and scale social innovation in the criminal justice setting. He has written widely on prison healthcare, de-penalisation, and social investment in criminal justice. He sees his work at the Centre for Justice Innovation as an opportunity to drive and support grass-roots, practitioner-led innovation in justice and related spheres. He holds a degree in History & Economics from Oxford University.
Alfred Siegel is the deputy director of the Center for Court Innovation. Mr. Siegel oversees the Center’s community-based and juvenile justice projects, as well as its planning and fund-raising activities. He has directed the design and implementation of many of the Center’s problem-solving court projects, including the Red Hook and Harlem Community Justice Centers, Bronx Community Solutions, the largest effort at “going to scale” with “problem-solving” by applying the approach to all misdemeanor cases in the Bronx Criminal Court Division, and alternatives to juvenile detention and placement in both Queens and Staten Island. Mr. Siegel directed the design and implementation of the Center’s reentry programming, including the Harlem Reentry Court, and the Upper Manhattan Reentry Task Force. He is currently directing the planning for the Center’s newest project, a community court to be located in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Mr. Siegel was a member of Governor David Paterson’s Task Force on Transforming New York State’s Juvenile Justice System, serving as the chair of the Task Force’s sub-committee on Reentry and Alternatives to Placement. Prior to joining the Center, Mr. Siegel was the deputy commissioner of New York City’s Probation Department. Mr. Siegel has also served as an Inspector General for the City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development and as an Assistant District Attorney in Bronx County. He is a graduate of New York University where he also received a Master’s degree, and he received his law degree from Rutgers University.
Community Initiatives Coordinator, Bronx Community Solutions
Christine Sisario is responsible for overseeing the development and roll-out of all technology projects at the Center. Her duties include coordinating application compliance with court operations and technology standards, testing, user training and support, and managing the programming and analyst staff responsible for developing applications and the Center’s various public websites. Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Sisario worked for the New York State Office of Court Administration on statewide network design and roll-out and, in the private sector, on worldwide technology project management assignments. Ms. Sisario received a B.A. from SUNY Geneseo, and a Master of Public Administration from Marist College. In addition she possesses a number of technical certifications and distinctions.
Kristen Slesar is a bilingual trauma-focused psychotherapist at the Child and Adolescent Witness Support Program and in private practice. She is also an adjunct faculty member of the Narrative Medicine Program at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University and a consultant and trainer for the Graduate School of Applied Psychology of New York University and the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault. Kristen previously coordinated the Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner and Volunteer Advocate Programs at a major private hospital in New York City and managed a small basic center/shelter for homeless LGBTQ teens and young adults in Harlem. Kristen has a Bachelor's degree in Latin American Studies from Stanford University, a Master's of Social Work from New York University and a Master's of Science in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University.
Deputy Project Director, NYC Community Cleanup
Benjamin Smith is the Deputy Project Director of NYC Community Cleanup. He joined the Center in 2003 as a development associate. From 2005-2009, he worked at Bronx Community Solutions, a project of the Center for Court Innovation which seeks to take community court principles to scale in a traditional centralized court, as a coordinator of operations and planning. He received his B.A. in history from Haverford College in 2001 and his M.P.A. from Baruch College in 2010.
Manager, System Administration and New Media
Gene Sorkin joined the Center in 1999 and is currently responsible for network administration and technology service management. He maintains the Center’s servers, workstations, audio visual equipment, phone/voicemail systems and Blackberrys. Working with Novell and Microsoft networks, he manages multiple site networking, terminal services, VPN, remote desktop and firewall products. Mr. Sorkin provides on-going research and support for cutting edge technology products and systems, and special projects such as a project-based Linux operating system. Mr. Sorkin also functions as the Center’s photographer for special events. His photos of the Mayor of New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg have appeared in the Benchmark Journal and some of his personal work has been published in the New York Times.
Coordinator, Red Hook Community Justice Center
Case Manager, Harlem Community Justice Center
Linda Steele-DeNardo first came to the Midtown Community Court in 2006 when she was referred to their Times Square Ink Job Readiness program. After graduating the program in June of 2006, Linda remained engaged with the Midtown Court as a volunteer. In 2008, Linda was hired as an executive assistant to the project director. In 2009, Linda joined the Workforce Development Department as the employment specialist, facilitating the Times Square Ink Job Readiness Program. Linda researched and wrote a curriculum which centered on life and job skills necessary for re-entering ex-offenders to the work force. Linda was trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy program, “Thinking for a Change,” and facilitated the evidence-based program for over a year and a half with the Times Square Ink/Dads United for Parenting program. Recently, Linda has undergone a transition to the Harlem Community Justice Center where she is a Reentry Case Manager working with parolees who are released to the East Harlem Community and co-facilitating “Thinking for a Change.” She recently passed the credentialing exam for Family Development Worker. Linda has received the prestigious Avon Award for Empowering Women and Changing Society and the Making a Difference Award issued by the commissioner of the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.
Lead Information Architect
Adam Sugerman is the Lead Information Architect for the Technology team at the Center. He is involved in several projects, working as a software architect, programmer, Linux system administrator and database developer. He builds, maintains, configures and upgrades a series of Java/Oracle-based web applications, which includes the Justice Center Application, the Domestic Violence Application, and an internal contacts management system for tracking grants and technical assistance activities. Additionally, he develops for the Center's web site. Prior to joining the Center, he worked on various projects within both the public and private sectors including work at AT&T Bell Laboratories and the Parsons Institute of Information Mapping at the New School. He earned his Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Rutgers College.
Coordinator of Court Operations, Bronx Community Solutions
Principal Research Associate
Rachel Swaner is a principal research associate focusing on youth programming at the Red Hook Community Justice Center. She is also working on a national portrait of the commercial sexual exploitation of children, and the evaluation of Defending Childhood, the U.S. Attorney General's multi-site initiative to address children's exposure to violence. Prior to joining the Center, she was a research associate at the Harlem Children’s Zone, where she evaluated social, educational, and health programs for children and youth. Ms. Swaner received her B.S. and Master’s of Public Administration from New York University, and her Ph.D. in Sociology from the CUNY Graduate Center.
Tech Support Analyst
Deputy Director, Technical Assistance
Brett Taylor is deputy director of National Technical Assistance. He has also been deputy director of the Center’s Tribal Justice Exchange program since its inception in 2008. Before joining the Center in 2007, Mr. Taylor served as the senior defense attorney for six years at the Red Hook Community Justice Center in Brooklyn, New York. Prior to that, he was a trial attorney for the Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn for over 10 years. Mr. Taylor has presented at numerous national conferences on community courts, tribal courts, community prosecution and other community justice topics. He was the attendance court hearing officer in P.S. 27, a Brooklyn elementary school from 2007-2010. He has also been a trainer for the Red Hook Youth Court since 1998 and has been organizing and coaching in the Red Hook Youth Baseball League since 2000. Mr. Taylor holds a B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh and a J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
Andree Tenemás-Chavez is the resource coordinator for Kings County Parent Support Program. This innovative program provides a new tool for courts to address issues of underemployment, education, and social issues that impact a non-custodial parent’s ability to pay child support. In this role, Ms. Tenemás-Chavez meets with non-custodial parents to conduct assessments, recommend service plans, and connect non-custodial parents to community based resources. She provides case supervision to facilitate child support compliance and provides the court with progress reports so that the court may take the appropriate action. Prior to joining the Center for Court Innovation Ms. Tenemás-Chavez worked as an educational specialist for The Children’s Aid Society/Brooklyn PINS Diversion Program where she conducted comprehensive psychosocial/educational assessments and adolescent counseling using principles of human development. She designed and facilitated bilingual educational workshops informing parents of promotion criteria, educational policies, regulations, and entitlements. Ms. Tenemás-Chavez received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Brooklyn College, City University of New York.
Rebecca Thomforde Hauser
Associate Director, Domestic Violence Programs
As the Associate Director of Domestic Violence Programs, Rebecca Thomforde Hauser assists jurisdictions nationally and in New York State to plan and implement Domestic Violence, Integrated Domestic Violence, Sex Offense and Youthful Offender Domestic Violence Courts. Before coming to the Center, she was a Victim Witness Advocate at the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in Boston, providing crisis intervention, case management, and court advocacy to domestic violence victims as well as other victims of violent crimes. While in Boston, she also worked at Safe Havens: The Interfaith Partnership Against Domestic Violence, creating curricula and coordinating a year-long training domestic violence education program for clergy and laity from Christian, Jewish, and Muslim congregations throughout the greater Boston area. She graduated from Earlham College, where she received a Fulbright Scholarship, and Boston University School of Theology.
Catherine “Anisah” Thompson
Reentry Aide, Harlem Community Justice Center
Catherine “Anisah” Thompson is a reentry aide with the Harlem Community Justice Center. She provides assistance to formerly incarcerated persons and their families who are engaged in programming at the Justice Center. Prior to assuming her current role in 2011, Anisah was an AmeriCorps national service member assigned to the Justice Center. Anisah previously worked as a peer advocate with the Correctional Association of New York, Fortune Society, and Goodwill Industries’ Project Caring Communities. In 2007, Anisah received the Coalition for Women Prisoners Advocate for Justice Award. She attended LaGuardia Community College and has a certificate in Office Technology.
Office Manager, Red Hook Community Justice Center
Clinical Director, Queens Engagement Strategies for Teens
Clinical Specialist, Newark Community Solutions
Tonya Tucker is a clinical specialist at Newark Community Solutions. In this capacity Ms. Tucker is responsible for providing a range of court-based clinical and social services to adult defendants coming through the Newark Municipal Court, including intake screening, clinical assessments, treatment recommendations, referrals to community-based providers, compliance monitoring, on-site psycho-educational groups, case management, crisis intervention, and counseling services. Before she joined Newark Community Solutions, Ms. Tucker had served in various capacities with several New Jersey agencies that serve incarcerated and reentering populations including The New Jersey Association on Correction’s FORGE Project and Essex County College’s W.I.S.E. Women’s Center. Ms. Tucker graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in Social Work.
Clinical Director, Midtown Community Court
Bo Twiggs is the program director for the workforce development and fatherhood. He joined the Midtown Community Court staff in 2009 as the Job Developer and Retention Specialist for the organization's Workforce Development department after completing his Master's of Social Work degree at Fordham's Graduate School of Social Service. Bo is committed to helping individuals overcome the barriers preventing them from meaningfully engaging with their families, the world of work, and society.
Enhancement coordinator, New York County's Intimate Partner Sexual Assault Court
Anna is the court enhancement coordinator for New York County's Intimate Partner Sexual Assault Court—a specialized criminal court hearing cases of sexual violence perpetrated by domestic and intimate partners. In this role, Anna provides motion practice and legal research support to the judge, manages the court's relationship with victim advocates and offender accountability programs, and coordinates stakeholder trainings. During law school, Anna worked for a small civil rights law firm representing individuals with disabilities and employees experiencing unlawful discrimination in the workplace. She was also a clinical student at the Missouri State Public Defender's Office where she represented low-income and indigent individuals accused of a crime. Anna earned her B.A. from George Washington University and her J.D. from Washington University Law School in St. Louis.
Crew Supervisor, Bronx Community Solutions
Manhattan Borough Manager, NYC Community Cleanup
Case Manager, Queens Engagement Strategies for Teens
Family Social Worker, Harlem Community Justice Center
Rachelle Veasley is the family social worker at the Harlem Community Justice Center. Ms. Veasley works as part of a clinical team to integrate the family members of parolees into the reentry process. Ms. Veasley has worked with the reentry population for over six years. Prior to joining the Center, she worked for the COMAlert program at the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office. Ms. Veasley received her B.A. in psychology and philosophy from Columbia University and her Masters of Social Work from Hunter College.
Project Coordinator, Attendance Court
Luisana Victorica is the program coordinator of the Attendance Achievement Program, which is focused on reducing chronic absenteeism in Harlem and the South Bronx. Previously, she served as a program manager for City Year, overseeing middle school and elementary school partnerships focused on improving student attendance, behavior, and course performance in English and math. In addition, Ms. Victorica worked as consultant for a non profit organization in Oakland, CA focused on diversity training, youth empowerment, and group facilitation skills. With a B.A. from the University of California Santa Cruz in Community Studies, Ms. Victorica is focused on youth development and is currently pursuing her Masters of Education in Counseling.
Senior Web Technology Associate
Alina Vogel is a senior web technology associate, she is in charge of the administration and development of the Center's websites; her responsibilities include project management, programming, design, and ongoing development. Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Vogel worked for a number of not-for-profit organizations, including the Ms. Foundation and the White House Project. She has also worked for the Environmental Protection Agency. In her native Romania, Ms. Vogel worked for 4 years as a reporter for a major Romanian newspaper and various magazines. She received her Master's in Journalism from Bucharest University.
Outreach Worker, Crown Heights Mediation Center
Peacemaking Program Associate, Peacemaking Program
Coleta Walker is the peacemaking program associate at the Red Hook Community Justice Center. In this capacity, Ms. Walker assists with implementation of the peacemaking program and helps oversee its day-to-day operations. Before joining the Center, Ms. Walker was an art therapist for five years at Rikers Island Correctional Facility. She also provided art therapy to at-risk youth ages 13-18 at the Brunswick Psychiatric Hospital, and has volunteered with victims of domestic violence, providing therapy to both women and children of abuse. She currently volunteers at the Brookville Center for Children Services, working with children from ages 3-5 with autism and special needs. Ms. Walker received her B.A. from the University of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and her Master’s degree from Long Island University Post.
Allyson Walker Franklin
Allyson is a program/research associate at the Center for Court Innovation. Prior to joining the Center for Court Innovation she worked on internal evaluation as a research associate at Inwood House and interned in the Prison Visiting Project at the Correctional Association of New York, looking at conditions and the treatment of inmates in New York State prisons. She holds an MSW from Columbia University, where she has been involved in research looking at arrest data in New York City as well as nationwide studies of the effects of paternal incarceration on parents’ housing stability. She also holds a BSW from Cedar Crest College.
Project Director, Harlem Community Justice Center
Christopher Watler is project director of the Harlem Community Justice Center, the community court in Harlem focusing on housing, youth crime, and offender reentry. As director, he oversees day-to-day operations and program development. Mr. Watler previously served as the Deputy Director of National Technical Assistance where he provided information & assistance on community justice initiatives to a broad audience, by leading site-visits to the Center’s demonstration projects, conducting training, providing hands-on assistance to jurisdictions developing community court and prosecution programs, assisting in the development of community justice curricula, and coordinating partnerships with model community justice programs. Mr. Walter has also served as part of the original planning teams for the Red Hook Community Justice Center and the Crown Height Community Mediation Center. Before coming to the Center, Mr. Walter worked as the Operations and Training Manager at the City Volunteer Corps and as a Community Center Director for the Union Settlement Association where he supervised programs involving youth and seniors. He holds a Masters of Public Administration from John Jay College of the City University of New York.
Deputy Director, Midtown Community Court
Elise White is deputy project director at the Midtown Community Court. In this capacity, Ms. White directs the court’s clinical operations, as well as its research and strategic planning projects. Prior to this position, Ms. White was the director of youth and community justice at the Red Hook Community Justice Center, where she oversaw court, clinical, and program operations for youth 21 and under, as well as planning projects and new initiatives for young people and the community at large. She holds a B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Case Manger, Queens Engagement Strategies for Teens
Robert V. Wolf
As director of communications, Robert V. Wolf's responsibilities include writing and editing monographs, articles, grant proposals, web content, and speeches as well as directing and producing videos and podcasts. Rob's work has appeared in anthologies and numerous publications, including the New York Times, The Justice System Journal, National Black Law Journal, Crime & Justice International, Judicature, The Judges' Journal, International Review of Law Computers & Technology, New York State Bar Association Journal, and Texas Journal of Corrections. Before joining the Center in 1999, he worked as a reporter, columnist, and editor for the Staten Island Advance. His book "The Jury System" was honored by the New York Public Library as one of its recommended "Books for the Teen Age." Born and raised in Illinois, he is a graduate of Columbia University.
Associate Director of Development and Government Relations
As the associate director of the development department, Phil Zielinski spearheads initiatives to improve and expand the Centers fundraising efforts, and works with elected officials at the city, state, and federal levels to strengthen and support the Center for Court Innovation. Previously, Phil worked in the Center's drug court department where he coordinated the New York State Drug Treatment Court Training series and provided technical assistance to statewide drug court systems across the country. Prior to joining the Center, Phil spent seven years as a Wildland Firefighter, suppressing forest fires throughout the Western United States and Canada. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Philosophy from Western Washington University and is a graduate of Coro Leadership New York XXII.