I am an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Sciences at Western Oregon University, and have happily been at WOU since June 2019.
I am also Research Director of the Western Restorative Justice and Reentry Center (WRJRC) where we conduct and support research on restorative justice, rehabilitation in corrections, and reentry supports and services that help reduce recidivism for both adults and juveniles in the system. Part of WRJRC is the Journal of Restoration, Rehabilitation, and Reentry (R3) for which I am the Editor-in-chief.
My research focuses on interventions within and legislation concerning juvenile and adult corrections that affect reentry and recidivism, as well as addressing social hostility toward those with justice system involvement. It is essential to me to prioritize the voice of those with lived experience in the criminal and juvenile justice systems and to learn directly from them how to address reform.
My earlier experiences as a high school special education teacher and consultant, as well as a foster parent, have contributed to my research and activism regarding disproportionate representations of vulnerable and marginalized populations in the criminal and juvenile justice systems. These experiences are the foundation for everything I do now.
My work on affecting the outcomes of youth and adults in these systems has led to participation in numerous academic, behavioral, and reintegration programs in both juvenile and adult correctional facilities with a priority on emphasizing the voices of those seldom heard. I have presented on behalf of my research participants and fellow change agents at multiple national and regional criminal justice conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals across various related fields of study.