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  • First Friday Forum: What's Happening in Pretrial Justice

    Contains 1 Component(s) Includes a Live Web Event on 12/06/2019 at 12:00 PM (EST)

    Join PJI's Leadership Team as they review the major activities in pretrial justice from the past year and what they expect to see as we enter 2020.

    Join PJI's Leadership Team as they review the major activities in pretrial justice from the past year and what they expect to see as we enter 2020.

    Cherise Fanno Burdeen

    CEO

    Cherise Fanno Burdeen, PJI’s CEO, has spent more than 20 years working to improve public safety policies and practices across the country. After earning a bachelor’s in public administration from Miami University (Ohio) and a master’s in criminal justice from Indiana University, she began her career with the DOJ's National Institute of Justice. After fieldwork that included time with the Safer Foundation in Chicago and post-9/11 federal service with the Department of Homeland Security, Cherise joined PJI.

    Since 2006, Cherise has developed innovative strategies to raise awareness of pretrial justice issues, amassed a broad constituency of criminal justice stakeholder groups, provided technical assistance and training on policy reforms, and engaged in communications and media efforts. She has extensive experience with strategic planning, initiative management, and change efforts across the criminal justice system. She serves as an issue expert for legal and correctional professionals, national and community advocates, the media, influencers, and artists.

    Meghan Guevara (Moderator)

    Vice President, Innovation & Impact

    As the vice president of innovation and impact, Meghan Guevara leads PJI’s learning communities and technical assistance efforts. She has spent nearly 20 years providing training and professional development to criminal justice and human services professionals who seek to advance their work using the latest research and to improve outcomes for individuals and communities. For the past decade, Meghan has focused on local- and state-level systems change and has also worked extensively at the county level to build collaborative, data-driven justice systems. Meghan began her career as a health educator working with youth in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. She received a Master of Public Health degree in social and behavioral sciences from Boston University.

  • Race and Pretrial Detention: Why Data Matters

    Contains 1 Component(s) Recorded On: 11/01/2019

    Join us for a conversation with Wendy Sawyer of the Prison Policy Initiative, who will talk about their new issue brief, How race impacts who is detained pretrial, and PPI's mission of using data to spark advocacy campaigns. We'll also be joined by Douglas Smith from the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition who will share his on-the-ground experience using data as a tool for decarceration in Texas.

    Join us for a conversation with Wendy Sawyer of the Prison Policy Initiative, who will talk about their new issue brief, How race impacts who is detained pretrial, and PPI's mission of using data to spark advocacy campaigns.  We'll also be joined by Douglas Smith from the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition who will share his on-the-ground experience using data as a tool for decarceration in Texas.

    Tenille Patterson

    Vice President, Mission Support Services

    As the vice president of mission support services, Tenille Patterson is responsible for and oversees the activities and processes that provide core mission support to PJI. Tenille's accounting career began 16 years ago when she worked as an auditor for the global professional services firm PwC. To align her professional aspirations with her spirit of advocacy and social justice, Tenille transitioned into the nonprofit field, working with and for organizations serving the most underserved and disenfranchised.

    In her most recent nonprofit leadership experience, Tenille served as chief operating officer of the Center for Urban Families, a human services organization dedicated to supporting fathers and families suffering from the effects of systemic and institutional inequality. Tenille has a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Morgan State University and is a certified public accountant.

    Tenille Patterson

    Vice President, Mission Support Services

    As the vice president of mission support services, Tenille Patterson is responsible for and oversees the activities and processes that provide core mission support to PJI. Tenille's accounting career began 16 years ago when she worked as an auditor for the global professional services firm PwC. To align her professional aspirations with her spirit of advocacy and social justice, Tenille transitioned into the nonprofit field, working with and for organizations serving the most underserved and disenfranchised.

    In her most recent nonprofit leadership experience, Tenille served as chief operating officer of the Center for Urban Families, a human services organization dedicated to supporting fathers and families suffering from the effects of systemic and institutional inequality. Tenille has a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Morgan State University and is a certified public accountant.

    Wendy Sawyer

    Research Director

    Wendy Sawyer is the Research Director at the Prison Policy Initiative. Wendy earned a Master’s in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University and a Bachelor’s in Afro-American Studies from the University of Massachusetts. Before joining the Prison Policy Initiative, she worked as an investigator for the Civilian Complaint Review Board in New York City and as a research associate for Northeastern's Institute on Race and Justice.

    Most recently, Wendy co-authored Arrest, Release, Repeat: How police and jails are misused to respond to social problems with Alexi Jones. Their report offers the first national estimates of how many individuals go to county jails each year, and how many are jailed repeatedly; it also finds troubling demographic and health disparities between people who were recently jailed and those who were not. Other recent publications include Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie and States of Incarceration: The Global Context, both co-authored with Peter Wagner.

    Previously, Wendy authored Youth Confinement: The Whole Pie, a report illustrating where, why, and under what conditions justice-involved youth are held by the state, which finds that many of the problems of the criminal justice system are mirrored in the juvenile system. Also in 2018, she wrote The Gender Divide: Tracking women's state prison growth, finding that in many states, treating women's incarceration as an afterthought has held back efforts to decarcerate. Her 2016 report, Punishing Poverty: The high cost of probation fees in Massachusetts, shows that probation fees hit poor communities hardest. In addition to these reports, Wendy conducted the Prison Policy Initiative's frequently-cited 2017 50-state surveys of wages for prison labor and medical copays charged to incarcerated people, and she frequently contributes shorter briefings on recent data releases, academic research, women's incarceration, pretrial detention, probation, and more.

    DOUGLAS SMITH

    Senior Policy Analyst

    Doug Smith is Senior Policy Analyst for the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition. Since joining TCJC in 2015, he has developed policies to reduce Texas’ over-reliance on incarceration and improve conditions of confinement and reentry for people leaving prison. He previously served as a Policy Analyst in the Texas House of Representatives’ Committee on Human Services, as well as a Legislative Director for a member of the House. Doug’s passion for criminal justice reform stems from his own experience in the criminal justice system, where he served six years in prison for crimes committed as a direct outcome of addiction. In addition to his state-level advocacy work with TCJC, Doug is a member of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Reentry Task Force, and he serves as Treasurer on the Board of Directors for the Austin Sobriety Center. He is also an Assistant Adjunct Professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work, teaching Advanced Policy. Doug graduated magna cum laude from St. Edward’s University in 1994 and earned his M.S.S.W. from the University of Texas at Austin in 2000.

  • The Cost of Liberty: Bail in Juvenile Court

    Contains 1 Component(s) Recorded On: 09/10/2019

    Nineteen states and territories allow money bail in the juvenile system. This workshop will help educate participants on the findings presented in a report from the National Juvenile Defender Center - A Right to Liberty: Reforming Juvenile Money Bail. The workshop will also cover risks associated with incarceration and the consequences of money bail.


    Nineteen states and territories allow money bail in the juvenile system. This workshop will help educate participants on the findings presented in a report from the National Juvenile Defender Center - A Right to Liberty: Reforming Juvenile Money Bail. The workshop will also cover risks associated with incarceration and the consequences of money bail.

    Mary Ann Scali

    Executive Director, National Juvenile Defender Center

    Mary Ann has been at NJDC since 2000 and has worked on juvenile indigent defense issues for over 15 years. As executive director, she oversees the delivery of juvenile defense training, facilitates and writes state assessments of juvenile indigent defense services, coordinates and participates in numerous cross-disciplinary reform efforts, and manages a variety of projects with NJDC staff. 

    Prior to working at NJDC, Mary Ann was a social worker and an attorney in the juvenile division of the Office of the Public Defender in Baltimore, Maryland. After completing her undergraduate degree at the College of the Holy Cross, she spent two years teaching at a boys’ high school in Pohnpei, Micronesia. Mary Ann also worked for a year at the Jesuit Refugee Service in Rome, Italy, and spent a year teaching Baltimore City boys at the Baraka School in Nanyuki, Kenya. 

    Mary Ann earned her J.D. and M.S.W. from Loyola University Chicago where she was a Civitas ChildLaw Scholar and co-founder of the Public Interest Law Reporter.

    Aneesa Khan

    Gault Fellow

    Aneesa is the 2017-2019 Gault Fellow at NJDC, where she works on legal and policy initiatives related to juvenile defense, including reducing and eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile legal system. Aneesa is currently leading NJDC’s Juvenile Cash Bail Reform efforts. During law school, Aneesa focused on indigent defense. She represented adults in District Court at the Maryland Office of the Public Defender through the University of Baltimore School of Law’s Criminal Practice Clinic, as well as in habeas and bail review hearings in Circuit Court through the Pretrial Justice Clinic. Additionally, she helped represent criminal defendants at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, and capital defendants at the Northern Virginia Capital Defender Office.

    Aneesa served as Volunteer Coordinator for the Homeless Persons Representation Project, assisting at criminal expungement clinics in Baltimore and Silver Spring, MD,  and was the 2016 recipient of their Outstanding Student Volunteer Award. Aneesa also served as President of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy and the National Lawyers Guild student chapters, and was the 2017 recipient of the Guild’s C.B. King Award, named after a prominent civil rights activist, due to her community lawyering experience. Prior to law school, Aneesa worked as a paralegal in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division where she assisted on police misconduct cases.

    Aneesa graduated from American University, and received her J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law, where she received a Dean’s Citation for Outstanding Service.

    Meghan Guevara

    Vice President, Innovation & Impact

    As the vice president of innovation and impact, Meghan Guevara leads PJI’s learning communities and technical assistance efforts. She has spent nearly 20 years providing training and professional development to criminal justice and human services professionals who seek to advance their work using the latest research and to improve outcomes for individuals and communities. For the past decade, Meghan has focused on local- and state-level systems change and has also worked extensively at the county level to build collaborative, data-driven justice systems. Meghan began her career as a health educator working with youth in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. She received a Master of Public Health degree in social and behavioral sciences from Boston University.

  • Survey says what?!?! Results from the Scan of Pretrial Practices

    Contains 1 Component(s) Recorded On: 09/06/2019

    Join us for the September First Friday Forum to find out how this 3rd generation of bail reform is taking root in local communities. The Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI) has conducted a national scan of practices approximately every ten years since 1979. The 2019 Scan of Pretrial Practices surveyed counties – from large and urban to small and rural – about their pretrial justice practices. You’ll be simultaneously encouraged and concerned as we share highlights of this soon-to-be-released report.

    Join us for the September First Friday Forum to find out how this 3rd generation of bail reform is taking root in local communities.  The Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI) has conducted a national scan of practices approximately every ten years since 1979. The 2019 Scan of Pretrial Practices surveyed counties – from large and urban to small and rural – about their pretrial justice practices. You’ll be simultaneously encouraged and concerned as we share highlights of this soon-to-be-released report. 

    Sue Ferrere (Moderator)

    Director of Impact

    Contact: sue@pretrial.org

    Sue Ferrere lives and works in Evergreen, Colo. As the technical assistance manager, Sue helps communities improve the outcomes and fairness of their pretrial justice systems. Before joining PJI, Sue was a criminal justice planner in Jefferson County, Colo., and was instrumental in developing the Colorado Improving Supervised Pretrial Release project, a 10-county effort that was the predecessor of the CPAT (Colorado Pretrial Assessment Tool). Sue, who also specializes in developing coordinated justice system responses to individuals with behavioral health challenges, helped start the Jefferson County Recovery Court. In a previous life, Sue was a renewable energy scientist at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo. Sue especially enjoys the fusion of law and science necessary to transform our pretrial justice system.

    Toni Shoola (Moderator)

    Community Manager

    Contact: toni@pretrial.org

    In her role as an associate with PJI, Toni Shoola focuses on community engagement and provides technical assistance and training to entities around the country on implementing evidence-based pretrial justice practices. Toni began her nonprofit career by providing direct service to low- income individuals in her community. Most recently, she assisted hundreds of nonprofit organizations in capacity building, professional development, and program evaluation through technical assistance, workshops and additional resources.

  • Beyond the Algorithm: Pretrial Reform, Risk Assessment, and Racial Fairness

    Contains 1 Component(s) Recorded On: 08/06/2019

    Risk assessments—automated formulas that measure the “risk” a defendant will be rearrested or fail to appear in court—are among the most controversial issues in criminal justice reform. To proponents, they offer a corrective to potentially biased decisions made by individual judges. To opponents, far from disrupting biases, risk assessments are unintentionally amplifying them, only this time under the guise of science.

    Join our partners at the Center for Court Innovation as they talk about their new publication on thinking "beyond the algorithm." 

    Risk assessments—automated formulas that measure the “risk” a defendant will be rearrested or fail to appear in court—are among the most controversial issues in criminal justice reform. To proponents, they offer a corrective to potentially biased decisions made by individual judges. To opponents, far from disrupting biases, risk assessments are unintentionally amplifying them, only this time under the guise of science.

    Cherise Fanno Burdeen

    CEO

    Cherise Fanno Burdeen, PJI’s CEO, has spent more than 20 years working to improve public safety policies and practices across the country. After earning a bachelor’s in public administration from Miami University (Ohio) and a master’s in criminal justice from Indiana University, she began her career with the DOJ's National Institute of Justice. After fieldwork that included time with the Safer Foundation in Chicago and post-9/11 federal service with the Department of Homeland Security, Cherise joined PJI.

    Since 2006, Cherise has developed innovative strategies to raise awareness of pretrial justice issues, amassed a broad constituency of criminal justice stakeholder groups, provided technical assistance and training on policy reforms, and engaged in communications and media efforts. She has extensive experience with strategic planning, initiative management, and change efforts across the criminal justice system. She serves as an issue expert for legal and correctional professionals, national and community advocates, the media, influencers, and artists.

    Matthew Watkins

    Senior Writer

    Matt Watkins is the host and producer of our 'New Thinking' podcast about criminal justice reform (subscribe here) and the senior writer in the Communications department, creating and editing everything from full-length reports to tweets. Matt 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. Matt has a B.A. from McGill University in Philosophy and History and a Ph.D. in History from NYU. You can find him on Twitter @didacticmatt.

    Raquel Delerme

    Associate, Policy and Research

    Julian Adler

    Director, Policy and Research

    Julian Adler is the director of policy and research at the Center for Court Innovation. He leads the Center's work on a range of national criminal justice reform initiatives, including the MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge, and he sits on the steering committee for Advancing Pretrial Policy and Research, a project of Arnold Ventures' National Partnership for Pretrial Justice. He oversees four teams across the organization:  Research, Research-Practice Strategies, Data Analytics and Applied Research, and Restorative Practices. Julian is the co-author of Start Here: A Road Map to Reducing Mass Incarceration (The New Press), as well as assorted book chapters, articles, and opinion pieces. A New York State Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and attorney, he was previously the director of the Red Hook Community Justice Center in Brooklyn, New York, the lead planner for Brooklyn Justice Initiatives, and part of a small planning team that launched Newark Community Solutions in New Jersey. He is currently leading a strategic planning process for clinicians across the organization and working on the development of integrative evidence-based and evidence-generating practices, including assessment instruments and intervention models.

    Sarah Picard

    Research Director

    Sarah Picard is a Research Director with the Center for Court Innovation. Her recent work focuses on policy level reform in the adult criminal justice context and how research evidence can best be translated into practice. Dr. Picard has extensive experience studying the use of actuarial risk assessment tools in court settings, including leading a randomized controlled trial of their application to drug court case planning and collaborating on the development and validation of assessment tools for early decision-making in high-volume courts. She is currently finalizing a study that models the potential impact of risk assessment on racial disparities in pretrial outcomes. Dr. Picard also co-leads the Center’s research and technical assistance work to reduce the use of jail nationally. Her past research includes mixed-methods evaluations of problem-solving initiatives ranging from community-based gun violence prevention models to drug and domestic violence courts. She received her Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the Graduate Center at the City University of New York.

  • First Friday Forum - This Ain't Justice: Unintended Consequences of Pretrial Reform

    Contains 1 Component(s) Recorded On: 08/02/2019

    Join the PJI Leadership Team as they discuss problematic pretrial justice practices and policies that erode justice—including excessive conditions, use of non-valid or modified assessment tools, large detention nets and more.

    Join the PJI Leadership Team as they discuss problematic pretrial justice practices and policies that erode justice—including excessive conditions, use of non-valid or modified assessment tools, large detention nets and more.

    Cherise Fanno Burdeen

    CEO

    Cherise Fanno Burdeen, PJI’s CEO, has spent more than 20 years working to improve public safety policies and practices across the country. After earning a bachelor’s in public administration from Miami University (Ohio) and a master’s in criminal justice from Indiana University, she began her career with the DOJ's National Institute of Justice. After fieldwork that included time with the Safer Foundation in Chicago and post-9/11 federal service with the Department of Homeland Security, Cherise joined PJI.

    Since 2006, Cherise has developed innovative strategies to raise awareness of pretrial justice issues, amassed a broad constituency of criminal justice stakeholder groups, provided technical assistance and training on policy reforms, and engaged in communications and media efforts. She has extensive experience with strategic planning, initiative management, and change efforts across the criminal justice system. She serves as an issue expert for legal and correctional professionals, national and community advocates, the media, influencers, and artists.

    Tenille Patterson

    Vice President, Mission Support Services

    As the vice president of mission support services, Tenille Patterson is responsible for and oversees the activities and processes that provide core mission support to PJI. Tenille's accounting career began 16 years ago when she worked as an auditor for the global professional services firm PwC. To align her professional aspirations with her spirit of advocacy and social justice, Tenille transitioned into the nonprofit field, working with and for organizations serving the most underserved and disenfranchised.

    In her most recent nonprofit leadership experience, Tenille served as chief operating officer of the Center for Urban Families, a human services organization dedicated to supporting fathers and families suffering from the effects of systemic and institutional inequality. Tenille has a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Morgan State University and is a certified public accountant.

    Meghan Guevara

    Vice President, Innovation & Impact

    As the vice president of innovation and impact, Meghan Guevara leads PJI’s learning communities and technical assistance efforts. She has spent nearly 20 years providing training and professional development to criminal justice and human services professionals who seek to advance their work using the latest research and to improve outcomes for individuals and communities. For the past decade, Meghan has focused on local- and state-level systems change and has also worked extensively at the county level to build collaborative, data-driven justice systems. Meghan began her career as a health educator working with youth in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. She received a Master of Public Health degree in social and behavioral sciences from Boston University.

  • Bias In, Bias Out

    Contains 1 Component(s) Recorded On: 06/17/2019

    Listen to Law Professor Sandy Mayson talk with Cherise about her foray into studying bail and why she says prediction is the problem, not assessment.

    Sandra G. Mayson

    Assistant Professor of Law

    Sandra G. “Sandy” Mayson has joined the University of Georgia School of Law teaching Criminal Law, Evidence and a seminar on Criminal Justice Reform. Mayson comes to UGA from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she served as a Research Fellow for the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice. She previously served as a Furman Academic Fellow at New York University School of Law.

    Mayson’s scholarship explores intersections between criminal law, constitutional law and legal theory, with a focus on the role of risk assessment and preventive restraint in the criminal justice system. Her scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in the Yale Law Journal, Stanford Law Review and the Notre Dame Law Review, among other places.

    Before entering academia, Mayson represented indigent clients in criminal proceedings and trained public defenders on the immigration consequences of criminal conviction. Following law school, she was a trial attorney and Equal Justice Works Fellow at Orleans Public Defenders in New Orleans, a legal fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, and a judicial clerk for U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit Judge Dolores K. Sloviter and U.S. District Court Judge L. Felipe Restrepo in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

    Mayson received her B.A. in comparative literature summa cum laude from Yale University. She earned her law degree magna cum laude from New York University, where she was an articles editor of the New York University Law Review, an Institute for International Law and Justice Scholar, a Florence Allen Scholar and a member of the Order of the Coif.

  • How We Talk: Research-Based Communications

    Contains 2 Component(s) Recorded On: 06/12/2019

    PJI CEO Cherise Fanno Burdeen will highlight features of the new Communications and Community Engagement Toolkit, designed to empower users to join discussions around pretrial justice reform in the United States with regard to policy, language, and various media and policymaking forums. This toolkit represents an evolution in our thought process to keep pace with fast-moving changes in conversations around mass incarceration and the role of pretrial justice.

    PJI CEO Cherise Fanno Burdeen will highlight features of the new Communications and Community Engagement Toolkit, designed to empower users to join discussions around pretrial justice reform in the United States with regard to policy, language, and various media and policymaking forums. This toolkit represents an evolution in our thought process to keep pace with fast-moving changes in conversations around mass incarceration and the role of pretrial justice.

    Cherise Fanno Burdeen

    CEO

    Cherise Fanno Burdeen, PJI’s CEO, has spent more than 20 years working to improve public safety policies and practices across the country. After earning a bachelor’s in public administration from Miami University (Ohio) and a master’s in criminal justice from Indiana University, she began her career with the DOJ's National Institute of Justice. After fieldwork that included time with the Safer Foundation in Chicago and post-9/11 federal service with the Department of Homeland Security, Cherise joined PJI.

    Since 2006, Cherise has developed innovative strategies to raise awareness of pretrial justice issues, amassed a broad constituency of criminal justice stakeholder groups, provided technical assistance and training on policy reforms, and engaged in communications and media efforts. She has extensive experience with strategic planning, initiative management, and change efforts across the criminal justice system. She serves as an issue expert for legal and correctional professionals, national and community advocates, the media, influencers, and artists.

    Tenille Patterson

    Vice President, Mission Support Services

    As the vice president of mission support services, Tenille Patterson is responsible for and oversees the activities and processes that provide core mission support to PJI. Tenille's accounting career began 16 years ago when she worked as an auditor for the global professional services firm PwC. To align her professional aspirations with her spirit of advocacy and social justice, Tenille transitioned into the nonprofit field, working with and for organizations serving the most underserved and disenfranchised.

    In her most recent nonprofit leadership experience, Tenille served as chief operating officer of the Center for Urban Families, a human services organization dedicated to supporting fathers and families suffering from the effects of systemic and institutional inequality. Tenille has a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Morgan State University and is a certified public accountant.

  • First Friday Forum - Making Sense of Bail Reform in New York State, a conversation with gabriel sayegh

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    New York just passed historic pretrial justice reforms. Join PJI and special guest gabriel sayegh from the Katal Center for Health, Equity, and Justice as we discuss what the 2019 legislation means for the state and future criminal justice reform efforts.

    New York just passed historic pretrial justice reforms. Join PJI and special guest gabriel sayegh from the Katal Center for Health, Equity, and Justice as we discuss what the 2019 legislation means for the state and future criminal justice reform efforts.

    gabriel sayegh

    Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director

    gabriel sayegh is the Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director at the Katal Center for Health, Equity, and Justice. He brings over 20 years of organizing and advocacy experience to dismantle mass incarceration, end the war on drugs, and build communities.

    sayegh has served as chief architect and strategist for numerous campaigns. From August 2015 – June 2017, he was the lead architect and chief strategist on the #CLOSErikers campaign which successfully forced New York City to adopt as its official policy, the closure of Rikers Island Jail Complex. sayegh was a key leader in the campaign to roll back the draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws, devising and managing the strategy that finally led to one of the most significant sentencing reform victories in a generation. He was the architect of the campaign to end New York City’s racially biased marijuana arrest crusade, which cut the number of marijuana arrests in NYC by half, and he served as chief architect, strategist and director of the campaign to pass New York’s medical marijuana legislation. sayegh managed a bipartisan effort to enact life-saving Good Samaritan overdose prevention legislation in New York, and coordinated with community organizations to expand municipal-focused and public health responses to drug use. From 2013 – 2016, he co-led and facilitated the development and launch of the innovative Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program in Albany, New York.

    Prior to co-founding Katal, from 2003 – 2015, sayegh worked at the Drug Policy Alliance, a national organization working to end the war on drugs. For over 12 years he served in many positions, including as Managing Director of Policy and Campaigns, where he supervised a staff of 27 and a budget of $4m. To connect DPA’s work to a grassroots base, sayegh launched DPA’s first office focused explicitly on field organizing, established DPA’s grantee partners network, and for many years managed the scholarship program for DPA’s signature International Drug Policy Reform Conference.

    From 2012 – 2014, sayegh led a unique collaboration with Charlotte Street Films on the powerful, Sundance award-winning documentary about the war on drugs directed by Eugene Jarecki, THE HOUSE I LIVE IN. In addition to advising the film director and producers on policy and advocacy, sayegh and his team devised strategies to utilize the film as an advocacy tool to leverage local reform efforts and spur public debate about mass incarceration and the war on drugs. The collaboration included developing a toolkit to accompany the film and working with hundreds of community based organizations across the country in using the film as a tool for education and advocacy – in schools, community centers, legislatures, prisons and jails, and more.

    sayegh began organizing in 1996, working on prison moratorium and racial equity campaigns in California, and has subsequently worked on addressing domestic violence, ending violence against women and LGTBQ people, promoting fair trade, criminal justice and drug policy reform, and more. In 2003, sayegh served as session staff for Washington State Senator Debbie Regala (D-27), with a policy portfolio focused on criminal justice, welfare, and human services. From 2009 – 2012, he served as a field lecturer in the policy track of the Columbia Graduate School of Social Work.

    He has appeared in a wide range of broadcast, online, and print media, including: The New York Times, NY1, MSNBC, CBS, NBC, Fox News, Fusion, NPR, Washington Post, Newsweek, Vice, NY Daily News, NY Post, Associated Press, Huffington Post, The Village Voice, Gawker, BBC, and more. He is the author of numerous articles and co-author of several reports, including Blueprint for a Public Health and Safety Approach to Drug Policy (the subject of a New York Times editorial) and From Handcuffs to Healthcare: Putting the Affordable Care Act to Work for Criminal Justice and Drug Law Reform. He’s served as a guest speaker at hundreds of conferences, meetings and events across the country, and has given a TEDx talkabout his personal struggles with addiction and the connections between the war on drugs, mass incarceration, and systemic racism.

    sayegh serves as a trustee of the New York Foundation, and sits on the board of Atlanta-based movement organization, Project South: Institute for the Elimination of Poverty and Genocide. He holds a Master’s in Public Health from the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College, and a BA from The Evergreen State College. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

  • First Friday Forum - What's Happening in Pretrial (May 2019)

    Contains 1 Component(s) Recorded On: 05/03/2019

    Pretrial improvements are underway across the country. Join PJI as we provide an update on changing practices, legislation, and litigation efforts, as well as new resources.

    Pretrial improvements are underway across the country. Join PJI as we provide an update on changing practices, legislation, and litigation efforts, as well as new resources.

    Meghan Guevara (Moderator)

    Vice President, Innovation & Impact

    As the vice president of innovation and impact, Meghan Guevara leads PJI’s learning communities and technical assistance efforts. She has spent nearly 20 years providing training and professional development to criminal justice and human services professionals who seek to advance their work using the latest research and to improve outcomes for individuals and communities. For the past decade, Meghan has focused on local- and state-level systems change and has also worked extensively at the county level to build collaborative, data-driven justice systems. Meghan began her career as a health educator working with youth in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. She received a Master of Public Health degree in social and behavioral sciences from Boston University.