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Education Partners - Institute for Justice and Opportunity

Education Partners

Carlton Jama Adams, PhD is the lead professor in the Institute's Navigator Certificate and Chair of the Department of Africana Studies at John Jay College. Jama received a B.S. in Psychology from John Jay and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology from the Graduate Center of CUNY. His research interests include masculinities, fatherhood, and black identity in the age of cultural ambiguity. His expertise lies in organizational issues in social service agencies, parenting, and black thought in an era of cultural ambiguity.
Carla Barrett has served as the Academic Director of the Prison-to-College Pipeline (P2CP) program since August 2019 and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at John Jay. Carla’s early interests in the challenges faced by urban youth led her to investigate the ways in which urban young people encounter structures of social control, namely juvenile and criminal justice systems. Her early research focused on the criminal prosecution of adolescents in New York City. This lead to an exploration of the efficacy of Alternative to Incarceration programs and problem-solving courts. Carla continues to be interested in the ways youth are criminalized and the impact of criminal justice policies on court-involved youth, particularly young men of color. Carla is a fierce advocate for reform of juvenile and criminal justice policies and practices, and for practices that help 'humanize' justice systems. Carla has always been interested in the "law in action" and in how court workers go about the day to day application of law within criminal court case processing and how they explain what they do. Recently, Carla has been focusing her case processing research on mass misdemeanors, specifically misdemeanor adjudication and plea bargaining.
Jan De la Cruz serves as an adjunct lecturer at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where he imparts knowledge in the Criminal Justice Management and Public Administration programs. Within these programs, he teaches courses encompassing justice planning and evaluation, policy analysis, and research methods.

Additionally, Jan is an integral member of the State Initiatives division at the CSG Justice Center. In this capacity, he collaborates with states to align their subaward projects with the objectives and overarching vision of their Justice Reinvestment legislation. Moreover, Jan contributes to shaping the operational strategy of the division. He has also provided technical assistance to Second Chance Act Grantees across various initiatives, including the Community Reentry, Smart Supervision, and Career-Technology grant programs.

Before his tenure at the CSG Justice Center, Jan amassed valuable operational experience in diverse industries, spanning financial consulting and property management. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and a Master of Public Administration with a specialization in operational oversight, both earned from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Richard Hoehler is a communications and theatre arts professor in the Prison-to-College Pipeline. Richard has created four solo shows (Working Class, Human Resources, New Jersey/New York and I of the Storm) and received the OOBR Award for Best Solo Performance. In 2009 his play, Fathers & Sons, premiered Off Broadway. Other stage appearances include Rounding Third, K2, Kalighat, True West, Cries for Peace, The Rubber Room, Inadmissible, Day of the Dad and HAIR (55+). Television: NYPD Blue, Law and Order, Criminal Intent, As The World Turns, One Life to Live, Third Watch, and The Black Box. His newest piece, “E,” described as a live memoir, was featured at the Cornelia Street Café, Delaware Valley Arts Alliance, and The Commons in Brooklyn. Two new plays, MARS and REGULAR, NO SUGAR are in development and he recently directed I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER at the Chain Theatre in New York. Richard leads writing workshops all over New York City and is the founder of Acting Out, an acting class designed for at-risk youth and the incarcerated.

For nine years Richard has led the Theatre Workshop at Otisville State Prison. His play, FATHERS AND SONS was staged at the prison last July and will be performed at HB Studio in December 2020 cast with formerly incarcerated actors now studying with Richard at HB. Richard is a member of National Alliance of Acting Teachers, a member of the Dramatists Guild and an adjunct professor of Theatre at John Jay College.
Dr. Bukky Kolawole is an instructor in the Institute's Navigator Certificate in Human Services and Community Justice. Dr. Bukky is a licensed clinical psychologist and completed her doctoral internship in clinical psychology at New York City’s renowned Bellevue Hospital. She received her doctoral degree (PsyD) in clinical psychology from Long Island University, Post Campus. She specializes in providing couple’s therapy and pre-marital counseling for all couples, including those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) community.

Dr. Bukky’s clinical and research interests include the development and assessment of experiential learning events for the enhancement of intimate relationships; the application of Motivational Interviewing approaches in teacher consultation; and the application of Emotionally Focused Therapy with same-sex couples and polyamorous partners. She is a current member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT), International Center of Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT), New York Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy (NYCEFT) and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Dr. Bukky also maintains a voluntary faculty appointment at New York University Langone Medical Center’s Department of Population Health. Dr. Bukky is the founder of Dr. Bukky & Associates (now known as Relationship HQ).
Dr. Laurie Leitch is an instructor in the Institute's Navigator Certificate in Human Services and Community Justice. Laurie has been a practicing psychotherapist, clinical trainer, consultant, social entrepreneur, and researcher for over 25 years. She co-founded and co-directed Threshold GlobalWorks, LLC (TGW) with Brigadier General (Ret.) Loree Sutton, MD. until September 2, 2014 at which point she assumed the sole Directorship as Sutton was appointed Commissioner in the Mayor's Office of Veteran's Affairs in New York City by Mayor Bill DeBlasio.

Laurie currently serves on Advisory Boards for Fountain House/VetClub NYC, Homeward Bound Adirondacks, the Resource Innovation Group Climate Change Initiative, Second Response, and Shining Service Worldwide. Her work has been reported in a variety of US and international newspapers, she has numerous radio and podcast interviews, and appears in the documentary film “Justice Denied,” a film on male military sexual abuse that was nominated for several awards.
David Mensah is an instructor in the Institute's Navigator Certificate and the Collective Leadership Supervisor Training. His 21-year career has included 13 years in Executive Director positions, as well as 10 years as a youth and family counselor. Mr. Mensah has two BS degrees from Oregon State University, a Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Bridgeport and a M.Div. from Yale Divinity School. He has held faculty positions at Sacred Heart University, in Leadership Studies; at the University of Bridgeport, in Trauma Counseling; and currently holds an adjunct faculty position at Baruch College, in the School of Public Affairs.
Elizabeth Speck provides career development instruction and coaching in the Institute's Pinkerton, Tow, and DRF Fellowships and the Navigator Certificate program. She is the founder and principal of MindOpen Learning Strategies, a training, consulting, and coaching firm that helps people and organizations learn new ways to work in order to better serve social justice. A Licensed Creative Arts Therapist, Elizabeth has worked within and across New York City’s complex public service systems in direct service, management, and capacity building for three decades. Prior to founding MindOpen, Elizabeth led large-scale organizational and systemic change efforts as the Chief Learning Officer for the Workforce Professionals Training Institute in New York City, and as Senior Training Director for Safe Horizon, the nation’s largest victim assistance organization. Her own experience with vicarious trauma and burnout ignited a passion for building health and equity in the workplace, leading to earning a Ph.D. in Organizational Development from Fielding Graduate University, where her research looked at entering and advancing in the human services field for professionals who have been formerly incarcerated. As a community member, scholar-practitioner, and entrepreneur, Elizabeth is active in multiple networks working towards racial justice and equity in education, health, employment, and economic opportunity.