Note: Please direct all media and interview requests to Aida E. Rosario, Director of Communications and Strategic Initiatives.

Ann Jacobs, Executive Director
Ann joined the Institute in May 2011 with over forty years of experience in the criminal justice field. She served as the Executive Director of the Women’s Prison Association (WPA) for nearly two decades in New York. Ann has designed and implemented innovative programs for women and families involved in the criminal justice system. She has served as a consultant to the National Institute of Corrections and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. As a recognized advocate and reformer, Ann also founded the Women’s Justice Alliance, a consortium of over 100 service providers in New York State; she created the Institute on Women in Criminal Justice, a national policy center dedicated to improving the policies and practices affecting women in the criminal justice system; and the Women’s Advocacy Project, a program in public policy and civic involvement for formerly incarcerated women. Previously, Ann was responsible for oversight of the city’s five public safety agencies for the New York City Mayor’s Office of Operations and served as the Deputy Director of the Mayor’s Office of the Criminal Justice Coordinator from 1986 to 1990. Earlier in her career, Ann worked at the Pretrial Services Resource Center and the National Institute for Dispute Resolution. Her experience encompasses both the juvenile and adult justice systems locally and nationally. Ann earned a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Maryland, College Park, and attended Baltimore Law School.
Tommasina Faratro, Special Projects Coordinator
Tommasina joined the Institute as the Special Projects Coordinator in August 2018. She has over eight years of experience in higher education. Tommasini coordinates the Institute's advocacy around making the City University of New York (CUNY) more accessible for students impacted by the criminal legal system and inclusive of their lived experiences. She leads and convenes the CUNY Justice Learning Collaborative and its workgroups. Additionally, Tommasinia brokers relationships and strategic partnerships between the Institute and colleagues and programs across CUNY. Tommasina holds a BA in Psychology from St. Francis College, an MS. Ed in School Counseling from Hunter College/CUNY, and a Higher Education Administration Ed.D candidate at George Washington University.
Angelina Garcia, Program Associate, College Initiative
Angelina joined the Institute as a Program Associate in February 2018. She is a board member of the Independent Review Board (IRB) for The Office of the Ombudsman within the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS). Angelina is pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice at Hostos Community College.
Carlos Guzman, Tech Programs Coordinator
Carlos joined the Institute in October of 2021 as the Coordinator of Tech Support Programs. Before joining the Institute, he was a Technology Training Specialist for 12 years at the Grace Institute of New York. To help underserved women in New York achieve employment and economic self-sufficiency, Carlos developed and facilitated job skills training in Microsoft Office, QuickBooks, Microsoft Teams, LinkedIn, Google Workspace, and resume formatting. At Hunter College Continuing Education and CUNY on the Concourse, he spearheaded A+ certification training and taught Advanced Excel and Microsoft Access programming. At the Institute, Carlos facilitates digital literacy and business application training to help develop new social and economic opportunities for students and their families. He holds an A+ Certification, Google IT Support certification, MOS certifications and studied Computer Information Systems at Queensborough Community College.
Monique Hamilton, Events Associate
Monique joined the Institute in February 2022. Before joining the Institute, she worked in the hospitality industry as a chef for five years. Monique joined the Institute to work with marginalized and underserved communities as a step forward in her career. Monique earned her B.A. in Philosophy and Psychology at Brooklyn College and Hunter College.
JR Inocencio, Data and Tech Support Associate
JR joined the Institute in November 2018 as a Data Entry Associate and assumed the role as a Data and Tech Support Associate in March 2021. He enjoys supporting the Institute's initiatives to increase educational access for individuals impacted by the criminal legal system. JR supports our direct service teams with transitioning their data to Salesforce and collecting program data for staff. Additionally, he works with each department to organize and clean data, track and report software problems, and assist in testing page layouts in Salesforce. JR has an A.A.S. in Computer Science from LaGuardia Community College and is pursuing a B.S. in Computer Systems Technology at New York City College of Technology.
Melannie Insignares, P2CP Program Associate
Melannie joined the Institute in February 2021 as the Program Associate for the Prison-to-College Pipeline program (P2CP). Before joining the Institute, she interned at the Vera Institute of Justice and the American Red Cross. Melannie holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice and a minor in Psychology from John Jay College.
Gerald Maître, EdD, LMSW, Deputy Director of Programs
Gerald joined the Institute in December 2021 as the Deputy Director of Programs. Before joining the Institute, he was the Director of CUNY EDGE at Kingsborough Community College. In this capacity, he directed staff who help individuals on public assistance obtain college degrees. Before this work, Gerald worked in a leadership capacity at the Black Male initiative. Gerald has also worked with Administration for Children Services, SCO family Service, and Mercy First. Gerald has over ten years of experience working with families and individuals in the social service sector. As a director, he is responsible for oversight of the Institute’s services to students and ensuring overall program quality and impact. Gerald is a supportive and authentic person who thrives on helping individuals and organizations fulfill their goals. His philosophy on life comes from his love and passion for assisting individuals to be the best version of themselves. He holds a B.S. in Psychology minor in Behavior Science, an M.S. in Social Work from Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work, and an Ed.D. in Leadership from the University of New England.
Denisse Martinez, Director of Prison-to-College Pipeline (P2CP) Program
Denisse joined the Institute as the Program Manager for the Prison-to-College Pipeline (P2CP) in November 2020, and she was promoted to Director of P2CP in January 2022. Prior to joining the Institute, she was an Administrator for the City College of New York’s STEM Institute. There, she worked on designing, implementing, and overseeing several college-ready programs for disadvantaged middle and high school students in Northern Manhattan. Denisse’s interests have always been at the intersection of criminal justice and educational interventions. She developed this passion after taking two Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program courses as an undergraduate student at the University of Delaware. This prompted her to pursue a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice at Rutgers University. While there, her research focused on the collateral consequences of incarceration; the significance of social support both during incarceration and post-release; and the intricacies of strengths-based reentry in Newark, New Jersey. For two years in Spain, Denisse also served as an undergraduate Instructor at Rutgers University-Newark and as an English teacher. Her background includes several years of work with justice-involved and traditionally underserved populations in various capacities and a proven commitment to prevention, reentry, and diversion work. Denisse has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, with minors in Human Development & Family Studies and French, from the University of Delaware and a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice from Rutgers University. She took a break from being a full-time Ph.D. student to gain more practical experience, but she plans to finish her dissertation when the time is right.
Keasha Passe, Manager of College Initiative
Keasha joined the Institute as the Manager of College Initiative in January 2022. Before coming to the Institute, she worked in areas that serviced adolescents and young adults in underprivileged communities. Keasha started her career in Human Services with an internship position as an administrative assistant and then an Advocate Assistant in the Young Adult Borough Center (YABC). After eight years of working with the YABC program, Keasha began to work at the Department of Labor, Job Corp., as a Career Transition Readiness Instructor. During her tenure at Job Corp, she enrolled students in college and conducted endless job opportunities for students in the program. Keasha's passion and eagerness to help young adults with post-secondary opportunities and employee empowerment led Keasha to become a Workforce Development Coordinator for the Department of Education. As the Workforce Coordinator, she placed hundreds of students into internships, which provided them with gainful employment, and created over 90 partnerships from small businesses to corporations. Keasha is very passionate about her work and advocating for individuals who don't have a voice. This work includes empowering them to believe in themselves and giving proper support and resources to create endless opportunities. Keasha earned her Bachelor of Science in Sociology/Human Services at SUNY Empire State. She also has a Master's degree in Administration Leadership from Wilmington University.
Patrick Pulliam, Training Associate
Patrick joined the Institute in July 2019 as a Training Associate with the Institute's Career Pathways team, working predominantly with the Navigator Certificate in Human Service and Community Justice. Originally from Chicago, Patrick has extensive experience in the human services field in Atlanta and New York. He is also a certified recovery coach and a graduate of the inaugural class of the Navigator Certificate in Human Services and Community Justice. In addition, Patrick holds a B.A. in Human Services Management from the University of Phoenix.
Katheryne Ralph, Director of Human Resources
Katheryne joined the Institute in April 2019 as the Director of Human Resources. Kathy brings more than ten years of Human Resource experience in various work environments, including start-ups, for-profits, non-profits, and government. Her first managerial role was for The Fortune Society, and she later worked at the Jewish Board of Children and Family Services, AMC Health, and, most recently, NADAP. She is a graduate of Adelphi University and received her certification in Human Resources from New York University.
Shantrice Reed, Operations Manager
Shantrice joined the Institute in December 2021. Before joining the Institute, she was in the human resources and customer service sector. Shantrice has ten years of retail operations management experience. At the Institute, she is responsible for the day-to-day office operations, overseeing the finance and event associates. Shantrice is passionate about ensuring the Institute runs efficiently and supports others. She holds an A.A.S. Accounting degree from Berkeley College and is currently working on her B.A. in Human Resources Management at Capella University.
Elena SigmanElena Sigman, Director of Collaborative Learning
Elena joined the Institute in September 2011. She has thirty years of experience in social justice program design, startup, and operations management. Elena created the Institute's Career Pathways division, leading R&D and then managing the launch of certificate training programs for people directly impacted by the criminal justice system. Tech 101, featured in Fast Company, is a basic technology skills training that bridges the digital divide for people returning to NYC after years in prison. The Navigator Certificate in Human Services & Community Justice offers preparation for jobs and career advancement in the human services sector and an on-ramp to higher education. Elena partnered with John Jay College faculty and administrators along with subject matter experts to develop training curricula and to establish the Navigator Certificate as the first non-credit to credit bearing program at the College. Currently, Elena is developing the Collective Leadership Supervisor Training and is partnering with the NYC Mayor’s Office of Economic Opportunity and CUNY School of Professional Studies to create training for City-contracted providers of workforce development services. Elena previously led the Institute's work on the NYC Justice Corps, serving as liaison between the NYC Mayor’s Office and contracted nonprofit providers in four boroughs and managing a redesign of the program model that increased placements in jobs, education, and training for young adults. Elena is a NeuroLeadership Institute Results Trained Coach. She has a BA in English from Yale University and a MFA from Columbia University. Elena has previously served as Director of Food Programs at Hazon and as Director of Operations at the Women’s Prison Association, among other roles.