SPEAKERS

Reentry Summit PBC 2018

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Secretary John Wetzel

Pennsylvania Department of Corrections

Thursday Morning

John Wetzel, widely recognized as one of the thought leaders in corrections today, was appointed Secretary of Corrections for the PA DOC (1/11) by Governor Corbett and reappointed by Governor Wolf (1/15).  During his tenure an elimination of a 24-year average growth of 1500 inmates per year occurred presiding over the first population reduction in PA in over 4 decades, and a restructuring of the Community Corrections and mental health systems along with a re-engineering of internal processes to yield a more efficient system of program delivery.  With over 29 years of experience in the corrections field, he has been selected as Chair of the Council of State Government’s Justice Center’s Executive Board and Vice President of ASCA. He is a member of Harvard’s Executive Session on Community Corrections. A graduate of Bloomsburg University, in May 2016, the Indiana University of Pennsylvania along with Chestnut Hill College in May 2018, each presented to him an honorary doctor of laws. 

Tonier Cain

Where There’s Breath, There’s Hope

Thursday Lunch

83 arrests, 66 convictions, and thousands of requests to serve as the keynote speaker in front of audiences that include the United Nations, government agencies, teachers, community and civic organizations, mental health agencies, substance abuse programs, corrections facilities and trauma survivors. Featured in the documentary “Behind Closed Doors: Trauma Survivors and the Psychiatric System,” and the subject of the award winning film “Healing Neen.”

After surviving a childhood of unspeakable sexual abuse, unrelenting violence, and betrayal by systems that were charged with helping, Ms. Tonier Cain stands before her audiences today, a testimony to the resiliency of the human spirit exemplifying the innate human instinct to survive. Tonier “Neen” Cain lived on the streets for twenty nightmarish years. Years filled with hunger, brutality and a lifestyle when described seems unconscionable. Incarcerated and pregnant in 2004, someone finally took the time to ask: “what happened to you” instead of “what’s wrong with you.” It is at that moment she began her journey to become a survivor and for the first time in her life began to live with more hope than fear.

The impact of trauma is realized by every age group, race, ethnicity, socio-economic group, gender, community, and workforce. As Ms. Cain shares her story, audience members find themselves challenging their professional and personal beliefs. Her experience illustrates the consequences that untreated trauma has on individuals and society at-large, including mental health problems, addiction, homelessness and incarceration. Her story evokes anger, frustration, sadness, and despair. It often triggers past traumas. It motivates, it empowers and it restores faith in humanity. It reminds us of the tremendous impact one individual can have on the life of another.

Dr. Edward Latessa

Using Evidence in Reentry to Reduce Recidivism: Some Lessons Learned from Evaluating Correctional Programs

Friday Morning

Edward J. Latessa received his PhD from Ohio State University and is Director and Professor in the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati. He has published over 175 works in the area of juvenile justice, criminal justice and corrections and is author of eight books including What Works (and Doesn’t) in Reducing Recidivism, Corrections in the Community, and Corrections in America. Professor Latessa has directed over 195 funded research projects including studies of day reporting centers, juvenile justice programs, drug courts, prison programs, intensive supervision programs, reentry programs, halfway houses, and drug programs. He and his staff have also assessed over 1,000 correctional programs throughout the United States, and he has provided assistance and workshops in forty-nine states.   He has also received numerous awards.

TBA

TBA

Friday Lunch

TBD

PRACTICAL ADVICE FOR SHAPING RESEARCHER/PRACTITIONER RELATIONSHIPS

Dr. Cassandra Atkin-Plunk

Florida Atlantic University

Cassandra Atkin-Plunk, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida Atlantic University. She received her Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. Cassandra’s research interests span both institutional and community corrections with an emphasis on contemporary issues in corrections, including the reentry and reintegration of offenders. Cassandra has assisted in the evaluation of programs and policies for a variety of agencies, including the Palm Beach County (FL) Criminal Justice Commission, Palm Beach County Public Safety Department, The GEO Group, Florida Department of Corrections, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Windham School District, Harris County (TX) STAR Drug Court, Harris County Veterans’ Court Program, and Nueces County (TX) Community Supervision and Corrections Department. Her research has been published in Criminal Justice and Behavior, Journal of Criminal Justice, and Criminal Justice Policy Review.

Dr. Lincoln Sloas

Florida Atlantic University

Lincoln Sloas, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida Atlantic University. His research interests include how individuals navigate both substance abuse and mental health treatment services in community-based settings and problem-solving courts. His research has been published in top journals such as Journal of Quantitative Criminology, Contemporary Clinical Trials, and Journal of Drug Issues.

Dr. Kerensa Lockwood

Institute of Justice Research and Development (FSU)

Kerensa P. Lockwood is the Research Implementation Director for the Institute of Justice Research and Development (IJRD) at Florida State University, College of Social Work. In this position she is responsible for ensuring study and practice protocol are strictly adhered to for various research projects. Currently, the IJRD is focused on researching and refining the reentry process through the 5 Key Model of Reentry. This is a multi-state, randomized control trial that involves researchers and practitioners.        

Dr. Lockwood worked with the Department of Corrections for almost 13 years as the Assistant Chief for the Bureau of Applied Science, Research and Policy. In this role Dr. Lockwood successfully procured over $4.3 million in grants focused on implementing prisoner reentry programs and assessing the effectiveness of various programs. There she focused on researching and implementing programs, obtaining grant funding for these initiatives, assessing the effectiveness of various programmatic practices, informing decisions and furthering the agencies mission while upholding evidence-driven principles.  

Her passion to provide a coordinated, evidence-driven approach to correctional processes has been an asset to those she works with. Dr. Lockwood serves as a leader for reentry skill development and initiatives along with supplying leadership with continuous cutting edge research on various issues and potential programs that reduces the likelihood of recidivism.  Additionally, she acts as a conduit between community service providers, local reentry coalitions, universities, and national organizations to gather and inform the corrections field.  

Dr. Lockwood is dedicated to the reentry philosophy and improving outcomes for inmates and offenders. She developed this interest while attending Florida State University, where she earned a doctorate from the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice in 2010.  Additionally, she holds a Masters degree in Developmental Psychology from Florida International University and a Masters degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Florida State University.

Bert Winkler

PBC Criminal Justice Commission

Bert Winkler is the Manager of Criminal Justice Programs for the Palm Beach County Criminal Justice Commission. He coordinated the research and writing of the MacArthur Foundation Safety and Justice Challenge grant proposal which resulted in a $2 million grant from the foundation in 2017 and is leading implementation efforts for projects funded by the grant. The goals of these projects are to safely reduce the local jail population and address racial and ethnic disparities in that population. He is also a criminal defense attorney who has been practicing in Palm Beach County for over 30 years and is board certified by the Florida Bar as a specialist in criminal trial law. Mr. Winkler has served as President of the Palm Beach Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and on the board of directors of both that organization and the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He has lectured at seminars on various aspects of criminal law and criminal justice reform and has served as an expert legal commentator for CNN and local media outlets. Mr. Winkler has long been active in the community. He is the past president of the board of directors of The Lord’s Place and the current president of the board of directors of Young Singers of the Palm Beaches. He is also the recipient of the Homeless Advocacy Award from the Palm Beach County Legal Aid Society. 

RELEASED WITHOUT A PLACE TO LIVE: NOW WHAT?

Armando Fana

WPB Housing and Community Development

Armando Fana’s experience with housing and social service issues in South Florida spans 20 years.  During his tenure as a Program Manager for the Broward County Workforce Development Board he played an important role in the implementation of welfare reform and workforce development programs in Broward County, FL.  Armando was also the Director of the Hollywood, FL Workforce One Center from 2001-2003 where he managed the delivery of workforce development and welfare programs.  He joined the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 2005 as the Field Office Director for the Miami Field Office, which covers the 10 southernmost Florida counties.  In his role as Field Office Director Armando served as the highest ranking local HUD official and the Secretary of HUD’s local representative, insuring that HUD programs and services were being delivered effectively to the community.   

In 2015 he joined the City of West Palm Beach as the Director of Housing and Community Development. In that role he is responsible for the oversight of funding and programs that provide attainable housing, community and economic development programs and social services to residents of the City of West Palm Beach. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and an Associate in Science Degree in International Business Management and is a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard where he served for 7 years. He previously served as a member of the Board of Directors for the South Florida Federal Executive Board and is now serving as a Board Member for ChildNet and The Florida Housing Coalition. 

Calvin Phillips

The Lord’s Place

Calvin Phillips joined The Lord’s Place, Inc. in February 2011. He oversees the organization’s Housing programs, including the Men’s and Family Campuses. In addition, Calvin is a partner and advocate to Palm Beach County Re-Entry services. Through his leadership, the Lord’s Place has become a pivotal partner in the success of this program.  

Calvin has over 20 years of local experience serving underserved populations. Prior to joining The Lord’s Place, Inc., Calvin was the Lantana Elementary School Beacon Center Director. In this role, he provided social supports to children and their families. In addition, Calvin broker relationships with the school and community at-large. Previously, he worked for Parent Child Center as Director of Intervention for thirteen years.  

Calvin earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from West Virginia University, where he also played wide receiver for the Mountaineers. In 1998, he was honored for the Governors Peace at Home Award. Calvin volunteers with Kiwanis Club of Hypoluxo-Lantana, Key Club and Connect to Greatness. In his spare time, Calvin enjoys going to sporting events and providing service at his church

OVERCOMING BARRIERS TO REENTRY: THE ROAD HOME

Josh Gibson

Local Client

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Joshua Gibson was involved with gang activity at a very young age. He dropped out of school during his freshman year of high school and had his first child at age 17. During a prison sentence lasting longer than a decade, Mr. Gibson saw that it was time to turn his life around. He completed his G.E.D. and began college courses, simultaneously completing numerous self-help courses, including Inside Out Dad from the prison’s parenting program. Finding personal fulfilment in helping others achieve a better life for themselves, Mr. Gibson taught The 7 Habits of High Successful People courses to fellow inmates before piloting the Peer Educator/Mentor program at his prison.   

Anna Banks

Local Client

TBDAnna Banks is a mom of five and a grandma of ten. She was born in Lake Worth and raised in West Palm Beach where continues to reside today. Anna started getting high with marijuana and drinking at the age of 16 and by the age of 18 was using crack cocaine. Anna quickly made her way through the Detention Center to the County Jail and finally to prison at the age of 25. She has been arrested over 100 times and has been to prison 6 times over the course of 20 years.  Anna’s life changed when she decided to give her life to God and follow the rules of the program. Upon her release from prison over 3 years ago she immediately enrolled in Palm Beach County’s Reentry program through Gulfstream Goodwill Industries, Inc. and took full advantage of everything that was offered. Today, Anna has her driver’s license, a car and her own apartment. She stays busy working a full time job in construction, developing her own business, actively participate in church and most importantly staying active with her grandchildren. She feels great and is enjoying life more than ever now. 

Wenfred Dorsey

The Lord’s Place

Wenfred D. Dorsey currently works for The Lord’s Place as a case manager for prison reentry, and an independent contractor for the Civil Drug Court (life/sober coach), an organization whose mission is to end substance abuse and homelessness. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Ministry, with an emphasis on youth ministry. He is a graduate of Glades Central High School (class of 1986), Rhema Bible College, and holds an associate of arts degree in Christian Counseling from Logos Christian College. Mr. Dorsey has Masters Degree from Webster University in Counseling and Psychology. He was inducted into the National Honor Society for Religious Studies, Theta Alpha Kappa and is a lifelong member. He also holds an International Certification in Life Coaching. He is a praise and worship leader and an ordain minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He plans to heal the wounds of our community through ministry, mentorship, life coaching, reentry, and counseling. Wenfred is happily married to his wife Anne. They have a 25 year-old son and 7 year-old twin girls.

Orie Bullard

Riviera Beach Justice Center

Orie Bullard is currently the Director of The Reentry Center, a non-traditional and comprehensive municipal reentry program located in Riviera Beach, Florida. Orie has been on a mission for more than a decade to engage and empower his local community by diminishing the barriers for its most underserved population: returning citizens. Throughout his tenure at The Reentry Center, Orie has helped to impact the lives of more than 1200 criminal justice-involved men and women. He has the honor of managing a team of extensively trained and culturally competent professionals with various backgrounds and a heart for social service. Orie’s goal is to provide a sustainable system of care that educates and supports returning citizens and their families throughout the arduous reentry journey.  

Visiting his family members in prison as a child, ignited a relentless passion for service early in life. This led him to begin his career in reentry as a case manager primarily focusing on constructing strong relationships with his clients. He has also worked as an Employment Coach and Reentry Coordinator facilitating best practices in reentry workforce development and coordinating transitional housing, family reunification, on-the-Job training and substance abuse initiatives. 

In 2013, Orie was selected as the Director and immediately begin to implement systemic changes that would improve the ability of the program to address the unmet needs of clients. Some improvements were leveraging funding to hire Master’s level case managers with a clinical focus, development of family centered pro-social activities, and creating an employment pathway for clients in local municipal government.  Orie has been consistently effective in merging his transformational leadership style and passion for community engagement to create impactful opportunities for returning citizens.  He firmly believes in empowering men and women to “lift as they climb” in order to reduce the cycle of recidivism and ensure that the formula for success is passed on. 

Kiera Gordon

Gulfstream Goodwill

Kiera Gordon is a Masters Level Social Worker working to reduce recidivism with individuals being released from the criminal justice system by implementing and executing a plan of services through state and local collaboration during the reintegration and aftercare stages. As a result of her daily interaction with the community and collaboration with local and governmental agencies Kiera has an inside view on what truly increases barriers to recidivism. She has come to believe, contrary to earlier beliefs, the increase is not caused by the failure to find employment due to background checks; it is the lack of support  and encouragement from the community. 

Over the course of her career Kiera has worked as a Case Manager, Intake Specialist, Discharge Planner, Psychiatric Coordinator, Therapist, Crisis Counselor and Mental Health Counselor. She is extensively trained in the areas of Motivational Interviewing, Moral Reconation Therapy, Offender Employment Retention, Harm Reduction, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Coordination, and Sexual Assault Crisis Intervention. 

Kiera is a Registered Clinical Social Work Intern, and received her Master of Science degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She also holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Social Work from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. 

To further her education and literacy in the field Kiera is actively undergoing clinical supervision and will complete her Clinical Social Work Intern in 2019. 

GENDER SPECIFIC, TRAUMA-INFORMED RESPONSES FOR JUSTICE INVOLVED WOMEN

Lauren Jablonski

State of Colorado 20th Judicial Circuit 

Lauren has been interested in the corrections field, specifically probation for over a decade. Her passion to help people started at a very young age.  She has worked as a Teacher’s Assistant for the University of Colorado Graduate School of Public Affairs/Criminal Justice Program and has her bachelor’s degree in criminology/ criminal justice with an emphasis in ethnic studies from Metropolitan State University in Denver, Colorado.  As a student she worked with high risk juveniles and then found her passion working with high risk women.   Lauren helped create a female specific team which is focused on best practices/evidence-based practices in helping justice-involved women.  The program has become a model for the country and she has presented at a national level focusing on female specific issues with an emphasis in repairing harm and restorative justice.   Lauren facilitates restorative justice community circles and high-risk, victim-offender dialogues. Lauren has worked as a consultant performing program reviews and providing expert opinions for litigation.  Lauren is a subject matter expert and trainer for the NCJTC (National Criminal Justice Training Center), a contractor for the Department of Justice.  She is now a senior Probation Officer on the female specific team and supervises high risk women in both a female-specific, problem solving court and intensive supervision programs. 

Val Stanley

The Lord’s Place

Val Santiago Stanley is the Director of Women’s Services at Lord’s Place. She provides leadership on women’s issues throughout the agency, developing a host of gender-responsive initiatives for the more than 600 women and girls served by the organization. In addition, Val oversees the day to day operations of the Lord’s Place’s Burckle Place and Halle Place campuses which provide supportive transitional housing to homeless and formerly incarcerated women. Val is a passionate advocate for marginalized and at-risk women. She works tirelessly to expand the resources and learning opportunities available to them, ensuring that they receive the support they need to meet their personal needs. Val has extensive administrative and direct experience assisting underserved women and girls. She is the former Executive Director of the PACE Center for Girls in Palm Beach County and founder of a women’s empowerment group with more than 100 members.

WHAT IS A REENTRY SIMULATION? PLANNING AND DESIGNING ONE FOR YOUR COMMUNITY

Adam McMichael, AUSA 

U.S. Attorney’s Office

Adam McMichael is an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of Florida. He is the Violence Reduction Partnership Coordinator for the United States Attorney’s Office, West Palm Beach Branch Office and focuses largely on firearm and drug prosecutions. Adam received his undergraduate degree in criminology from Florida State University in 2001 and his Juris Doctorate from Nova Southern University in 2004.  He began his legal career as a state prosecutor in Palm Beach County.

RNR SIMULATION TOOL – THE SWEET SPOT OF FITTING ALL OF THE PIECES TOGETHER

Dr. Faye Taxman

George Mason University

Faye S. Taxman, Ph.D., is a University Professor in the Criminology, Law and Society Department and Director of the Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence! at George Mason University. She is a health service criminologist. She is recognized for her work in the development of seamless systems-of-care models that link the criminal justice system with other health care and other service delivery systems and reengineering probation and parole supervision services. She has conducted experiments to examine different processes to improve treatment access and retention, to assess new models of probation supervision consistent with RNR frameworks, and to test new interventions. She has active “laboratories” with numerous agencies including Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, Virginia Department of Corrections, Alameda County Probation Department (CA), Hidalgo County Community Corrections Department (TX), North Carolina Department of Corrections, and Delaware Department of Corrections. She developed the translational RNR Simulation Tool (www.gmuace.org/tools) to assist agencies to advance practice. Dr. Taxman has published more than 200 articles. She is author of numerous books including Implementing Evidence-Based Community Corrections and Addiction Treatment (Springer, 2012 with Steven Belenko). She is co-Editor of Health & Justice and Perspectives (a publication of the American Probation and Parole Association). The American Society of Criminology’s Division of Sentencing and Corrections has recognized her as Distinguished Scholar twice as well as the Rita Warren and Ted Palmer Differential Intervention Treatment award.   She received the Joan McCord Award in 2017 from the Division of Experimental Criminology. In 2018, she was appointed a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology. She has received numerous awards from practitioner organizations such as the American Probation and Parole Association and Caron Foundation. She has a Ph.D. from Rutgers University’s School of Criminal Justice.

INNOVATIVE FUNDING SOLUTIONS

Chris Warland

Heartland Alliance

Chris Warland is Associate Director for Field Building at Heartland Alliance’s National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity, which includes the National Transitional Jobs Network. He supports employment services for chronically unemployed individuals across the country by overseeing the development of best practice guides, white papers, and other resources; facilitating peer learning; designing and delivering trainings; and consulting with employment initiatives at the local, state, and national levels. Before getting involved in workforce development, Warland worked for several years as an adult education teacher for people incarcerated at the Cook County Jail. He received his MA from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago and his BA from the University of Michigan.

Diana Stanley

The Lord’s Place

For eleven years, Diana Stanley has led The Lord’s Place in its mission to end the cycle of homelessness and advocate for those living on the margins of our society. Her enthusiasm has empowered staff to deliver superior programs and services, and her exceptional ability to inspire people to take action has created systemic reform at the local, state and national levels.

Ms. Stanley, along with her executive leadership team, have created new programs, financially stabilized and diversified the agency resources, and fostered the creation of many innovative programs, including Social Enterprises – (catering and thrift store businesses designed to help create jobs). New supportive housing projects, and a job training and placement program for those individuals with barriers, a street engagement team for the City of West Palm Beach and a dedicated research and evaluation team to monitor and improve program effectiveness.

Most importantly, the housing inventory for chronic homeless men and women, single homeless women and formerly incarcerated individuals has tripled during her tenure. Special emphasis was placed in meeting the unmet needs of homeless single women. Burckle Place opened in 2013 and was the first privately funded housing program for homeless single women. Burckle Place West opened March 15 2017 – a home for Burckle Place graduates. In addition, dedicated to serve formerly incarcerated women, The Lord’s Place opened Halle’s Place in November 2016.

As a leader, she encourages staff to think outside the box. Placing the needs of clients first, the agency is not afraid to shift gears in order to serve more clients or positively impact more lives. Giving staff the ability to dream has earned The Lord’s Place the honor of being named among “The 100 Best Places to Work” in Florida by Florida Trend Magazine under Diana’s leadership. It has also won the “When Work Works” national award in 2016 and 2017, and received the 2015 Nonprofit of the Year award from the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches. It was named one of The Nonprofit Times’ 2017 “Best Nonprofits to Work For” and a “Best Place to Work” by the South Florida Business Journal. For the past six years, the agency has held a 4-Star Rating from Charity Navigator. It also holds a Gold GuideStar rating and it has achieved Nonprofits First Accreditation for Excellence in Nonprofit Management.

Diana is a true advocate for quality of life, especially for the less fortunate, and her leadership inspires action and passion for changing lives.

INNOVATIVE SOCIAL JUSTICE: A PATH FOR LIBRARIES

William Hollis

West Palm Beach Library

William Hollis is an Associate Librarian at Mandel Public Library and he serves as the point of contact for the library’s “Square One” initiative.  Square One is a program for young adults ages 15-29 that seeks to provide them will the necessary tools to reconnect to economic opportunity.  Services provided include tutoring, mentoring, and career services along with personal and professional development.  William has been serving in this role for the past 18 months and prior to that he served as a middle school Math teacher while earning his bachelor’s degree in Supervision and Management from Broward College.  His background also includes college admissions and student services and he is a proud veteran of the United States Navy. 

Alia Spencer, MLIS

Palm Beach State College

Alia Spencer is currently a faculty librarian and professor at Palm Beach State College.  She earned a Masters in Library and Information Sciences degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo in Buffalo, New York. Through her membership in the Medical Library Association and involvement with the African American Medical Library Alliance and Health Disparities Special Interests Groups, she maintains her focus on the public health impact of libraries in underserved communities.   

As a Sunshine State Library Leadership Institute alumnus, a program developed by the Florida Department of State and Division of Library and Information Services, and active member of the Palm Beach County Reentry Task Force, Ms. Spencer explores innovative roles for libraries while collaborating on broader reentry initiatives.    

Recently, Ms. Spencer coordinated a new outreach initiative to inform incarcerated individuals of Palm Beach County Library resources and services prior to their release 

Oswald Newbold

Local Client

Oswald was released January 17, 2017 after doing a little over 25 years in prison. He was 19 years old when arrested and 44 years old when released. Today he works for local government at the City of Riviera Beach in the Public Works Department. He is the spray technician and holds 4 state licenses for restricted-use pesticides. Also, Oswald has a Class-A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). The journey to receiving both the pesticide licenses and Commercial Driver’s License started at Sago Palm Reentry Center in Pahokee, FL where he attended classes. In his brief return home, Oswald has accomplished many goals including mentoring at-risk and high-risk youth in the community and he is in the process of publishing his first of seven books.

ENGAGING YOUTH FOR TRANSFORMATIVE CHANGE: “REAL CHANGE HAPPENS WHEN THE PEOPLE WHO NEED IT, LEAD IT

Dr. Wendy Morrison-Cavendish

University of Miami

Wendy Cavendish, PhD is an Associate Professor in the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Miami. She joined the University of Miami faculty in 2007 after serving as research faculty at the Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research in the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University. Her recent work has focused on equity-focused policy analyses using an intersectionality-based policy analysis framework while a Visiting Research Scholar at Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute from 2015-2018. Dr. Cavendish’s interdisciplinary research focus includes the practices and processes in schools and other social institutions (e.g., criminal justice system) that facilitate and support successful transition of special education, juvenile-justice involved, and foster care youth. She has published over 50 articles and research and policy reports on this topic.

Ricky Aiken

Inner City Innovators

Founder and Executive of Inner City Innovators, Ricky Aiken has made it his life’s mission to inspire and empower inner city youth to embody the change so desperately needed in their communities. Ricky is a boots-on-the ground, “all-in”, agent of change who believes that real change happens when the people who need it, lead it. As a child raised in the inner city of West Palm Beach, Ricky has seen firsthand the plights associated with growing in communities of concentrated disadvantage. He has suffered homelessness, witnessed familial addiction, lost friends to gun violence violence, and was expected to be another statistic; in fact, he admits to be being well on his way to fulfilling that destiny until he vowed to change the trajectory of his life. Well known in West Palm Beach for his community activism, Aiken has found  a way to use his life experiences and social capital to bring hope to his neighborhood and promote the value of resilience. A celebrated speaker and mentor, he has big plans for the inner city and is working hard to change the image and climate of inner city neighborhoods throughout Palm Beach County. 

GEO’S CONTINUUM OF CARE MODEL: IMPROVING OUTCOMES IN MULTIPLE SETTINGS

Dr. Ralph Fretz

The GEO Group, Inc.

Dr. Ralph Fretz is a licensed psychologist who is employed as the Director of Post Release for GEO. For the past 40 years, Dr. Fretz has worked with a variety of population including children, juvenile and adult offenders, psychiatric inpatients, and sex offenders. Dr. Fretz’s work has been published in many journals, including Corrections Compendium, Criminal Justice and Behavior, Journal of Community Corrections, and Corrections Today. Dr. Fretz has presented at national and international conferences on a variety of topics, including Assessment Centers, Alternatives to Incarceration, and Risk-Need-Responsivity Principles. Dr. Fretz is also an Adjunct Professor at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Florida Atlantic University.

John Thurston

The GEO Group, Inc.

John Thurston has overall management responsibility for GEO Reentry Services’ 55+ community-based Day Reporting Centers throughout the United States. The objective of these centers is behavior change, recidivism reduction and public safety improvement. Mr. Thurston joined the GEO Group in February, 2011 bringing 23 years of experience implementing and managing correctional programs utilizing technology and evidence-based programming. He was appointed to the position of Vice President, Continuum of Care. In this role Mr. Thurston was responsible for implementing evidence-based programming within GEO’s secure correctional and residential facilities with the purpose of improving recidivism reduction.

Prior to joining GEO, Mr. Thurston had a successful 23 year career at BI Incorporated, the nation’s leader in the provision of recidivism reduction programming and electronic monitoring. He served as Vice President of Reentry and Supervision Services division, managing reentry and supervision programs. In this role, Mr. Thurston implemented a research-driven model utilizing the evidence-based principles for effective intervention that achieved significant recidivism reduction. Prior to this, he was Vice President of International Business Development, responsible for working with foreign governments and business partners to introduce electronic monitoring programs and services outside the US.

Mr. Thurston earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Relations from St. John’s University, Minnesota and a Master’s in Business Administration, with a specialty in International Business from Monterey Institute of International Studies, California.

David Burch

The GEO Group, Inc.

Mr. Burch began his Criminal Justice career in 1996 working as a Correctional Officer, and later as an Operations Manager, at subsequent residential work release facilities in Indianapolis, Indiana. He then joined the Indiana Department of Correction as a Director of Reentry Services and Case Management in 2006, responsible for developing and implementing evidence-based programs and case management services.

Mr. Burch joined The GEO Group in 2011 as the Superintendent of the Heritage Trail Correctional Facility, where he provided leadership and direction for the facility administration, security and programs. In October of 2014, Heritage Trail opened the First Time Offender Program at the direction of the Governor and Commissioner of Corrections. Promoted in 2016, Mr. Burch was named the Divisional Vice President for the GEO Continuum of Care, within the GEO Care Division, which encompasses staff training, in-custody enhanced rehabilitative programs, clinical research and post-release services. He earned his Master’s degree in Business Management from Indiana Wesleyan University.

IMPROVING PROGRAM OUTCOMES AND MEASURING SUCCESS

David D’Amora

Council of State Governments

David D’Amora, M.S., LPC, CFC is Director, Special Projects at the Council of State Governments Justice Center in New York City. He is the Senior Advisor to several Justice Center projects, including the State Recidivism Reduction, Improving the Implementation of Risk Assessment in Corrections, Sex Offender Reentry, Law Enforcement – Mental Health Collaboration, and Transitional Age Youth projects. Mr. D’Amora has provided training to therapists, probation and parole officers, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges and public officials forty-eight states. He is co-author of Adults with Behavioral Health Needs under Correctional Supervision: A Shared Framework for Reducing Recidivism and Promoting Recovery (New York: The Council of State Governments Justice Center, 2012) and most recently A Five-Level Risk and Needs System: Maximizing Assessment Results in Corrections through the Development of a Common Language (New York: The Council of State Governments Justice Center, 2016).

AN INTEGRATED APPROACH TO RE-ENTRY: WRAPAROUND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SUPPORTS AND SERVICES

Julie Radlauer-Doerfler

The Ronik-Radlauer Group, Inc.

Ms. Radlauer-Doerfler has extensive experience in the field of both human services and organizational development and has been engaged in nonprofit services for more than 20 years. Since the inception of the Ronik-Radlauer Group, Inc. she has been involved in various projects including training in the evidence based practice of Wraparound, system planning and integration, strategic planning at the system level, grant writing, assisting organizations through the accreditation process, training, coaching and providing technical assistance and teaching leadership. With a concentration on strategic planning, curriculum development, continuous quality improvement initiatives and conducting large-scale organizational and system assessments, the Ronik-Radlauer Group has assisted numerous individuals, organizations, and systems of care in the attainment of their goals. The Ronik-Radlauer Group, Inc. has worked extensively with the behavioral health system in both mental health and substance use conditions, the maternal child health system, the system supporting HIV services and within the Children’s Strategic Plan process in Broward County. Furthermore, the Ronik-Radlauer Group provides extensive training and technical assistance to various organizations and systems across the state of Florida as well as nationally.

Marci Ronik

The Ronik-Radlauer Group, Inc.

A Principal of the Ronik-Radlauer Group, Marci Ronik has worked in nonprofit services for over 30 years. With expertise conducting large-scale system and organizational assessments, the Ronik-Radlauer Group has assisted numerous individuals, organizations, and communities in the attainment of their goals through strategic planning, training, and technical assistance.

Charisse Van Biesen

Southeast Florida Behavioral Health Network

Charisse Van Biesen earned a BA degree in Psychology and a MA degree from the University of Central Florida. She has acquired a wealth of knowledge by working in several different work settings. She has experience working with children (child abuse investigations), juveniles (substance abuse treatment) and adults (domestic violence, substance abuse treatment, mental health and homeless services). During her entire career, she has been working closely with individuals who were linked to the criminal justice system.  

Her current role as Program Innovation Manager at Southeast Florida Behavioral Health Network involves oversight and collaboration with the mental health and substance abuse providers funded by SEFBHN. Her role also includes interaction with the community providers who are working with the Mental Health courts, FACT teams, jails, DOC aftercare providers and state (civil and forensic) mental health treatment facilities. 

THOSE CLOSEST TO THE PROBLEM ARE CLOSEST TO THE SOLUTION: THE IMPORTANCE OF PEER INVOLVEMENT IN PROGRAMS AND ADVOCACY FOR THE FORMERLY INCARCERATED

Quintin Williams

Heartland Alliance

Quintin is a Field Building Project Manager at Heartland Alliance, Part-Time instructor, 5th Year PhD student in Sociology at Loyola University Chicago, and a 2018 leading with Conviction fellow with JLUSA. Quintin’s research interests include the Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, Social Inequality, and Crime and Punishment. Quintin works with the RROCI (Restoring Rights and Opportunities Coalition of Illinois) working with and for people with records advocating for the expansion of opportunities for people with records and broader criminal justice reform in Illinois. Quintin believes in the inherent worth of all people, and expanding opportunities for the most marginalized, and the role of lived experience in policy making. Quintin currently holds an Associate in arts from Malcolm X College, a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Concordia University Chicago, and a Master’s Degree in Sociology from Loyola University Chicago.

Anthony Hoskins

The Lord’s Place

Anthony Hoskins is a respected reentry peer mentor for The Lord’s Place. He uses his personal experiences to relate to the formerly homeless men who live at The Lord’s Place’s men’s campus, in Boynton Beach. He grew up in a nice home in Boynton with a mother and father who were very much present for Anthony and his four sisters and five brothers.  Still, he always stayed in trouble. By age 10, he was using crack cocaine and wound up in juvenile detention. For 17 years, Anthony found himself in and out of prison. Now in his fifth year with The Lord’s Place, he has a passion for helping men who’ve been through similarly difficult situations. He teaches five classes at The Lord’s Place dealing with behavior, personal development, parenting skills, learning patience and engaging in the community at-large in a positive way. He also mentors high-risk youth in jail, so that they will be more productive in society when they leave. That program is close to his heart, since he grew up in jail. 

Eileen Leo

The Lord’s Place

Eileen Leo works with homeless individuals as a Peer Specialist at the Lord’s Place (hired in May 2018), outreaching to homeless individuals with high risk and vulnerability. She was incarcerated for a year due to an addiction from July 2016-July 2017. In that time God and the Lord’s Place took her out of her strong hold and placed her in a position of hope and usefulness. She attended job ready classes and received case management from The Lords Place when she was released in May of 2017. She has been sober for over two years. She is involved in her church, attends and leads bible study groups, and loves seeing people who have been down and out find a life that is beyond their wildest dreams. She has also been mentoring women with addiction issues at Hallie’s Place, which is the woman’s reentry housing program. Eileen’s goals in life are to help people find hope, finish her degree in Psychology, and to let God use her past as an asset not a liability. She had worked in the mental health field for more than 5 years prior to her incarceration, where she specialized in working with individuals that had physical, mental health disabilities, and addiction. 

RACIAL DISPARITIES IN JUSTICE INVOLVEMENT AND REENTRY

Dr. Debra Robinson

PBC School District

Debra L. Robinson was raised in Flint, Michigan, home of the community school concept. She graduated from Flint Central High School in 1974 and Michigan State University in 1977, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with honors. Additionally, she is a proud graduate of Howard University College of Medicine, Class of 1981. Dr. Robinson is married to Tay Gaines, M.D. They are the proud parents of three sons and grandparents to three.  

Dr. Robinson completed her internship and residency training in Internal Medicine at Hurley Medical Center and McLaren General Hospital in Flint, Michigan. In return for her National Health Service Corps scholarship, she cared for the medically underserved in Chattanooga, TN and Pompano Beach, FL. Her medical practice has ranged from Emergency Medicine in Belle Glade and Okeechobee to HMO medicine to a private practice overlooking the intercoastal waterway. She recently retired from caring for our veteran population at the West Palm Beach Veterans Affairs Medical Center. 

Dr. Robinson has been an advocate for a high quality education for her sons for 3 decades. Her school centered advocacy has included service on various Parent-Teacher Associations and School Advisory Committees/Councils. 

In 1991, Dr. Robinson formed the Progressive Association of Neighbors, Inc. – a neighborhood based organization founded to provide programs for neighborhood children. She successfully lobbied the City of West Palm Beach for a new North Shore campus summer camper. The summer camp provided activities for children ages 5 – 13. Later she worked with the City of West Palm Beach’s Recreation Department and the city library to include reading activities in the summer camp. Additionally, she created and supervised an after school program, Academic Sports, at the North Shore campus. The program, which ran for 3 years, tied the desire to play basketball to the need to be academically successful. 

She has served as the Chair of the Education Committee of the West Palm Beach branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for 5 years and also was its past 1st Vice-President. She was a founding member of the Coalition for Black Student Achievement (CBSA) and served as the Chair from its inception in 1998 until her election to the School Board. Under her leadership, CBSA wrote a 57-step plan to close the academic achievement gap in Palm Beach County schools. The Palm Beach County School Board adopted this plan, “Achievement Matters for All,” in February 1999. 

Early in 2000, Palm Beach County residents formed “A Better County” Political Action Committee (PAC) to work for single member districts for election of School Board members. Dr. Robinson served as Vice-Treasurer of the organization. The voters of Palm Beach County, with a vote of 70%, enacted the new single member form of governance for the Palm Beach County School District. The constituents of District 1 who now had the opportunity for a voice, called for Dr. Robinson’s candidacy for the District 1 seat. In September 2000, Dr. Robinson defeated the incumbent with over 70% of the district’s vote. Since that time, the district lines have been redrawn and Dr. Robinson is now the School Board member for District 7. She was re-elected in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014 and continues to proudly serves the children of Palm Beach County. 

As a school board member, Dr. Robinson leads the charge for a focus on addressing the socioemotional needs of students and staff, a single gender school at the historic Roosevelt High School, fairness in the application of disciplinary rules, and the use of disaggregated data to drive district movement to equity. 

Additionally, Dr. Robinson is a past President of the Palm Beach County Caucus of Black Elected Officials and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Dr. Robinson believes that respect for the community is necessary in order to assist the community. She continues to work for systemic change while focusing on the needs of the individual student. 

Rev. Kevin Jones

Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church

Rev. Kevin L. Jones is a native of Rustburg, VA, and is the youngest son of Dwight and Gladys Jones. Rev. Jones completed his education in the Campbell County School System and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice from Radford University in 1996. In 2007, Rev. Jones graduated from Palm Beach Atlantic University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Ministry, and in August 2012, graduated with a Masters of Divinity Degree from The Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, GA.

Rev. Jones currently serves as Assistant Pastor of Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. Gerald D. Kisner. Rev. Jones also serves as Coordinator of Community Initiatives in the Office of Mayor Jeri Muoio in the City of West Palm Beach. Rev. Jones coordinates the African American Advisory Council, Mayor’s Youth Council, Faith Advisory Council, and the Mayor’s Village Initiative. The Mayor’s Village Initiative’s mission is to improve the outcomes of young black men in targeted areas of the city.

Rev. Jones is the Past Co-President of P.E.A.C.E., a congregation based organization charged with the mission of fighting injustice in the communities of Palm Beach County. During his time as Co-President, P.E.A.C.E. was able to win important issues in the areas of Wage Theft, Jobs and Unemployment in the Glades, Youth Crime, and Out of School Suspensions. These victories provided much needed opportunities for the least of these in our communities.

Judge Jeffery Colbath

15th Judicial Circuit of Florida

Judge Colbath grew up in Palm Beach County. He started his legal career at the State Attorney’s Office; working his way up to prosecuting homicides. After leaving the State Attorney’s Office he became a civil trial lawyer, representing civil defendants, including the Sheriff, law enforcement officers, lay people, attorneys and other professionals.

His over 25 year judicial career started when he was elected County Judge in 1992. He was elected to the circuit bench in 2003. He has served in nearly every division of court including criminal, civil, probate, and family law; with stints in the main courthouse, the north county courthouse, the south county courthouse, the gun club courts and for those of you who remember, the D & D center.

Over his judicial career Judge Colbath served two terms as the President of the Conference of County Judges, two terms as Chair of the Conference of Circuit Judges, and was appointed by the Supreme Court to be the Dean of the College of Advanced Judicial Studies. He served as Chief Judge from 2013 through 2017.

Christopher James 

Burns Institute

Christopher James is a Site Manager working to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in adult and youth justice systems nationwide. He comes to the Burns Institute with the hopes of directly engaging system stakeholders on behalf of communities of color, which are all too often not given a voice in response to a system in which they are overrepresented. After graduating Tulane Law School with the desire to become a public defender, Christopher eventually came to realize he wanted to have more of a widespread impact as opposed to working on behalf of individual clients while communities continued to be overwhelmed by a broken justice system. With that perspective, he has continued to advocate for youth and believes improvements in youth justice serve as the best models for developing strategies which can be implemented in adult systems. 

LEADING ADAPTIVE CHANGE IN COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS:
MAKING YOURSELF AND YOUR AGENCIES MORE NIMBLE, AGILE, AND EFFECTIVE

Brad Bogue

Justice System Assessment and Training

Bradford Bogue started working in corrections (and MH and AOD addiction) in 1971, in a therapeutic community based in NY. Since that time Mr. Bogue worked for the state of Colorado as manager in both Community Corrections as well as probation for ten years. He has published several journal articles and two books dealing with a broad range of case management issues. And Brad conducted over 70 program evaluations ranging from restorative justice to specific addictions treatment interventions. Mr. Bogue has an MA in Sociology from the University of Colorado; he has been a member of the MINT MI trainer network for 25 years. He is also a certified trainer in a wide range of interventions and assessment tools. Mr. Bogue owned and managed an adult as well as juvenile licensed addiction treatment program, Center for Change, from 1999 to 2006. Currently he is the Director of Justice System Assessment & Training, a national consulting company operating since 1997 that specializes in the implementation of evidence-based practices, along with deeper dialogues for social justice.

Dr. Tom O’Connor

Transforming Corrections

Tom O’Connor has degrees in law, philosophy, theology and counseling, and a Ph.D. from the Catholic University of America in Washington DC., that focused on Religion and Culture in the US Penal System. For a ten-year period, Tom was the head chaplain and a research manager with the Oregon Department of Corrections. He has taught criminal justice at Portland State University and Western Oregon University, and he publishes on the role of practice models, the community, and humanist, spiritual and religious ways of making meaning in the desistance journey. Tom’s work on leadership, team development, and facilitating systems change through dialogue and implementation science has taken him throughout the US, and internationally to countries such as New Zealand, Canada, Australia, England, Ireland and France. Tom is CEO of Transforming Corrections, a consulting company, based in Oregon, USA whose mission is to co-create more effective, less costly and more compassionate criminal justice systems.

COMMUNITY-BASED REENTRY: KEYS TO MAKING IT WORK

Carey Haughwout

Palm Beach County Public Defender

Carey Haughwout took office in January of 2001. She graduated with High Honors from Florida State University College of Law in 1983. In 1979, she earned a degree in economics and sociology from New College in Sarasota. She began her career as an associate with a Tallahassee trial firm. From 1985 to 1990, she was an assistant public defender in Tallahassee and Palm Beach County, working her way from misdemeanor to capital cases. She practiced as a private criminal defense attorney in Tallahassee and Palm Beach County for 17 years.

As a leader for poor people in our justice system, Carey has worked with many organizations throughout Florida. She has been a member of the Palm Beach County, state and national Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Criminal Justice Commission, Legal Aid Society and the Florida Association of Women Lawyers. She chaired the Palm Beach County Criminal Justice Commission’s Reentry Task Force from 2008-2016, providing leadership in obtaining more than $4 million in federal funding to assist those returning from incarceration and cutting recidivism rates in half among the clients served.

She has been recognized by her peers many times including receiving the Palm Beach County Bar Association’s Professionalism Award, Palm Beach Association of Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Champion of Justice Award and the Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Law Service and Homeless Advocacy awards. Her legal expertise was recognized with the Governor Lawton Chiles’ appointment to the Domestic Violence Clemency Panel from 1995-1998, and the Supreme Court of Florida 1997 Appointment to the Special Advisory Committee on Minimum Standards of Competency for Counsel in Capital Cases.

Throughout the community her work has been acknowledged by countless organizations as the recipient of The ACLU Harriet S. Glasner Freedom Award, March of Dimes Women of Distinction Award, and the Lord’s Place Ending Homelessness Award.

Craig Spatara

Palm Beach County Public Safety

Craig Spatara, MPA is the Manager of Criminal Justice Programs for Palm Beach County, FL where he develops and oversees reentry initiatives including the nationally recognized Palm Beach County’s Regional and State Transitional Offender Reentry (RESTORE) Program.  Mr. Spatara has facilitated successful relationships between correctional facilities and community-based service providers at the state and local levels.  He developed an automated reentry case management database, the CJC Reentry Network (RENEW), that links correctional agencies and community-based service providers.  The system is used to identify offenders’ criminogenic risk and associated needs, develop collaborative case planning and track recidivism, employment and additional reentry outcomes.  Mr. Spatara earned his Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Florida Atlantic University and has tirelessly advocated throughout his career for those less fortunate.

Diana Stanley

The Lord’s Place

For eleven years, Diana Stanley has led The Lord’s Place in its mission to end the cycle of homelessness and advocate for those living on the margins of our society. Her enthusiasm has empowered staff to deliver superior programs and services, and her exceptional ability to inspire people to take action has created systemic reform at the local, state and national levels.

Ms. Stanley, along with her executive leadership team, have created new programs, financially stabilized and diversified the agency resources, and fostered the creation of many innovative programs, including Social Enterprises – (catering and thrift store businesses designed to help create jobs). New supportive housing projects, and a job training and placement program for those individuals with barriers, a street engagement team for the City of West Palm Beach and a dedicated research and evaluation team to monitor and improve program effectiveness.

Most importantly, the housing inventory for chronic homeless men and women, single homeless women and formerly incarcerated individuals has tripled during her tenure. Special emphasis was placed in meeting the unmet needs of homeless single women. Burckle Place opened in 2013 and was the first privately funded housing program for homeless single women. Burckle Place West opened March 15 2017 – a home for Burckle Place graduates. In addition, dedicated to serve formerly incarcerated women, The Lord’s Place opened Halle’s Place in November 2016.

As a leader, she encourages staff to think outside the box. Placing the needs of clients first, the agency is not afraid to shift gears in order to serve more clients or positively impact more lives. Giving staff the ability to dream has earned The Lord’s Place the honor of being named among “The 100 Best Places to Work” in Florida by Florida Trend Magazine under Diana’s leadership. It has also won the “When Work Works” national award in 2016 and 2017, and received the 2015 Nonprofit of the Year award from the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches. It was named one of The Nonprofit Times’ 2017 “Best Nonprofits to Work For” and a “Best Place to Work” by the South Florida Business Journal. For the past six years, the agency has held a 4-Star Rating from Charity Navigator. It also holds a Gold GuideStar rating and it has achieved Nonprofits First Accreditation for Excellence in Nonprofit Management.

Diana is a true advocate for quality of life, especially for the less fortunate, and her leadership inspires action and passion for changing lives.

IMPROVING EMPLOYMENT OUTCOMES FOR PEOPLE FORMERLY INCARCERATED: DEVELOPING A PATHWAY TO SUCCESS

Chris Warland

Heartland Alliance

Chris Warland is Associate Director for Field Building at Heartland Alliance’s National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity, which includes the National Transitional Jobs Network. He supports employment services for chronically unemployed individuals across the country by overseeing the development of best practice guides, white papers, and other resources; facilitating peer learning; designing and delivering trainings; and consulting with employment initiatives at the local, state, and national levels. Before getting involved in workforce development, Warland worked for several years as an adult education teacher for people incarcerated at the Cook County Jail. He received his MA from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago and his BA from the University of Michigan.

Erica Nelson

Council of State Governments

Erica Nelson is a policy analyst on the Reentry and Employment Program at the Council of State Governments Justice Center. Erica oversees initiatives focused on improving collaborations between corrections, reentry, and workforce development agencies; provides training to federal grantees and technical assistance to service providers on evidence-based and best practices in the corrections and workforce development arenas; and promotes public and private sector dialogues around employment and reentry issues. Erica has authored best practice guides, articles, and other resources to support local, state and national reentry and employment efforts. Prior to joining the CSG Justice Center, Erica worked more than a decade in corrections and workforce development. As a work coordinator for the Montgomery County (Maryland) Department of Correction and Rehabilitation and the Baltimore County Department of Corrections, she leveraged employer partnerships to help people in the criminal justice system obtain and retain employment. Erica also served as a career advisor for the Community College of Baltimore County, where she provided job readiness instruction to college students and people who were incarcerated. Erica earned a MA in public administration from the University of Baltimore and a BS in criminal justice from Coppin State University.

Talmadge Hayes

Local Client

Talmedge Hayes first got in trouble with the law in 1989 at the age of 16. Just after his 17th birthday he was given multiple life sentences and spent 27 years in prison. Bryan Stevenson and his wonderful team of attorneys at the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama went to the United States Supreme Court to argue that it is unlawful to give a juvenile a life without parole sentence for non-homicide crimes. On May 17, 2010, the case of Graham vs. Florida was decided in favor of the youth. Upon entering prison, Talmedge obtained his high school diploma in 11 months, and, in 1995, he started working for Prison Rehabilitative Industries and Diversified Enterprises (PRIDE), where he continued working until his release on April 1, 2016. In addition to his high school diploma, he obtained several certificates in printing that enabled him to secure a printing job upon his release. While in prison, he also took a self-betterment program called Lifers.  

Upon his release from prison, Talmedge attended the Abe Brown Ministries Ready4Work Hillsborough program. After completion of the program, he started engaging (on the program’s behalf) with potential employers to highlight the reasons to hire individuals with criminal records. Through this experience and friendship, he has encountered several life coaches who give him sound advice on transitional life issues. The Lord’s Place, in Palm Beach County, has been a big part of his success with the transitional programs they offer. Talmedge now works for Palm Beach County in the Graphics Division as a Printer II, where he has worked for the past two years. He has also transitioned into his own apartment. Talmedge has a passion to mentor at-risk youth and currently volunteers with Inner City Innovators, a group founded by Ricky Aiken to inspire and empower inner city youth to embody the change they want to see in their community.  

Talmedge is thankful for everything Jesus has done for him.

THE TREATMENT, HOUSING, AND SUPERVISION OF SEX OFFENDERS

Dr. Jill Levenson

Barry University

Dr. Jill Levenson is a Professor of Social Work at Barry University in Miami, FL. She is also a licensed clinical social worker with nearly 30 years of experience working with victims, survivors, and offenders of sexual assault. Dr. Levenson has published over one hundred articles about the impact and effectiveness of sex-offender management policies and therapeutic interventions designed to prevent recidivism. Several of her research projects have been funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Justice and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. She has co-authored four books about the treatment of people who sexually offend and their families. She is well-known as an international expert on sexual violence and is frequently quoted in the media, appearing in Newsweek, CNN, the New York Times, and NPR’s Diane Rehm Show, among others. She has been an invited speaker across the U.S. and in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Ted Rodarm

Matthew 25 Ministries

Originally from Oklahoma, Ted came to South Florida in 1990 after attending Oklahoma State University.  Ted enjoyed a career in banking for nearly ten years, and has been with Matthew 25 Ministries since 2009.  Starting as a volunteer and working his way up, he was promoted to the position of Executive Director in 2016.  Ted’s background and first-hand experience uniquely qualify him to assist ex-offenders in their re-entry process.  He also serves as Chairman of the Palm Beach County Re-entry Task Force Sex Offender Subcommittee as well as Treasurer of Jacob’s Destiny Church.  Ted resides in Pahokee with his wife, Rose. 

Justine Patterson

Florida Department of Corrections

Mrs. Patterson began her career with the Florida Department of Corrections in 1988 as a Correctional Probation Officer.  She rose through the ranks to include: Correctional Probation Senior Officer, Correctional Supervisor, Correctional Probation Senior Supervisor, Deputy Circuit Administrator (Circuit 19, Circuit 11), Circuit Administrator (Circuit 19), and Deputy Regional Director for the Southern Region of Community Corrections.  She currently serves as the Regional Director, Region IV Community Corrections.  This entails the implementing, organizing, community involvement, and directing of operational activities for probation offices for six Judicial Circuits (19-Ft. Pierce, 15-Palm Beach, 17-Broward, 11-Miami –Dade, 16-Marathon, & 20-Ft. Myers) for a total of 37 probation and parole offices.   

Mrs. Patterson holds several certifications to include:  Correctional Probation Officer, Florida Department of Law Enforcement certified instructor, 2008 graduate of the Correctional Leadership Development Class of the National Institute of Corrections (NIC), Colorado, Thinking for a Change (T4C) facilitator, Level of Service Inventory-Revised (LSI-R) facilitator, and an Ohio Risk Assessment System (ORAS) facilitator.  She is one of the “First Fifty” ACA certified as a Correctional Behavioral Health Professional for FDC in the state 2016, a 2016  Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Executive Leadership Academy in Tallahassee. 

Her Professional Affiliations/Memberships include:  Corrections Foundation Board of Directors, Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency Chapter 10; Southern States Correctional Association; Correctional Peace Officer Foundation; American Probation and Parole Association; Florida Association of Community Corrections, Florida Council on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys. 

Mrs. Patterson holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Bethune-Cookman University and a Master of Science Degree from Columbia Southern University in Criminal Justice. 

A MODEL FOR IMPLEMENTING CBI-EMPLOYMENT

Jim Rhoads 

The Lord’s Place

Jim is the Director of Training and Education at The Lord’s Place in West Palm Beach. During his tenure with the agency, he has served as an employment instructor for formerly incarcerated and homeless adults; developed new curriculums for job training and transitional work experience initiatives; and led a staff team that serves 300 disadvantaged jobseekers a year.  

Prior to coming to The Lord’s Place, Jim spent more than thirty years as a middle school teacher and principal. He also served as an educational consultant for the New Jersey Principals Supervisors Association (NJPSA) and was employed as an adjunct professor for the alternative route teaching program at Richard Stockton College in New Jersey. 

Jim acquired his Master’s Degree in Educational Administration at Ryder University and his teaching degree at East Stroudsburg University. He is a nationally certified Olweus anti bullying trainer and has conducted over 200 presentations in the State of New Jersey.  Most recently, Jim was trained as a Cognitive Behavioral Intervention instructor to assist re-entry clients in finding and maintaining employment. 

Jim presents in an enthusiastic professional manner creating a positive, enjoyable seminar experience.