Our Team

Our team is built on individuals with various backgrounds in the criminal justice field.

Alison Shames

Director

Ms. Shames is co-director of the Advancing Pretrial Policy and Research (APPR) initiative. She is an innovative manager and lawyer with experience in private, government, and nonprofit organizations. She has a strong record of implementing programs and policies, managing complex projects, conducting strategic planning, delivering training and technical assistance to criminal justice policymakers and professionals, and authoring publications. Ms. Shames graduated magna cum laude from the New York University School of Law in 1997. Following graduation, she served as a law clerk in New Orleans and as an associate for a San Francisco-based law firm. Ms. Shames worked in Australia as corporate counsel to one of the country’s largest media and publishing companies and as a policy manager for the Attorney General’s Department of New South Wales. In 2008, she joined the Vera Institute of Justice as Associate Director and Director of Programs for Vera’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections, where she co-authored Reimagining Prison, which presents a transformative vision of incarceration, with human dignity as the foundational principle.

Our Team

Alison Shames

Director

Anke Mann

Associate Director

Awinna Martinez

Program Manager

Cherrie Smith-Raines

Operations Manager

Denise Symdon

Senior Manager

Dr. Kelvin L. Banks

Senior Manager

Edith Han

Digital Manager

Holly Ziemer

Director of Communications

Jenna Mackey

Program Associate

Jessica Ireland

Senior Manager

Keilah Joyner

Program Associate

Kristen Persaud

Operations Assistant

Lakisha Fisher

Program Manager

Leilah Gilligan

Director

Marilyn Van Dieten

Senior Advisor

Matt Alsdorf

Associate Director

Melanie Breault

Communications Manager

Orleny Rojas

Senior Manager

Richard Stroker

Director

Samuel Steed

Operations Assistant

Spike Bradford

Communications Manager

Tanya Anderson

Senior Manager

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