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. For nearly two decades, Ms. Jacobs served as the Executive Director of the Women’s Prison Association (WPA) in New York. Ms. Jacobs has designed and implemented innovative programs for women and families involved in the criminal justice system and has also served as a consultant to the National Institute of Corrections and Annie E. Casey Foundation, among others. As a recognized advocate and reformer, Ms. Jacobs 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, Ms. Jacobs 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, Ms. Jacobs worked at the Pretrial Services Resource Center and the National Institute for Dispute Resolution. Her experience encompasses work in both the juvenile and adult justice systems, at the local and national levels. Ms. Jacobs earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Maryland, College Park and attended the University of Baltimore Law School.
Ebony Abel-BrownEbony Abel-Brown, Senior Academic Counselor
Ebony joined the Institute as an Academic Counselor in September 2015. Prior to joining the Institute's staff, she was a College Initiative student in 2012. She studied at Hostos Community College, where she became a mentor and then earned her associate degree in Community Health. She enjoys the responsibility of providing educational guidance and assistance for students by creating pathways through college and determining appropriate education solutions for her students. Ebony is now attending Hunter College, majoring in Sociology. She is passionate about becoming a social worker which gives her the motivation to continue to help others become successful.
AshtonAshtin Audain, Intake Services Coordinator
Ashtin joined the Institute in December 2018 as the Program Associate for College Initiative. She now serves as the Institute's Coordinator of Intake Services, which entails overseeing the intake processes for all incoming students interested in joining HSE Connect and College Initiative and supervising an Intake Specialist. Prior to joining our team Ashtin participated in a Criminal Justice Ethics course through an Inside-Out Prison Exchange program held on Rikers Island. There, she explored ethical issues related to criminal justice and developed her passion for criminal justice reform and education within the prison system. Ashtin enjoys traveling and learning about various approaches to criminal justice reform in different countries. She is deeply passionate about providing equal access to quality education and mental health counseling to marginalized populations. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Forensic Mental Health Counseling at John Jay College.
Sue BatkinSue Batkin, Deputy Directory of Programs
Sue joined the Institute in May 2019 as the Deputy Director of Programs. In this role, she provides oversight of all of the Institute's direct service programs, including Career Pathways, College Initiative, Prison to College Pipeline, and our Fellowship programs. Prior to joining our team, she was the Director of the Center for Urban Community Service’s (CUCS) Academy for Justice Informed Practice. In this capacity, she developed and managed innovative start-up programs focused on training thousands of professionals a year, to help them better serve individuals with serious mental health concerns who are involved in New York’s criminal legal system. Prior to this work, Sue worked in a leadership capacity in several organizations dedicated to securing access to housing, public benefits and health care, including the Medicare Rights Center, the Urban Justice Center, and Fountain House. Sue brings over 25 years of program management experience to her role at the Institute. She holds an MSW from Hunter College School of Social Work and a BA from Boston University.
Jacklyn Borja, Intake Specialist
Jacklyn joined the Institute in March of 2021 as the Intake Specialist for College Initiative. Jacklyn previously served as a social worker at a non-profit therapeutic foster care agency in Westchester County, NY. In this role, 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, in addition to collaborating 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 is a firm believer empowering and supporting underserved communities. Jacklyn graduated with honors from the State University of New York at New Paltz with Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. She intends to return to school to pursue a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology.
Jamila Diaz, Director of Career Pathways
Jamila Diaz 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.
Taylor DeClerck, Technical Assistance Coordinator
Taylor joined the Institute in March 2020 as the Reentry Technical Assistance Coordinator. Previously, she provided reentry support to men and women returning to Rockland County, New York from New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision facilities. In this role, Taylor served justice-involved individuals by providing education and employment assistance. Her professional experience includes interning with Fordham University as a representative to the United Nations, where she presented on topics impacting the incarcerated population. Taylor holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Criminal Justice from SUNY Oneonta and a Master’s in Social Work with a concentration in Leadership and Macro Practice from Fordham University.
BrittanyBrittany Drollette, Academic Counselor
Brittany joined the Institute as an Academic Counselor in March of 2019. Prior to joining the Institute, Brittany served as an AmeriCorps member with City Year Miami, and then as a case planner for young men living in a foster care group home. Brittany is passionate about education and criminal justice reform, and is looking forward to being able to serve as a more direct resource for those who might need additional support and advocacy in order to achieve their academic goals. She is also extremely passionate about contributing to the improvement of our society’s current mental health system, and is excited to work on affecting change where all of these issue areas intersect. Brittany graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Siena College, where she hopes to pursue her Master’s Degree in Public Health Policy in the future.
Mallory Duckworth, Events and Vendor Contracts Coordinator
Mallory joined the Institute in July 2019 as the Events Associate. She is responsible for coordinating logistics for all meetings, symposia, and other Institute events. She previously worked at another CUNY institution, LaGuardia Community College, through a grant to raise awareness of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) majors and career opportunities for students by facilitating workshops, coordinating events, and offering hands-on STEM activities. Originally from Georgia, Mallory graduated magna cum laude from the University of North Georgia with bachelor’s degree in Human Services Delivery and Administration, and she plans to pursue a master’s degree.
Tommasina Faratro, Special Projects Coordinator
Tommasina joined the Institute as the Special Projects Coordinator in August 2018. She is responsible for coordinating the Institute's Mellon Foundation funded grant to "map" the efforts across CUNY that engage and support students who have been involved in the criminal justice system. This will create an integrated CUNY strategic plan to further support students after justice-involvement. Tommasina served as an academic advisor for the CUNY EDGE program at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, working with students who are receiving public assistance from the NYC Human Resources Administration. She co-founded the Reentry Interest Group at BMCC. The focus of the interest group is to convene faculty, staff and administration to identify ways in which BMCC can support and provide an inclusive campus climate for BMCC students with justice-involvement. She is committed to advancing college access and equity for marginalized and underrepresented students. Tommasina is also an adjunct faculty member at St. Francis College. She teaches courses within the field of psychology including Life Span Development and Social Psychology. Tommasina holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from St. Francis College, a Master’s of Science in School Counseling from Hunter College and is currently working on her Doctorate in Higher Education Administration at George Washington University.
Zoraida Fuentes, Program Coordinator, Navigator Certificate
Zoraida joined the Institute in February 2020 as the Program Coordinator of the Navigator Certificate in Human Services and Community Justice program. Zoraida obtained her M.S. in Criminal Justice from Iona College and her MSW from Lehman College. She began her journey in the Human Services field after graduating from Hofstra University in 2002. Zoraida has worked in many different sectors in the Human Services arena. She has experience with working under the guidelines of: The Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD); The Department of Health (DOH); The Administration for Children Services (ACS); and The Office of Mental Health (OMH). She has over ten successful years of supervisory practice and has experience with providing individual psychotherapy as well as providing family therapy through her field placements. Zoraida is impassioned by invoking a “you can do it too” approach to life which allows her to connect with all genres and communities. Zoraida is a change agent and she is driven by the belief that when an individual is provided with support and encouragement realistic goals are achieved surpassing their expectation.
Angie GarciaAngelina 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, Case Management Specialist
As a Case Management Specialist, Nakia assists students in navigating homelessness, securing permanent housing, journeying through unemployment in an effort to establish job security, applying for public assistance benefits, and handling outstanding legal issues through referrals and partnerships with other agencies. A major part of Nakia’s role within the Support Service Unit is the “Welcome Back” program, which creates protocols aimed at facilitating the reentry for Prison-to-College Pipeline alumni leaving Otisville Correctional Facility, including assisting with acclimating to a college campus and developing self-advocacy skills.
KennethKenneth Inniss, Reentry Specialist
Kenneth Inniss joined the Institute as in March 2019 and now serves as a Reentry Specialist. He received an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts through the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) in 2012. Kenneth previously 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 case load of between 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 elevated to the position of Outreach worker, which included traveling to the Queensboro Correctional Facility to give presentations and meet with clients individually to complete discharge plans with them prior to their release.
JR Inocencio, Data and Tech Support Associate
JR joined the Institute in November 2018 as a Data Entry Associate. He now serves as the Data and Tech Support Associate, supporting our direct service teams with transitioning their data to Salesforce and collecting program data for staff. He works with each department to organize and clean data, track and report software problems, and assist in testing page layouts in Salesforce. He is excited to support Institute initiatives to increase educational access for individuals impacted by the criminal legal system. JR has an Associate in Science Degree in Computer Science (2020) from LaGuardia Community College and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Technology in Computer System Technology at New York City College of Technology.
Melannie Insiganres, P2CP Program Associate
Melannie joined the Institute in February 2021 as the Program Associate for the Prison-to-College Pipeline program (P2CP). Prior to joining the Institute, she interned at the Vera Institute of Justice and the American Red Cross. In 2020, Melannie graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a minor in Psychology.
Liana Islam, Part-time Fellowships Alumni Outreach Associate
Liana joined the Institute as a Part-time Fellowships Alumni Outreach Associate in 2021. Prior to joining the Institute, she interned for the Office for Diversity and Inclusion at the New York City Bar Association. Currently, she is a senior at Hunter College, where she is pursuing an Economics and Political Science major. She intends to become a lawyer in the future with an interest in immigration and labor law.
Jessica Jensen, Director of Statewide Educational Initiatives
Jessica rejoined the Institute in October 2018 as the Director of Statewide Educational Initiatives. In this role she oversees the Prison-to-College Pipeline (P2CP), the Institute's Mellon Foundation funded efforts to map CUNY services that support criminal justice system involved students, and the Institute's provision of technical assistance to the District Attorney of New York’s (DANY) college-in-prison programs. Prior to taking this role, Jessica worked at the Vera Institute of Justice as a Program Associate where she provided technical assistance to college-in-prison programs in various parts of the country that are part of the Second Chance Pell Experimental Sites Initiative. Separate from this work, Jessica also provided technical assistance through Vera’s Opening Doors Initiative to public housing authorities that increased access to housing for applicants with involvement with the criminal justice system through a revision of the housing authority’s admissions policies or the creation of reentry or family reunification programs. Before working at the Vera Institute, Jessica was the Director of Academic Counseling and the Peer Mentoring Coordinator of College Initiative, a project of the Institute. Jessica’s previous experience includes working at John Jay College as an Academic Counselor and lecturer for the SEEK program, and teaching at BMCC in the Social Sciences, Human Services, and Criminal Justice Department. Jessica has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master’s in Social Work from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College.
Zoë Johnson, Policy Coordinator
Zoë joined the Institute as the Policy Initiatives Program Associate in February 2017. Her primary responsibilities include providing programmatic and administrative support to the Director and Policy Director. Prior to joining the Institute, Zoë worked as an English Teaching Assistant in Guadeloupe with the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF), and as a Summer Teaching Fellow at MS 331, the Bronx School of Young Leaders. She also worked with the NYU Marron Institute, an organization focused on urban management, criminal justice, and environmental health, where she provided programmatic and executive support. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, she participated in a course to create and facilitate an arts-based empowerment workshop for a group of incarcerated young adults at Rikers Island. She also provided tutoring at the Fortune Society's alternative-to-incarceration education program. Zoë graduated summa cum laude from NYU with a Bachelor of Arts in French and a minor in Media, Culture, and Communication.
Diane JungDiane Jung, Finance Associate
Diane joined the Institute as a Finance Associate in September 2018. She supports the Institute's finance and operations teams by processing and preparing financial reports, tracking budgets, and other various transactions. Prior to joining the Institute, Diane supported the financial operations at an education non-profit, working closely with program staff and administrative staff of all levels. Diane is excited about educational initiatives for under-served communities and how she can support this important work through efficient processes. She holds a bachelor’s degree in education and public policy from New York University.
Denisse Martinez, Program Manager, P2CP
Denisse joined the Institute as the Program Manager for the Prison-to-College Pipeline (P2CP) in November 2020. 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 having taken two Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program courses as an undergraduate student at the University of Delaware. This prompted her to pursue a PhD 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. Denisse also served as an undergraduate Instructor at Rutgers University-Newark and as an English teacher for two years in Spain. More broadly, 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 PhD student to gain more practical experience, but she plans to finish her dissertation when the time is right.
John MolinaJohn Molina, Mentoring and Alumni Coordinator
Juan (or “John”) joined the Institute in May 2019 as the College Initiative (CI) Mentoring and Alumni Coordinator. For over a decade, John’s tightly held beliefs in redemption and access to education have kept him tethered to the CI community. Initially, John was a CI student who also volunteered as a Student Recruiter and Data Entry Specialist. John officially joined the CI staff as an Academic Counselor in 2009, while also attending night classes at Lehman College. John earned a Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration with presidential honors from Lehman College in 2010. John went on to enroll at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service, where he earned a Master of Public Administration with a specialization in Health Policy and Management (HPAM). John is also an active member of ALPFA, the Association of Latino Professionals for America.
Miguel MolinaMiguel Molina, Instructional Design Specialist
Miguel joined the Institute as the College Readiness Instructor in August 2018—teaching the College Readiness course at Rikers Island, a writing-intensive social justice-themed course that prepared students for the CUNY placement test in writing and helped students develop the critical thinking skills and rhetorical strategies needed to complete college-level coursework in social sciences and the humanities. He now serves as the Institute's Instructional Design Specialist, supporting the development and refining of curricula across the Institute's programs. Prior to joining the Institute as a full time staff member, Miguel taught at Queensboro Correctional Facility, and he worked for over 17 years as an adjunct English professor and writing tutor at LaGuardia Community College. As a lifelong college educator, Miguel passionately believes in expanding access to higher education for justice-involved students, as well as the importance of using an anti-oppression lens in writing education. Miguel holds a BA in philosophy from St. John’s University and an MA in Adult TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from Hunter College.
Monserrat Muniz, Data Collection and Program Evaluation Manager
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.
Estephania Paredes, Program Associate
Estephania Paredes joined the Institute in December 2019 as the Program Associate for College Initiative (CI) and now serves as an Academic Counselor. In this role she assists CI students impacted by the criminal legal system in preparing for, enrolling in, and persisting in higher education. Prior to joining the Institute, Estephania was a case manager for the Learn & Earn program at Mosholu Montefiore Community Center. She is passionate about uplifting underserved populations through direct service. Estephania graduated from Hunter College with a BA in Sociology.
Patrick Pulliam, Training Associate
Patrick joined the Institute in July 2019 as a Training Associate with the Institute's Career Pathways team, working predominately 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, as well as a graduate of the inaugural class of the Navigator Certificate in Human Services and Community Justice. He holds a bachelor’s degree in human services management from the University of Phoenix.
Katheryne RalphKatheryne Ralph, Director of Human Resources
Katheryne Ralph 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 Jewish Board of Children and Family Services, AMC Health, and, most recently, NADAP. She is a graduate from Adelphi University and received her certification in Human Resources from New York University.
MarianaMariana Sant'Anna, Director of Finance and Operations
Mariana joined the Institute as the Operations Manager in January 2018. Previously, she worked as the Events Associate at the National Network for Safe Communities at John Jay College. At NNSC, Mariana was responsible for managing administration and logistics of various internal and external events, as well as 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 go to and graduate from college. Mariana holds a BA in Psychology from Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College, City University of New York, where she graduated 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.
Amy Wald, Intake and Support Services Manager
Amy joined the Institute as the Intake and Resource Coordinator in October 2017. Prior to joining the Institute full time, Amy served 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 have been impacted by the criminal legal system in reaching their goals. Amy holds a BA in psychology from Hunter College and an MSW graduated from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College.
Christina Walker, Manager, Fellowship Initiatives
Christina Walker joined the Institute in May 2019 as a Fellowship Initiatives Coordinator in May 2019. Christina previously worked as a special educator teacher for youth with disabilities, as a Creative Writing instructor for women incarcerated at Centre County Correctional Facility, and as a mathematics and reading GED teacher for women at the Woman’s Opportunity Rehabilitation Center (The WORC), an alternative-to-incarceration program in Hempstead. Christina holds a bachelor’s degree in Special Education with a K-12 certification and Reading Specialist License. She also acquired a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Language, Culture and Society, and focused her research on using educational programs in jails to rehabilitate people and increase productivity. Christina deeply believes in the restorative power of education and hopes to continue supporting the success of students.
Alison WilkeyAlison Wilkey, Director of Public Policy
Alison joined the Institute as the Policy Director in December 2015. Prior to joining the Institute, she worked at Youth Represent as the Director of Policy and Legal Services. In that role, she conducted Youth Represent’s law reform efforts, supervised all attorneys and law students, and directed client representation. Prior to joining Youth Represent in 2008, she worked as a staff attorney at the Criminal Defense Practice of the Legal Aid Society in Manhattan. Ms. Wilkey served on the Board of Directors of the New York County Lawyers’ Association, serving on the Justice Center Advisory Board and numerous other committees. She sat on the Criminal Courts Committee and the Corrections and Community Reentry Committee of the New York City Bar Association. Ms. Wilkey is a graduate of Columbia Law School, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, a Charles Evans Hughes Human Rights Fellow, and was awarded the Jerome Michael Jury Cup.