Staff

Note: Please direct all media and interview requests to Keisha Salmon, 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.
Ebony Abel-Brown, Senior Academic Counselor
Ebony joined the Institute as an Academic Counselor in September 2015. Before joining the Institute, she was a College Initiative student in 2012. She studied at Hostos Community College, where she became a mentor and earned an A.A. in Community Health. Ebony enjoys the responsibility of providing educational guidance and assistance for students by creating pathways through college and determining appropriate education solutions. Ebony holds a B.A. in Sociology from Hunter College and is in the process of enrolling in the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College.
Sara Baig, Communications and Development Associate
Sara joined the Institute in November 2021. Before joining the Institute, she worked with several for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. Additionally, because of Sara's time at The Nation, she has in-depth knowledge of the publishing and editorial industry. Apart from her work at the Institute, Sara is an adjunct lecturer at John Jay College and works with Incorrigibles, a transmedia project that tells the stories of 'incorrigible' girls in the United States over the last 100 years—beginning with New York State. Sara earned her B.A. in Humanities and Justice, M.A. in Human Rights, and Advanced Certificate in Transnational Organized Crime Studies at John Jay College.
Jacklyn Borja, Intake Specialist
Jacklyn joined the Institute in March of 2021 as the Intake Specialist for College Initiative. Before joining the Institute, she served as a social worker at a non-profit therapeutic foster care agency in Westchester County, NY. She served as a liaison between the Department of Social Services/Administration of Children Services and Family Court, ensuring the safety and well-being of her clients and collaborated with service providers to develop appropriate interventions to support clients' mental health, independent living life skills, and educational needs. Having worked in the social sector, Jacklyn believes in empowering and supporting underserved communities. Jacklyn graduated with honors from the State University of New York at New Paltz with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. She intends to return to school to pursue an M.A in Forensic Psychology.
Arialdy Chavez, Academic Counselor
Arialdy joined the Institute in January 2022 as an Academic Counselor. Before joining the Institute, he supported adolescents in underserved populations as a College Coach, supporting their aspirations to join postsecondary education or vocational opportunities. He is passionate about supporting underserved populations further to give them the resources they need to thrive. Arialdy earned his B.A. in Criminal Justice at John Jay College and is currently working towards his M.S. in School Counseling at Hunter College.
Griffin DeClerck, Finance Associate
Griffin joined the Institute in November 2021 as a Finance Associate. Before joining the Institute, he worked at a Guardian Life Insurance Company of America branch and other financial institutions. Currently, he helps with purchasing, monitoring, tracking budgets, and financial reporting for grant portfolios. Griffin graduated magna cum laude from Pace University's Pforzheimer Honors College with a B.A. in Finance and a minor in Environmental Justice—fueling his passion for protecting vulnerable populations parallel to the Institute's work, aligning their values for achieving justice for overlooked communities.
Jamila Diaz, Director of Career Pathways
Jamila is the Director for Career Pathways. Before joining the institute, Jamila worked with the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (SoBRO) as the Assistant Vice President of Community and Economic Development. During her tenure, she worked on projects in collaboration with the City, State, and Federal governments that provided opportunities to disadvantaged neighborhoods throughout the Bronx and Manhattan. Jamila holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science (Urban Policies) with minors in Sociology and Economics from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, is a Coro's Leadership Fellows alumni, and holds a Certificate in Business Management from Fairfield University.
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.
Nakia Greene, Coordinator of Intake Services
Nakia joined the Institute in September 2018 as a social work intern. Before joining the Institute, she served as the Case Management specialist. In November 2021, Nakia assumed the role of Coordinator of Intake Services. She leads the Institute’s HSE Connect program, where she assists students over the age of 25 obtain their high school equivalence degree and transition into the Institute’s College Initiative program. Nakia has a B.A. in Criminal Justice and a specification in Correctional Institutions from John Jay College and obtained an MSW from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter 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.
Kenneth Inniss, Reentry Specialist
Kenneth joined the Institute in March 2019 and serves as a Reentry Specialist. Before joining the Institute, Kenneth worked at The Fortune Society as an Education Counselor and then as an Alternative to Incarceration (ATI) Counselor. As an ATI counselor, Kenneth maintained a caseload of 15-20 clients, developed initial treatment plans, monitored clients’ attendance, and conducted weekly individual counseling sessions to assess clients’ progress in the program. After two years of counseling, Kenneth was promoted to Outreach worker, which included traveling to the Queensboro Correctional Facility to give presentations and meet with clients individually to complete discharge plans with them before their release. He holds an A.A. received through the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI).
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.
Liana Islam, Program Associate, Career Pathways
Liana joined the Institute as a Part-time Fellowships Alumni Outreach Associate in 2021 and assumed the role as the Fellowships Initiative Program Associate in the same year. Before joining the Institute, she interned for the Office for Diversity and Inclusion at the New York City Bar Association. Liana holds a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Hunter College.
Kassaundra Johnson, Coordinator of Fellowship Initiatives
Kassaundra joined the Institute in June 2021 as the Program Coordinator for Fellowship Initiatives. Before joining the Institute, she worked as a fourth-grade teacher. As a coordinator, Kassaundra is a liaison between fellows and their host sites. In addition, she strives to support and empower young people along their educational journey and professional milestones. Kassaundra graduated from John Jay College with a B.A. in Gender Studies and is currently pursuing an M.A. in Public Administration at the same institution.
Nadine Magloire, Academic Counselor
Nadine joined the Institute as an Academic Counselor in February 2022. Before joining the Institute, she worked as a Transfer Specialist at CUNY Brooklyn College, aiding local and international students starting college. In addition, Nadine served in customer service for over ten years and is passionate about addressing the needs of people, especially those who have not been given adequate opportunities. She earned her B.S in Business Management and Finance at Brooklyn 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.
Jesler Lino Martinez, Academic Counselor
Jesler joined the Institute as an Academic Counselor in February 2022. Before joining the Institute, he provided valued services, including mentoring young people in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and Brooklyn, New York. In addition, during Jesler's undergraduate years, he had the opportunity to work with the Center for Civic, Learning and Action program, where he created and organized need-based projects in support of Carlisle organizations to provide economic and social initiatives. Jesler earned his B.A. in Political Science and Africana Studies at Dickinson College.
Chastity Michel, Community Life Coordinator
Chastity joined the Institute in June 2021 as the Advocacy Coordinator and now serves as the Community Life Coordinator. She is the Co-founder of Dream House NYC, a trauma-informed safe housing space for formerly incarcerated women. In addition to the direct service and advocacy work, Chastity also speaks on parental incarceration's effects on families and individuals. At the Institute, she coordinates and organizes events to build communities and keep The Institute's students and participants engaged and supported. As a directly impacted woman, Chastity has built a career in the criminal justice reform space as an advocate and service provider. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from The College of New Rochelle.
Monserrat Muniz, Director of Data Management and Information Systems
Monserrat joined the Institute as the Data Collection and Program Evaluation Manager in March 2020. She helps oversee the development and implementation of the Institute's database that supports programs across the Institute. Prior to joining the Institute, she supported the operations, policy, fiscal reporting, data collections, and evaluation at CUNY Fostering College Success Initiative (FCSI) and Foster Care Initiative (FCI). She is excited to continue to support educational initiatives that provide positive and progressive change for underserved communities and help programs make data-driven decisions.
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.
Yanneska Quezada, Career Pathways Coordinator
Yanneska joined the Institute in January of 2022 as the Career Pathways Coordinator. Before joining the Institute, she was a Career Coach at the Osborne Association, leading a program that assists clients to navigate career growth. At the Institute, she will provide programmatic support to the Navigator students and alumni with career readiness, professional development, and job opportunities. Yanneska is a resilient individual passionate about the community re-integration of individuals the criminal/legal system has impacted. She is pursuing an MSW in Organizational Management and Leadership at the Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work.
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.
MarianaMariana Sant'Anna, Director of Finance and Operations
Mariana joined the Institute as the Operations Manager in January 2018 and, in 2020, assumed the role of the Director of Finance and Operations. Before joining the Institute, she worked as the Events Associate at the National Network for Safe Communities at John Jay College. At NNSC, Mariana was responsible for managing the administration and logistics of various internal and external events, handling routine and impromptu purchases for events, negotiating with vendors, tracking and reporting purchases, and managing NNSC travel and policies. Prior to NNSC, she worked as the Development Coordinator at Sponsors for Education Opportunity, an educational nonprofit helping public high school students graduate from college. Mariana holds a BA in Psychology from Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College, City University of New York, graduating with honors.
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.
Chrisbell Jimenez SosaChrisbell Jimenez Sosa, Manager of Fellowship Programs
Chrisbell joined the Institute in February 2022 as the Manager of Fellowship. Before joining the institute, Chrisbell worked at Bottom Line NYC as a Senior Success College Advisor. As a Senior Advisor, Chrisbell maintained a caseload of 83 CUNY students and helped with college and career success. In addition, Chrisbell worked alongside her team to ensure students' opportunities with companies like JP Morgan Stanley, COOP, Pencil, and others. Chrisbell holds a B.A. in Sociology from Gettysburg College and M.A. in Higher Education Administration from Stony Brook University.
Amy Wald, Intake and Support Services Director
Amy joined the Institute as the Intake and Resource Coordinator in October 2017. Before joining the Institute full-time, Amy served as a social work intern/enrollment counselor with College Initiative. Previously, Amy worked as the Senior Program Associate for Esperanza NY Inc., an alternative to incarceration program for court-involved young people in NYC. Amy is committed to supporting individuals who the criminal legal system has impacted in reaching their goals. Amy holds a B.A. in Psychology from Hunter College and is an MSW graduate from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College.