Susan Turner, Director
Susan Turner is Professor and Graduate Director in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society at the University of California Irvine. She also serves as Director of the Center for Evidence-Based Corrections, and is an appointee of the President of the University of California to the statewide California Rehabilitation Oversight Board (C-ROB). She received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Turner led a variety of research projects while she was a Senior Behavioral Scientist at RAND, including studies on racial disparity, field experiments of private sector alternatives for serious juvenile offenders, work release, day fines and a 14-site evaluation of intensive supervision probation. Dr. Turner’s areas of expertise include the design and implementation of randomized field experiments and research collaborations with state and local justice agencies. At UCI, she is currently working with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on a number of projects, including risk assessment, prison and parole population forecasting, and evaluations of an earned discharge parole model. Dr. Turner is a member of the American Society of Criminology, the American Probation and Parole Association, a Fellow of the Academy of Experimental Criminology, and former Chair of the Division of Corrections and Sentencing, American Society of Criminology.
Helen Braithwaite, Associate Director
Helen Braithwaite is a Research Specialist and Associate Director at the Center for Evidence-Based Corrections at the University of California, Irvine. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Flinders University of South Australia in 1998. Her dissertation research examined the tactics used by police officers to resolve conflict on patrol, and her book Conflict management in police-citizen interactions (McGraw Hill, 1998) is used in police training in Australia. Prior to moving to the United States, Dr Braithwaite worked as a Research Scientist at the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO), conducting research and evaluation for the Australian Army in the areas of training simulation, and principles of feedback. Her previous employment also includes time spent as a lab manager and organized crime intelligence analyst. In her current position at CEBC, Dr Braithwaite is interested in the effects of non-revocable parole on public safety and prisoner re-entry, and the development of methods for evaluating the impact of parole policies.
Elizabeth Cauffman is a Professor in the Department of Psychology and Social Behavior at the University of California, Irvine. She received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Temple University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Center on Adolescence at Stanford University. Dr. Cauffman is interested in applying research on normative and atypical development to issues with legal and social policy implications, and her current work examines adolescent development in the context of juvenile justice policy and practice. Specifically, her research involves identifying developmental trajectories of delinquency, developing diagnostics to improve the identification of treatment needs among youthful offenders, and exploring the legal implications of research on the development of mature judgment (which include such interrelated issues as competence, amenability, and accountability). Dr. Cauffman is a consultant for the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency Mental Health Initiative and is a member of the MacArthur Foundation’s Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice. She is currently working with the California Youth Authority to address the mental health problems among juvenile offenders.
Jim Hess is an analyst with the Center for Evidence Based Corrections. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California Irvine School of Social Science in the Program in Social Networks. His dissertation focused on migration, economic development, and globalization, using ethnographic and survey field research in an Orange County immigrant community and across a year’s residence in the Marshall Islands. This project showed the linkage between the dynamics of migration systems and phases in the evolution of globalization, and argued that the sustainability of development projects is a function of regional political economy and international finance, as well as local ecology and institutions. He has also participated in research projects at the Division of Epidemiology, the Center for Public Health and Research, and the UCI Libraries, and has provided consulting on advanced statistical analysis for systematic qualitative data. At the CEBC he is currently focused on recidivism in the parolee population and predictors of the risk of recidivism, with a particular interest in family structures and cohesion, ethnicity, identity, and community/neighborhood effects.
Valerie Jenness, Professor in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society and in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine, was a Visiting Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2016 and, prior to that, she was a Senior Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the Univeristy of Michigan in 2015. She served as Dean of the School of Social Ecology from 2009 to 2015 and Chair of the Department of Criminology, Law and Society from 2001-2006.
Her research has focused on prostitution, hate crime, and prison violence and grievances to explore the links between deviance and social control, the politics of crime control, social movements and social change, and corrections and public policy. She is the author of four books, including: Appealing to Justice: Prisoner Grievances, Rights, and Carceral Logic (with Kitty Calavita); Making Hate a Crime: From Social Movement to Law Enforcement Practice (with Ryken Grattet); Hate Crimes: New Social Movements and the Politics of Violence (with Kendal Broad); and Making it Work: The Prostitutes’ Rights Movement in Perspective. She is also the co-editor of Routing the Opposition: Social Movements, Public Policy, and Democracy (with David Meyer and Helen Ingram) and the author of many articles published in sociology, law, and criminology journals.
Theresa Lavery is a Research Associate at the Center for Evidence-Based Corrections at the University of California, Irvine. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Social Behavior from the University of California, Irvine. Ms. Lavery entered the field of criminal justice research after an extensive career as a software developer creating innovative solutions for private and government organizations including the L.A. County District Attorney’s office and the Dept. of Health and Human Services. Ms. Lavery is interested in advancing research of evidence-based programs for offenders reentering society, particularly programs for female offenders and offenders with substance abuse and mental health issues.
Kristy N. Matsuda is a Research Specialist at the Center for Evidence-Based Corrections at the University of California, Irvine. She received her Ph.D. in Criminology, Law and Society at the University of California, Irvine in 2009. Her dissertation examined the impact of housing young offenders in state-run juvenile correctional facilities and adult prisons on their future recommitment. Her doctoral research was funded by the National Institute of Justice Graduate Research Fellowship. Dr. Matsuda then joined the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Missouri – St. Louis (UMSL) as an Assistant Research Professor. At UMSL she was part of the team conducting the National Evaluation of the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program. Dr. Matsuda’s broad research interests include juvenile and adult corrections, earned discharge from parole, gangs, and program evaluation.
Cheryl Maxson is a Professor and Chair in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society at the University of California’s Irvine campus. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from USC. She is co-author of Street Gang Patterns and Policies (Oxford University Press, 2006) and Responding to Troubled Youth (Oxford University Press, 1997).and co-editor of The Eurogang Paradox: Gangs and Youth Groups in the U.S. and Europe (Kluwer/Plenum, 2001) and The Modern Gang Reader (Roxbury Publishing, 1st ed, 1995; 2nd ed., 2001; 3rd ed., 2005). Her articles, chapters, and policy reports concern street gangs, status offenders, youth violence, juvenile justice legislation, drug sales, community policing and community treatment of juvenile offenders. She has served as President of the Western Society of Criminology, where she is honored as a Fellow, and as Executive Counselor of the American Society of Criminology and associate editor of its journal, Criminology.
Clint McKenna is a Research Associate with the Center for Evidence-Based Corrections (CEBC). He received his B.A. in Psychology and Social Behavior from the University of California, Irvine. His previous research at UCI investigated various issues in social psychology, including his undergraduate thesis examining moral decision making. His research interests include how motivational biases (rather than evidence) can drive judgments of prediction and punishment, drawing him to the work done by the CEBC. He hopes he can contribute to evidence-based research practices that will provide empirical evidence to improve corrections in California. Among other projects at the CEBC, Clint is interested in improving the California Static Risk Assessment instrument for use with the correctional population in California.
Hernando Ombao is a professor in the Department of Statistics at the University of California, Irvine. He received his Ph.D. in Biostatistics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and his M.S. in Statistics from the University of California, Davis. His research interests include Time Series Analysis, Spatio-Temporal Models, Statistical Signal and Image Processing, and Graphical Models. At UC Irvine, he leads the Spatio-Temporal Modeling group. He and students collaborate with researchers from the social sciences, neuroscience and medicine. Dr. Ombao currently serves as Associate Editor for the Theory and Methods Section of the Journal of the American Statistical Association, the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B.
Bryan Sykes is an Assistant Professor of Criminology, Law and Society (and Sociology), a Research Affiliate in the Center for Demography and Ecology (CDE) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Faculty Affiliate in The Center for Demographic and Social Analysis at UCI, an Affiliate in the Center for Evidence-Based Corrections at UCI, and a Member of the Racial Democracy, Crime and Justice Network (RDCJN) at Ohio State University. He has been a National Science Foundation Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Washington, a Visiting Scholar in the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) at UW-Madison, and a Research Associate at the National Economics Research Associates (in the Sampling and Survey Divison), the National Board of Medical Examiners (in Operations Research), and Nickerson & Associates LLC.
Dr. Sykes’ research focuses on the intersection of demography and criminology, broadly defined, with particular interests in fertility, health, mass imprisonment, and social inequality. He has taught courses on demography, research methods, power and social social stratification, criminology, and public policy. Professor Sykes has received awards from the Department of Demography at the University of California-Berkeley, the National Board of Medical Examiners, and the Population Association of America. His research findings have been covered by The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), The New York Times, The Guardian, Time Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, The Seattle Times, NPR, and other news outlets. He is a member of the Population Association of America, the American Sociological Association, the American Society of Criminology, the American Statistical Association, and Chair of Convict Criminology, American Society of Criminology. Dr. Sykes is currently completing a community evaluation and assessment project with the Chicago Police Department.
Holly Westfall is a Statistician in the Center for Evidence-Based Corrections at the University of California, Irvine. She received her Master’s degree in Psychology from the University of South Florida. Her thesis examined the influence of learning in an exploratory state on human memory formation and long-term retention. Ms. Westfall additionally studied data science and predictive analytics at UCI. Her broad research interests include program evaluation, social impact, and evidence-based methodology.
Graduate Students and Summer Staff
Adrienne Credo is working with the Center of Evidence-Based Corrections as a Graduate Student Researcher. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology, Law and Society (CLS) from University of California, Irvine with a minor in International Studies in Global Conflict Resolution. During her last two years at UC Irvine, Adrienne worked in CEBC on the Earned Discharge project in addition to working with Dr. Susan Turner on various CEBC projects and for the Division of Experimental Criminology. She is now a doctoral student in the CLS department with a broad research focus on corrections, sentencing, and earned discharge policies.