Who We Are
Justice Strategies works to provide high-quality research to support grassroots movements and sensible policy reforms. The organization began as a collaborative project of Judith Greene and Kevin Pranis, who have over 45 years of collective experience researching and campaigning against mass incarceration. Justice Strategies has since evolved into a vibrant organization that gives captures the voices of some the brightest and most innovative thinkers on criminal justice and immigration reform.
is one of the nation’s leading criminal justice policy experts whose essays and articles on criminal sentencing issues, police practices, and correctional policy have been published in numerous books, as well as in national and international journals. Her work has been cited in countless media stories and investigative reports in outlets including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and National Public Radio. Ms. Greene has over thirty years researching, writing and orchestrating criminal justice reform. She has received a Soros Senior Justice Fellowship from the Open Society Institute, served as a research associate for the RAND Corporation, as a senior research fellow at the University of Minnesota Law School, and as director of the State-Centered Program for the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation. From 1985 to 1993 she was Director of Court Programs at the Vera Institute of Justice.
Néstor M. Ríos
has over 25 years of experience in nonprofit management, organizational change and development, program and policy analysis, university administration and consulting. He was director of the Easyride Transportation project and the Essex Bail Bond Program for The Vera Institute of Justice, and was a legislative analyst for both New York City’s Human Resources Administration and New Jersey's Department of the Public Advocate. He was the director of professional and executive development at the Robert J. Milano Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy (MGS) a division of New School University (NSU), and worked in executive-level leadership positions at a bilingual multi-service community-based agency in Boston and a national public policy advocacy group in Washington, D.C.
Justice Strategies Associates
is co-author, with Judy Greene, of Local Democracy on ICE: Why State and Local Government have no Business in Federal Immigration Enforcement. Ms. Shahani is a co-founder and board cof Families for Freedom (FFF), a multi-ethnic defense network by and for immigrants facing deportation. FFF has provided direct support to over 1,000 immigrant families, and trained hundreds of community groups across the country on deportation defense. Ms. Shahani contributes to local media including the “War on Immigrants Report” for WBAI/Pacifica Radio, Caribbean Life, and Manhattan Neighborhood Network. She is an Advisory Board Member of Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights. Previously she was an advocate with the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, and a Board Member of Citizens and Immigrants for Equal Justice. She also received a Union Square Award and a New Voices Fellowship.
was an Open Society Institute Soros Justice Advocacy Fellow and is a research consultant at Justice Strategies. As an OSI Fellow she developed a ‘research to action’ initiative that resulted in child welfare reform, affecting over one million children whose parents are incarcerated. Ms. Allard's research and advocacy efforts encompass a broad range of topics, with a particular focus on the impact of criminal justice policies on low-income women and women of color.
Ms. Allard is an attorney who has consulted for Amnesty International and worked on staff at both the Sentencing Project and the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School. She is the author of several national reports, including “Life Sentences: Denying Welfare Benefits to Women Convicted of Drug Offenses” (Sentencing Project, 2002) and “Rebuilding Families, Reclaiming Lives: State Obligations to Children in Foster Care and their Incarcerated Parents” (Patricia Allard and Lynn Lu, Brennan Center for Justice, 2006).
Ms. Allard is a graduate of Queen's University Law School in Canada (1996), was called to the bar of Ontario in 1998, and received her master's in criminology from the Center of Criminology at the University of Toronto (1999). Since May 2009 she is Deputy Director of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network.
was also an Open Society Institute Soros Justice Advocacy Fellow with Justice Strategies. The primary goal of Mr. Rook's fellowship project was to develop collaborations that make research useful, accessible and accountable to communities. Prior to his appointment by the NAACP as director of their newly formed Criminal Justice Division in the fall of 2009, Mr. Rooks worked with Justice Strategies as a Community Justice Strategies Facilitation consultant on projects in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Mr. Rooks has had over ten years of experience coordinating research and organizing on drug policy, criminal justice and related issues. As Executive Director of A Better Way Foundation (ABWF) in Connecticut, he worked with Create Change, (a local grassroots group), and the Center for Social Research at the University of Hartford to transform ABWF from a policy think tank into a reform vehicle utilizing research for organizing and coalition building. These efforts ultimately won major drug policy reforms in Connecticut including the first major legislative initiative to equalize sentences for rock cocaine (Crack) versus other cocaine derivatives.
Robert’s leadership on drug policy and racial justice helped to draw national attention to the over-representation of crack cocaine users in prison.
While we work closely with elected officials, correctional administrators, academics and attorneys, we define our constituency as organizations and coalitions that represent communities directly affected by mass incarceration. We count groups such as American Friends Service Committee (AZ), the Connecticut Alliance, the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, Families for Freedom (NY), Justice Maryland, the New Bottom Line Campaign (AL), the Prison Moratorium Project (NY), the Second Chance Campaign (NJ), WISDOM’s “TIP” campaign (WI), the Western Prison Project (now the Partnership for Safety and Justice in OR), the national Detention Watch Network and the Mississippi ACLU among our constituents.