Staff: New York Office
Coordinator, Domestic Violence Programs
As coordinator for the Center’s domestic violence programs, Nida Abbasi provides expert assistance to courts and communities seeking to enhance their approach to domestic and sexual violence. Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Abbasi worked as a civil legal aid attorney in Illinois and represented domestic violence survivors on orders of protection and family law matters. She has also worked on policy reform and gender-based violence issues in Detroit, Chicago, and Cape Town. Ms. Abbasi holds a B.A from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.
Director of Research-Practice Strategies
Julian Adler is the director of Research-Practice Strategies at the Center for Court Innovation, which synergizes the agency’s three primary areas of work: research, operating programs, and expert assistance. Research-Practice Strategies seeks to improve justice system responses to both defendants and victims, to promote racial justice, and to expand the use of restorative practices. Mr. Adler directs the Center’s work on the MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge, an initiative to reduce over-incarceration by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails. He also leads the Center's work on the Price of Justice, an initiative of the Bureau of Justice Assistance at the U.S. Department of Justice to reduce the use of criminal fines and fees. Mr. Adler works on the development of holistic evidence-based and evidence-generating practices, including assessment instruments and short-term interventions. He previously served as the director of the Red Hook Community Justice Center in Brooklyn, New York, and he led the planning and implementation of Brooklyn Justice Initiatives. He also assisted with planning and start-up operations for Newark Community Solutions in New Jersey. A graduate of Wesleyan University, Fordham Law School, and Fordham Graduate School of Social Service, Mr. Adler is a New York State licensed clinical social worker and attorney.
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.
Samiha Amin Meah
Graphic Design Associate
Director of Technology & New Jersey Programs
Jethro Antoine is currently the director of technology and director of New Jersey programs at the Center for Court Innovation. He oversees the organization’s technology programs and program initiatives in New Jersey. Mr. Antoine was the founding project director of Newark Community Solutions, where he oversaw 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 for Court Innovation’s technology team where he helped stakeholders and partner agencies integrate process improvements and new technologies into their organizations. Before joining 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 Drug Court &Tribal Programs
As director of drug court programs, Aaron Arnold oversees the Center's national training and technical assistance for drug courts and assists New York’s Unified Court System in developing and training drug treatment courts across New York State. Mr. Arnold also directs 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.
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.
Product Manager, Technology & Innovation
Shubha Bala is the product manager for Technology and Innovation at the Center for Court Innovation. In this capacity, she is responsible for identifying, implementing, and evaluating technology that helps Center programs and their clients. Ms. Bala has a wide range of technology experience, in both established and start-up organizations. In addition to her work in non-profit technology, Ms. Bala has worked in program design and international development. She is an expert in a range of technologies used in the justice system, especially technologies that can reduce the use of jail. She holds a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from the University of Toronto and a masters in international affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
Planner, Research-Practice Strategies
Senior Director, Youth and Community Programs and Planning
Raye Barbieri currently leads all juvenile justice, youth justice, and community-based programming and operations at the Center, including two Youth Justice Centers, two Community Justice and Mediation Centers, as well as all Youth Justice Capacity Building and a range of youth diversion, restorative justice, and community-service learning initiatives at multiple community justice locations. Raye also oversees the Center’s gun violence prevention work and concurrently directs the Center’s Planning and Development Department, coordinating, fundraising, grant management, and planning efforts. Since joining the Center in 1995, Ms. Barbieri has served in multiple roles, spearheading wide-scale planning and implementation for drug courts, family treatment courts, community justice centers, and youth and juvenile programming. From 2012 to 2014, Ms. Barbieri served as New York City’s Deputy Commissioner for the Division of Youth and Family Justice at the Administration for Children’s Services where she oversaw all city-run juvenile detention, juvenile placement, and a continuum of community-based alternatives for justice-involved youth. Ms. Barbieri also spearheaded the implementation of “Close to Home”– a full-scale realignment of the juvenile justice system in New York City allowing youth requiting confinement on delinquency proceedings to avoid state-run correctional settings far from home, and instead receive wraparound, rehabilitative, and educational services in small evidence-based group homes located in the city, close to their homes, communities, and with the ongoing participation of their families. Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Barbieri served as a social worker with the Legal Aid Society. She holds a BSW from Wheelock College and an MSSW from Columbia University. She is an adjunct associate professor of social work at Columbia and is a member of the North American Council for Juvenile Justice at the International Juvenile Justice Observatory.
Director of Staff Training & Development
Kate Barrow is the director of staff training and development for the Center. She joined the Center in 2009, and has worked at Midtown Community Court, Bronx Family Court, and the Red Hook Community Justice Center, prior to her current role. Her work has focused on providing services to and developing programs for marginalized people, including homeless queer youth, trauma-survivors, trans* sex workers, young people with serious mental health issues, and systems-involved youth, families, and adults. Ms. Barrow is an adjunct professor at New York University, where she co-teaches courses on anti-oppressive social work practice, and social work in criminal justice settings. She completed her undergraduate studies at Naropa University in Contemplative Psychology and received her MSW from the Silver School of Social Work at NYU. She was named an emerging social work leader by the National Association of Social Workers New York City Chapter in 2014. She is a licensed clinical social worker.
Senior Associate, Drug Court Programs and Tribal Exchange
Precious Benally is a senior associate with the Center’s Department of Drug Court Programs and Tribal Justice Exchange. She provides training and technical assistance for drug treatment courts and tribal justice systems across the country. She also assists with the implementation and administration of the Center’s tribal justice demonstration projects, including the Red Hook Peacemaking Program, where she serves as a trained peacemaker. Precious holds a B.A. in Philosophy and Native American Studies from Dartmouth College. She obtained her law degree from Columbia Law School, where she focused on international indigenous law and policy, peacemaking and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. She was 2012-13 President of the National Native American Law Students Association. Precious is a citizen of the Diné (Navajo) Nation.
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 $40 million. He has accepted numerous national and local awards on behalf of the Center, including the Peter F. Drucker Award for Non-profit Innovation. He is the author/co-author of Reducing Crime, Reducing Incarceration: Essays on Criminal Justice Innovation (Quid Pro Books, 2014), 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 Wall Street Journal, The Judges Journal (guest editor), New Statesman, The Guardian, Huffington Post, National Law Journal, and Chronicle of Philanthropy. 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 (appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg), New York City Criminal Justice Agency, Wesleyan Center for Prison Education, Coro New York, Centre for Justice Innovation (chair), Sloan Public Service Awards, Poets House, Police Foundation, Mayor Bill de Blasio public safety transition team, and Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance transition team. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University and a former Coro Fellow in Public Affairs.
Tech Support Analyst
Associate Director of Finance & Human Resources
Director of Criminal Justice Operations
Courtney Bryan, as the director of Criminal Justice Operations, helps to plan, support, and oversee a number of criminal justice projects. A member of the Human Trafficking and the State Courts Collaborative team at the Center, she also provides training and technical assistance on court responses to human trafficking and prostitution, and has expertise in issues facing victims of gender-based violence charged with crimes. She has held several positions at the Center both before and after receiving her law degree, most recently as the project director of the Midtown Community Court. She has also provided technical assistance in the areas of community justice and domestic violence. 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.
Coordinator, Training and Technical Assistance
Becca Cadoff is a research associate at the Center for Court Innovation, focusing on onsite research at Bronx Community Solutions and the Midtown Community Court. Before joining the Center, Ms. Cadoff was a data and policy analyst at the New York Civil Liberties Union, where she managed a research project investigating bail-related pretrial detention in jails across New York State and contributed to litigation over the use of solitary confinement in New York’s prisons. Previously, Ms. Cadoff worked at the American Civil Liberties Union and the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. She holds a bachelor’s degree in social policy from Northwestern University and a master’s of public administration with a focus on policy analysis from New York University.
Kate Cassirer is the development associate. In this role, she works closely with other Center staff to carry out all fundraising activities, including drafting proposals, researching funding opportunities, managing grant-related reporting requirements, and building and maintaining relationships with project staff and potential funders. Previously, she helped support the Center's consulting services for jurisdictions around the nation and internationally, especially in the areas of community and problem-solving justice. Prior to joining the Center, she was the press intern in Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's New York City office, and personal intern to Judge Felicia Mennin at the Midtown Community Court. She is a member of the Junior Board of the Partnership for Afterschool Education, a nonprofit that supports NYC afterschool programs, and a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College.
Coordinator of Anti-Violence Programs
Tamara Chin Loy
Program Associate, Domestic Violence
Tamara Chin Loy is the program associate of the Domestic Violence Programs at the Center for Court Innovation. In this role, she supports the Domestic Violence Programs' work in providing expert assistance to courts across the country who seek to improve their response to domestic violence, sexual violence, and human trafficking. Prior to joining the Center, she worked as a consulting editor for The Representation Project, where she helped develop a series of curricula for students of all ages on gender socialization and development. She has also worked on several educational initiatives related to sexual health and sexual violence prevention at her alma mater, Stanford University. Tamara holds a B.A. in Human Biology with an Area of Concentration in Gender, Sexuality, and Society.
Associate Director of Research
Amanda B. Cissner is a principal research associate at the Center for Court Innovation. Her recent research includes studies on dating violence, domestic violence courts, drug courts, and gang activity among tribal youth. She is currently part of a team working on the National Institute of Justice’s evaluation of the Second Chance Act Adult Reentry Courts. Amanda received her M.A. in Sociology from New York University and her B.A. in Sociology from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Program Manager, Drug Court Programs
Deputy Director of Research-Practice Strategies
Katie Crank is the deputy director of Research-Practice Strategies at the Center for Court Innovation, which synergizes the agency’s three primary areas of work: research, operating programs, and expert assistance. Research-Practice Strategies seeks to improve justice system responses to both defendants and victims, to promote racial justice, and to expand the use of restorative practices. Prior to her work with the Center for Court Innovation, Ms. Crank worked and volunteered with domestic violence shelters and legal aid organizations in Ghana (West Africa), Indiana, Missouri, and Illinois. She previously provided trauma-informed therapy to children who are victims of violence through the Center for Court Innovation’s Child and Adolescent Witness Support Program, located in the Bronx. Ms. Crank is an admitted attorney in the State of New York, and is a Licensed Master Social Worker. She earned her B.A. from Indiana University-Bloomington, and received her J.D. and M.S.W. from Washington University in St. Louis.
Strategic Partnership Specialist
Sharese Crouther is the Strategic Partnership Specialist for the Center for Court Innovation. Sharese manages government lobbying efforts and strategic partnerships that can advance the Center's work. Previously, Sharese was the Coordinator of Community Initiatives and Special Projects at Brownsville Community Justice Center. Sharese joined the Center in 2009 at the Red Hook Community Justice Center as an AmeriCorps intern with the Youth Court program. In 2011, she helped to establish the Brownsville Youth Court and a range of other youth and community programs. Sharese also served on the Brownsville Action Team as part of the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Public Safety and on the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board for the Administration for Children’s Services. Sharese obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from John Jay College for Criminal Justice in 2011.
Program Associate, Poverty Justice Solutions
Michael Diller is a program associate with Poverty Justice Solutions. Previously, he interned at Legal Aid as an investigator, and at the Innocence Project on the policy team. Mr. Diller holds a B.A. in history from Vassar College.
Tech Support Analyst
Project Coordinator, Fair and Just Prosecution
Director, Mental Health Court and Alternative-to-Detention Programs
Carol Fisler is the director of Mental Health Court and Alternative-to-Detention Programs at the Center for Court Innovation. She oversees initiatives that address mental illness and the courts, which have included the planning and implementation of the Brooklyn Mental Health Court, the first specialized court for offenders with mental illness in New York, and training and technical assistance to more than 50 mental health court planning teams in New York State and around the country. She also directed the planning and implementation of a juvenile justice/mental health initiative for young people with mental health disorders charged with delinquency and oversees youth development and alternative-to-detention programs in Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island. Ms. Fisler speaks frequently at national and regional conferences and 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.
Adelle Fontanet is a senior associate with the Center for Court Innovation’s Tribal Justice Exchange, which provides technical assistance to tribes seeking to develop or enhance their justice systems. Currently, Adelle is working with several tribes to implement federal grants supporting court improvement projects. She also plays a central role in the Tribal Access to Justice and Innovation initiative, which is designed to promote the sharing of information about innovative tribal justice programs around the country. Additionally, Adelle was one of the lead planners for the Red Hook Peacemaking Program and continues to serve as a peacemaker for disputes referred from the court system and other partner agencies. Adelle previously completed a fellowship with the Center, during which she worked at Bronx Community Solutions providing alternatives to incarceration to low-level misdemeanor and adolescent defendants. Adelle has a J.D. from Columbia Law School and a dual bachelor’s degree in English and Anthropology from the University of Florida. She is a licensed attorney in the state of Florida.
Children and Families Specialist, Tribal Justice Exchange and Domestic Violence Programs
As Children and Families Specialist at the Center for Court Innovation, Kathryn Ford, LCSW provides training and technical assistance to state and tribal justice systems through both the Tribal Justice Exchange and the Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence, and Family Court Programs team. This includes assisting with community needs assessment, development and dissemination of best practices, authoring publications, and providing support around justice program development and management. Ms. Ford has published articles in Sexual Assault Report, Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly, and NCADV’s The Voice, authored several Center publications, and conducted training workshops for over 4,000 participants from multiple disciplines. Ms. Ford also provides trauma-focused therapy and court support services to children, teens, and their caregivers through the Center’s Child and Adolescent Witness Support Program, which is located 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.
Project Coordinator, Child Witness Materials
Program Associate, Treatment Court & Tribal Justice Programs
Alejandra Garcia is the program associate for the Treatment Court Programs and Tribal Justice Exchange, providing administrative support for their training and technical assistance work. Previously, she worked as the Program Associate and social work intern for the Center’s Training Institute where she co-created and implemented the strategic plan for its inaugural year, as well as collaborated with departments across the Center to develop original training content. She previously interned with the New York Legal Assistance Group’s Legal Health department, and has worked in a variety of roles in the area of youth development. She received her MSW from the Silver School of Social Work at NYU, and her B.A. in sociology and psychology from Columbia University.
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 principal investigator for evaluations of Newark Community Solutions, New Jersey’s first community court, and the Brooklyn Supervised Release Program, a bail reform pilot. She also conducts research for mental health courts throughout New York State, on domestic violence case processing in Washington State, and on a federally funded study examining school safety. Prior to working at the Center, Josy was a researcher at the Vera Institute of Justice. Prior to that, she was a middle school history teacher at the Horace Mann School. Josy has a B.A. from Princeton University, an M.P.H. from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ (now Rutgers School of Public Health), and a doctorate from the Harvard School of Public Health. Her dissertation examined risk factors of domestic violence perpetration and victimization in a national sample.
Assistant Office Manager
Lama Hassoun Ayoub
Principal Research Associate
Lama Hassoun Ayoub is a principal research associate at the Center for Court Innovation. She is currently project director for a comprehensive mixed-methods study of school safety, security, and discipline in New York City and a quasi-experimental study of neighborhood-oriented probation. She is also working on a national study of adult reentry courts including a process evaluation and both prospective and retrospective impact evaluations. She recently completed work on the cross-site evaluation of the Defending Childhood Demonstration Program, as well as two randomized controlled trials, one evaluating the Harlem Parole Reentry Court and the other evaluating a teen dating violence prevention program in schools in the Bronx. She has also completed research briefs for the New York City Mayor’s Office and works closely with practitioners in criminal justice, education, and public health. She received her graduate degree from Harvard University.
Associate Director, Training and Technical Assistance
Medina Henry is associate director of Training and Technical Assistance at the Center for Court Innovation. In this role, she provides consulting services to jurisdictions around the nation, including assistance provided under the Problem-Solving Justice Initiative of the Bureau of Justice Assistance at the U.S. Department of Justice. The Problem-Solving Justice Initiative seeks to promote the use of problem-solving practices in an effort to reduce crime and incarceration while strengthening public trust in justice. Medina also spearheads technical assistance for nine sites funded by the Minority Youth Violence Prevention initiative, a collaboration between the Office of Minority Health at the US Department of Health and Human Services and the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office at the US Department of Justice. She began her career at the Center shortly after earning her Master of Public Administration at Baruch College. Medina started as the program coordinator for the Center's AmeriCorps program and was promoted to planner for the Red Hook Community Justice Center. While in Red Hook she helped the Justice Center to plan and launch the Red Hook Responders, a social service program focused on addressing the community’s needs post-Hurricane Sandy; Red Hook CARES, which provides crisis support and case management to survivors of violence; and a host of other projects.
Intake Specialist, Project Reset Downtown
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.
Director, Poverty Justice Solutions
Ignacio Jaureguilorda is the director of Poverty Justice Solutions. Before joining the Center for Court Innovation, he worked as a public interest attorney for 14 years, providing free civil legal services to low-income New Yorkers. Most recently, Mr. Jaureguilorda served as director of legal services at the AIDS Center of Queens County, where he spearheaded the organization’s legal and public policy work and represented people with terminal and chronic illnesses. Previously, he served as an attorney with Housing Works, a non-profit organization that works on HIV/AIDS and homelessness issues, litigating cases involving income discrimination in real estate and discrimination against transgender individuals. Mr. Jaureguilorda has represented clients in a wide range of matters, including landlord-tenant disputes, public benefits, discrimination, immigration, and family law.
Lead Information Architect
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.
Social Worker, Project Reset
As senior planner, Jessica Kay, coordinates, manages and supports many operations within the Center for Court Innovation’s Youth and Community Justice Programs. Additionally, Ms. Kay manages special projects and initiatives including the case processing project within New York City. Ms. Kay previously served as the director of Brooklyn Justice Initiatives, which operates out of the centralized Brooklyn Criminal Court and seeks to forge a new set of responses to misdemeanor and non-violent felony offending by providing meaningful pre-trial supervised release and post-conviction sentencing options. She joined Brooklyn Justice Initiatives before its launch, playing an instrumental role in the planning and implementation of all daily operations. Under Ms. Kay’s leadership, Brooklyn Justice Initiatives grew significantly, implementing numerous groundbreaking programs, including the first misdemeanor supervised release program in New York City, which has been adopted citywide, and expanded to include both misdemeanor and non-violent offenses, as well as the first Brooklyn Young Adult Court, and a mental health diversion program. She joined the Center in 2008, first as a social worker at the Red Hook Community Justice Center in Brooklyn, NY, and then as the clinical director, overseeing all daily clinical operations at the nation’s first multi-jurisdictional community court. While in her role as clinical director, Ms. Kay planned and implemented the Adolescent Diversion Part in Brooklyn, NY, as well as many other special initiatives. Ms. Kay also served on Mayor de Blasio’s 2014 Behavior Health Task Force. Ms. Kay completed her undergraduate studies at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA, and received her MSW from the Silver School of Social Work at NYU.
Senior Research Associate
Ashmini Kerodal is a senior research associate at the Center for Court Innovation. Her current work includes the New York City Case Processing Project, a quantitative analysis of how court cases are processed in New York City. Ms. Kerodal is also serving as a researcher for the Center’s work on the MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge, an initiative to reduce over-incarceration by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails. Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Kerodal held research positions at the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision and the U.S. Extremist Crime Database at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She has published articles on sexual assault, extremist violence, and terrorism. She also guest edited a special issue of the International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice on the evolution of sex crimes and sex trafficking legislation. Ms. Kerodal received her B.Sc. in management studies and M.Sc. in criminology and criminal justice from the University of the West Indies and her Ph.D. in criminal justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
Director, Finance & Administration
Amy 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 $37 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 close to 400 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.
Anna Krist is a planner for the Operations team, where she contributes to the implementation of the Center's criminal justice programs. She is the lead on the Center's role in the Criminal Justice Reform Act. Prior to joining the Center, Anna worked as a legal assistant at the ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project and at Sanctuary for Families, providing legal support to survivors of domestic violence. Ms. Krist received her B.A. from Northwestern University.
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.
Emily Gold LaGratta
Deputy Director of Training and Technical Assistance; Director of Procedural Justice Initiatives
Emily is the deputy director of training and technical assistance and director of procedural justice initiatives. In this role, she provides consulting services to jurisdictions and develops practitioner resources on a variety of topics. She helps oversee the Problem-Solving Justice Initiative and its Community Court Grant Program in partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance at the U.S. Department of Justice. Emily also leads the Center's technical assistance efforts on the topic of procedural justice and has served as the project manager for the Improving Courtroom Communications project. She provides and coordinates training, site assessments, and site-based implementation efforts for jurisdictions interested in improving litigant perceptions of fairness. Before joining the technical assistance team, she was on the planning team for several New York-based initiatives, including the Brownsville Community Justice Center and Brooklyn Justice Initiatives. She is a graduate of Pomona College and the University of Wisconsin Law School.
Director, Training and Technical Assistance
Julius Lang is the director of Training and 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 Problem-Solving Justice Initiative, an effort supported by the Bureau of Justice Assistance at the U.S. Department of Justice to promote the wider use of problem-solving practices to reduce crime and incarceration while strengthening public trust in justice. Under this initiative, 10 jurisdictions are receiving funding and technical assistance to launch or enhance community courts. In addition, he oversees the Center's role as site coordinator and technical assistance provider for the Minority Youth Violence Prevention initiative, a joint effort of the U.S. Department of Justice's Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Minority Heath. 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.
Director, Research Implementation
Lenore Lebron is the associate director of Research for the Center’s demonstration projects. Ms. Lebron 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. Lebron 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. Lebron 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. Lebron holds a B.S. and a Master’s in Criminal Justice from Arizona State University.
Senior Program Associate Training and Technical Assistance
Michela Lowry is the senior associate with the Training and Technical Assistance team at the Center for Court Innovation. In this capacity, she provides consulting services to jurisdictions around the country on problem-solving justice efforts, including assistance provided under the Problem-Solving Justice Initiative of the Bureau of Justice Assistance at the U.S. Department of Justice. Prior to joining the Center, Michela worked to design and implement a reentry curriculum for parolees and their families in Los Angeles with the ACLU of Southern California's Jails Project, served as the assistant to the Peacekeeping Adviser at the Mission of Rwanda to the United Nations, and taught as a corps member with Teach For America. She graduated from Occidental College and received her Master's in Education from the Relay Graduate School of Education.
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 Construction, 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.
Director, National Anti-Trafficking Strategies
Danielle Malangone is the Director of National Anti-Trafficking Strategies at the Center for Court Innovation providing assistance to jurisdictions across the country in planning, implementing, and strengthening their responses to human trafficking. Prior to this role, she oversaw a wide range of consulting projects at the Center on topics such as problem-solving court coordination, evidence-based practice, risk-need assessments, prosecutor-led diversion, and project planning and evaluation. She also served as the deputy director of the Midtown Community Court, directing its clinical and workforce development operations, as well as its research and planning projects. While there, she oversaw the design and implementation of the court’s updated responses to prostitution and human trafficking. Mrs. Malangone was an Adjunct Professor at New School University where she developed a class on domestic sex trafficking. 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 a graduate of Coro Leadership New York XVIII. She holds a B.A. from Oswego State University and an M.A. in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
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.
Director of Gender and Justice Initiatives
Ms. Mazur provides technical assistance and strategic planning advice to courts and communities that 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.
Associate Director, Research-Practice Strategies
Yolaine Menyard is the associate director of Research-Practice Strategies at the Center for Court Innovation, which synergizes the agency’s three primary areas of work: research, operating programs, and expert assistance. Research-Practice Strategies seeks to improve justice system responses to both defendants and victims, to promote racial justice, and to expand the use of restorative practices. Ms. Menyard works on the development of holistic evidence-informed and evidence-generating practices, including assessment instruments and short-term interventions. Prior to joining Research-Practice Strategies, Ms. Menyard was responsible for managing all aspects of clinical operations for the Alternatives to Incarceration Department at the Red Hook Community Justice Center. She joined the Center in 2011, and was a leader in developing trauma-informed and racial and culturally responsive programming for justice-involved individuals. Her prior work has focused on providing services to young people with serious mental health issues, adults transitioning from jail and prison, and undocumented survivors of domestic violence. Ms. Menyard is a licensed master social worker in the State of New York. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Notre Dame, and received her MSW from the University of Chicago.
Managing Director of Development
Associate Director, Treatment Court Programs
Karen Otis, associate director with the Center’s department of treatment court programs, delivers expert assistance to state and local jurisdictions in the areas of adult drug courts, family drug courts, veterans treatment courts, mental health courts, and more. Karen also designs and delivers remote trainings via webinar and videoconference, and she develops content for the National Drug Court Online Learning System. Karen is a licensed mental health counselor with more than a decade of experience in family treatment court. She holds a master's degree in forensic psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a master’s degree in mental health counseling from the City College of New York.
Associate Director of Research
Sarah Picard Fritsche is Associate Director of Research and Deputy Director of Research-Practice Strategies at the Center for Court Innovation. She currently co-leads the Center’s research and technical assistance effort to reduce the use of jail incarceration nationally, funded by the MacArthur Foundation. She is also the principal investigator on several federally funded studies, including a quasi-experimental evaluation of “neighborhood-oriented” probation funded by the National Institute for Justice, and several studies examining the use of actuarial risk assessment in justice system settings. Recently, she was the lead researcher evaluating an adaptation of the Cure Violence model in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. She is currently collaborating with other Center research staff to assess the Brownsville Anti-violence Project. Ms. Fritsche provides technical assistance nationally on the use of evidence-based assessments in courts and place-based gun violence prevention strategies. Since 2011, she is co-chair of the Center's institutional review board. Ms. Fritsche is pursuing a doctorate in criminal justice at the CUNY Graduate 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).
Senior Research Associate
Cassandra Ramdath is a senior research associate at the Center for Court Innovation. She is the Project Director of a New York State-funded evaluation of statewide violence prevention programs adapted from the Cure Violence model, and of an NIJ-funded quasi-experimental mixed methods study of prosecutor led diversion for misdemeanants in Cook County, Illinois. She is also the research coordinator for an NIJ-funded quasi-experimental study of neighborhood oriented probation models in New York City. Cassandra is currently a Ph.D candidate of Criminal Justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. At John Jay’s Research and Evaluation Center she was recently a research associate and graduate fellow working on various juvenile justice projects. Her dissertation, Traumatic Brain Injury among Adolescent inmates in Rikers Island, NYC: A Mixed- Methods Study is a collaborative effort with DOHMH, some of which appears in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. Cassandra brings experience in mixed methods research design with a particular focus on developing and implementing surveys, focus groups and interviews with adolescent inmate populations. Cassandra received her B.Soc.Sc with honors in Criminology and Psychology from the University of Ottawa, Canada where she was formerly a probation and parole officer. Prior to that she received her M.A. of Criminology from Bond University, Australia where she was a research assistant examining wrongful convictions and miscarriages of justice in the Queensland Supreme Court. Cassandra’s research interests are in corrections, correctional health, neuroscience and behavior, and the intersect between public health and criminal justice.
Deputy Director of Finance & Administration
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.
Director of Operations, Treatment Court Programs
As the director of operations, Treatment 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 Manager, Technology
Norman Reiss works with the Center for Court Innovation's programming staff to support, enhance, and train staff in the Justice Center Application (JCA), used by multiple operating programs. Mr. Reiss is also managing an internal project to develop a custom case management application which will replace JCA. He also administers Salesforce systems used by Development/Fiscal, Brooklyn Justice Initiatives and soon to be built for Strong Starts. He has also managed database development projects at the Harlem Community Justice Center and the Midtown Community Court. Since joining the nonprofit sector in 2000, he has worked for multiple organizations in project management and online technology/communication roles. Mr. Reiss is a regular presenter at the annual Nonprofit Technology Conference and participated in the selection committee for the 2014 and 2015 Nonprofit Excellence Awards. He 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).
Associate Director, Training and Technical Assistance
Natalie Reyes is associate director of Training and Technical Assistance at the Center for Court Innovation. In this role, she provides consulting services to jurisdictions domestically and internationally, including assistance provided under the Problem-Solving Justice Initiative, a project supported by the Bureau of Justice Assistance at the U.S. Department of Justice to promote the wider use of problem-solving practices in an effort to reduce crime and incarceration while strengthening public trust in justice. Under this initiative, 10 jurisdictions are receiving funding and technical assistance to launch or enhance community courts. Ms. Reyes also works on the High Performance Prosecution technical assistance initiative, in collaboration with the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Reyes spent four years at the Organization of American States’ Justice Studies Center of the Americas in Santiago, Chile, where she provided technical assistance on legal and public policy reforms for criminal and civil justice systems in Latin America. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Fordham University and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.
Program Coordinator, Youth Justice Board
Coordinator, Criminal Court Operations
Orleny Rojas is a coordinator of Criminal Court Operations 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.
Administrative Assistant, Technical Assistance
Director of Restorative Practices
Erika Sasson is the director of restorative practices at the Center of Court Innovation, overseeing the Center’s restorative practice initiatives across a broad range of demonstration projects. Ms. Sasson is a member of the Research-Practice Strategies department, which synergizes the agency’s three primary areas of work: research, operating programs, and expert assistance. Research-Practice Strategies seeks to improve justice system responses to both defendants and victims, to promote racial justice, and to expand the use of restorative practices. Ms. Sasson is also a site coordinator for the Center’s work on the MacArthur Safety and Justice Challenge. In this capacity, she provides technical assistance to justice system and community stakeholders addressing the overuse and misuse of jail, with an emphasis on community engagement. Ms. Sasson previously oversaw the planning and implementation of the Red Hook peacemaking program, the first program of its kind in a state court system, in addition to serving on the Center’s Tribal Justice Exchange, providing planning and technical assistance to tribal communities across the United States. Originally from Montreal, Canada, 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 a non-profit in Ecuador. Ms. Sasson moved to New York in 2009 to attend New York University School of Law, where she received an L.L.M. in criminal justice.
Associate Director of Finance
Deputy Director, Treatment Court Programs
Annie Schachar serves as the deputy director, Treatment Court Programs at the Center for Court Innovation. In this role, Ms. Schachar advises attorneys, judges, and other drug court practitioners on legal issues relevant to drug courts. Previously, Ms. Schachar served as director of the Center’s Kings County Court-Based Intervention and Resource Team, an alternative-to-incarceration program in Brooklyn for offenders with mental health disorders. Before joining the Center, Ms. Schachar practiced law as a defense attorney with Legal Aid Ontario in Toronto, where she represented clients in drug treatment court, mental health court, and aboriginal court. Prior to this, she was an Assistant Crown Attorney for the Ministry of the Attorney General, prosecuting defendants in both the appeals office and the trial office. Ms. Schachar is a graduate of the University of Toronto’s criminology department and Osgoode Hall Law School at York University.
Director of Community Health and Safety Strategies
Jillian Shagan is the director of community health and safety strategies for the Center for Court Innovation. She has worked on a variety of court and community-based initiatives citywide, including most recently a pre-trial supervised release program for misdemeanor offenders in Brooklyn. She also led the planning team for Save Our Streets (SOS) South Bronx and oversees the Center’s gun violence prevention efforts. She supervises several Center projects, including the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center (which she previously directed) and the Harlem Community Justice Center. Ms. Shagan also oversees the Center’s development department and is responsible for coordinating all Center-wide fundraising and grants management efforts. 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. She received her B.A. from Oberlin College and her law degree from the New York University School of Law.
Director of Strategic Partnerships
Dipal Shah is director of strategic partnerships at the Center for Court Innovation. In this role Mr. Shah oversees the Center’s efforts in government relations, lobbying, new partner development and aspects of public relations. Mr. Shah previously served as Midtown Community Court’s director, where he led court based staff in providing meaningful alternatives to incarceration to tens of thousands of people every year in the Midtown Manhattan region. Before joining the Center, Mr. Shah was director of policy development and programming at the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, where he worked with legal scholars, policy leaders, and all branches of government on advancing legal policy. An admitted attorney, Mr. Shah also practiced law at several nationally recognized law firms. Mr. Shah is a cum laude graduate of the American University, Washington College of Law, where we was editor of the Administrative Law Review. He is a graduate, with honors, of Northwestern University. Mr. Shah has spoken on criminal justice, access to justice, diversity, LGBT, labor, and employment issues. He was a participant in Coro Leadership NY XXVII and was selected as one of the “Best 40 Lawyers under 40” by the National LGBT Bar Association in 2013. His writing has appeared in the Advocate online and in various journals.
Associate Director of Development
Senior Program Associate
Jenna Smith is the senior program associate of the Domestic Violence Programs, which provide expert assistance to courts across the country that seek to improve their response to domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Smith worked for Hour Children, a nonprofit that runs parenting programs for incarcerated mothers at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in New York. Trained in sexual assault crisis counseling, she has extensive experience working with trauma survivors. Ms. Smith holds a B.A. in human rights studies and English literature from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. She is professionally proficient in Spanish.
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.
Deputy Director, Research
Rachel Swaner is the deputy director, Research focusing on justice issues related to children and youth. She is currently the project director of the multi-site evaluation of the Defending Childhood Initiative, the U.S. Attorney General's multi-site initiative to address children's exposure to violence. She is also the research coordinator for a national portrait study of the commercial sexual exploitation of children. Prior to joining the Center, she was a researcher at the Harlem Children’s Zone, where she evaluated social, educational, and health programs for children and youth. Ms. Swaner received her Bachelor of Science and Masters of Public Administration from New York University, and her Ph.D. in Sociology from the CUNY Graduate Center. She teaches at NYU's Wagner School of Public Service.
Senior Research Associate
Jennifer A. Tallon is a senior research associate at the Center for Court Innovation. Ms. Tallon has been the lead researcher on several policing projects including a national study of police-led diversion programs, a nine-site study of community-based strategies to reduce minority youth violence, and a BJA-funded evaluation of the Group Violence Intervention model implemented by the Newburgh Police Department. She is the co-lead of an NIC-funded project to develop and pilot-test a set of RNR-based assessment tools for veterans treatment courts. Ms. Tallon has also completed a BJA-funded case study of the Intelligence-Driven Prosecution Model in the New York District Attorney’s Office. Additionally, she serves as one of the researchers for the Center’s work on the MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge. Prior to joining the Center, she was an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Dowling College. Ms. Tallon received a B.A. and M.A. in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, and she holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from The Graduate Center, CUNY.
System Administrator, Department of Technology
Director of Operations, Tribal Justice Exchange; Senior Advisor, Problem-Solving Justice
Brett Taylor is director of operations for the Center’s Tribal Justice Exchange program. He formerly was the Center’s deputy director of national technical assistance. 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 worked with numerous tribes on creating justice system strategic plans and needs assessments. He has presented at numerous national conferences on tribal courts, community 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 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.
Associate Director of Development
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.
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.
Youth Justice Board Program Associate
Mary Walle is the Youth Justice Board program associate at the Center for Court Innovation. She previously served as a public ally for the Youth Justice Board through AmeriCorps. Before joining the Center, Ms. Walle worked at the New York Immigration Coalition, where she expanded outreach efforts to undocumented New Yorkers through a citywide anti-poverty and education initiative focused on reaching potential Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients. Mary is passionate about designing and facilitating creative processes that engage people, especially youth, in meaningful social change. Her dedication and spirit is rooted in her work with the Prison Creative Arts Project, where she collaboratively created original theater with adults and young men in the justice system. Mary earned her B.A. in history with a minor in community action and social change from the University of Michigan.
Matthew Watkins is the writer in the Communications department, creating and editing everything from full-length reports to tweets. Previously, Matthew taught European history at New York University and Adelphi University and spent six years as a radio reporter, editor, and documentary producer at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Montreal, Toronto, and Iqaluit, Nunavut. Matthew has a B.A. from McGill University in Philosophy and History and a Ph.D. in History from NYU.
Principal Research Associate
Elise White is a principal research associate focusing on justice issues related to youth, human trafficking, and alternatives to incarceration. She is currently the principal investigator on the second phase of the Misdemeanor Assessment Project, a federally-funded, multi-site, multi-phase study of risks, needs, and targeted interventions across misdemeanor populations. She is also co-principal investigator on a federally-funded study of the characteristics, needs, and trafficking rates of people who exchange sex for money in New York City, and a senior researcher on a comprehensive study examining the impacts of school safety and positive climate and culture in New York City public schools on a range of school safety outcomes. Prior to this position, she served as deputy director at the Midtown Community Court, where she directed the court’s clinical operations, as well as its research and strategic planning projects; and as 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, 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. She teaches at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service.
Robert V. Wolf
Robert V. Wolf's responsibilities include writing and editing monographs, articles, 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 and, prior to that, as a reporter for the East Hampton Star. His book "The Jury System" was honored by the New York Public Library as one of its recommended "Books for the Teen Age," and his work for the Center has received awards from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. In his spare time, Rob hosts the New Books in Science Fiction podcast on the New Books Network. Born and raised in Illinois, he received his B.A. in English from Columbia University.
Kate Wurmfeld, Esq., Senior Staff Attorney of Domestic Violence Programs, provides technical assistance and strategic planning advice to courts wishing to improve their response to domestic violence. Kate has extensive experience providing direct legal services on cases involving domestic violence, most recently as a supervising attorney for Matrimonial and Family Law at New York Legal Assistance Group, where she handled divorce, custody, orders of protection and support matters in Supreme and Family Court throughout NYC. In addition to providing direct legal services, Kate also provided supervision to staff attorneys, law students and volunteers, taught clinical seminars and provided training for outside organizations, community groups and law firms. Kate has also served as Co-chair for the Lawyers Committee Against Domestic Violence, where she was active in planning the annual Fordham Forum on Domestic Violence, as well as other professional trainings throughout the year, and promoting legislative and policy initiatives impacting survivors of domestic violence. Kate graduated from Seton Hall Law School and Oberlin College.