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Marc Schindler

Executive Director

As JPI’s executive director, Marc Schindler is a dedicated justice system reformer, while serving in a variety of roles. Most recently, he was a partner at a DC-based nonprofit philanthropic investment organization, Venture Philanthropy Partners. He served in a variety of leadership roles at DC's juvenile justice agency, Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) including Chief of Staff and Interim Director. Schindler also served as Staff Attorney with the Youth Law Center, advocating for the rights of young people in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. He is also a former Baltimore City public defender. Schindler is a recognized expert in the field, providing commentary in the national media, including on CNN and NPR, and is also the author of numerous articles and book chapters. 

Paul Ashton

Development and Finance Manager
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As JPI’s Development and Finance Manager, Paul Ashton manages JPI’s administration, fundraising and financial operations. He is the author of a number of JPI publications including: Gaming the System, Rethinking the Blues, The Education of D.C., and Fostering Change. Prior to joining JPI, Paul spent time as a sexual assault victim advocate and conducting research examining intimate partner violence in the LGBT community. Paul’s experience with victim issues led him to author JPI’s white paper: Moving Toward a Public Safety Paradigm: A Roundtable Discussion on Victims and Criminal Justice Reform. He is active in the local community and currently serves on the Police Complaints Board for the District of Columbia, the governing body of the D.C. Office of Police Complaints, and on the board of directors of Rainbow Response Coalition, a grassroots advocacy organization working to address LGBTQ intimate partner violence.  Paul received his Bachelor's in criminology from The Ohio State University and a Masters in criminology from the University of Delaware.        

Mai Fernandez

Senior Fellow

Mai Fernandez is a nationally known victims advocate, former prosecutor and community-based non-profit executive.  She comes to JPI from NCVC where she has served as Executive Director since 2010.  With a distinguished, 30-plus-year career in the justice, non-profit direct services, and policy arenas, Mai brings extensive national, state and local leadership experience with her to JPI. Formerly the acting Executive Director of the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) – a DC-based non-profit organization that provides multicultural, underserved, youth with education, social, and job training services – Fernandez spent over a decade managing programs that served both people involved in violent crime and victims of violent crime.

Before joining LAYC, Mai served as a prosecutor in New York City. She also developed policy related to youth violence and victims of domestic violence at the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, and served as a Congressional aide to U.S. Representatives Mickey Leland and Jim Florio. Mai received her undergraduate degree from Dickinson College, Juris Doctor from American University, and Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University's JFK School of Government. 

Ryan King 

 Director of Research and Policy
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Ryan King is the Director of Research and Policy at the Justice Policy Institute. Most recently, King was senior fellow in the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute where he worked on sentencing and corrections issues with a focus on mass incarceration. Before joining Urban, King was the research director of the Public Safety Performance Project (PSPP) at Pew Research Center. As lead researcher for PSPP’s portfolio of work, he oversaw a team of investigators producing original and groundbreaking analyses exploring the ways in which criminal justice policies affect offender recidivism, public safety, and states’ fiscal health. This work helped shape PSPP’s state sentencing and corrections technical assistance. He was previously a policy analyst at The Sentencing Project for eight years, where he authored numerous publications focused on sentencing and corrections policy. King’s research has appeared in Criminology & Public Policy and the Federal Sentencing Reporter. In addition, his work has been featured in the Associated PressNew York Times, Washington Post, and USA Today, and he has appeared on local and national radio programs to discuss sentencing and corrections issues. He has a BA in anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh and an MS in justice, law, and society from American University.


 Research and Policy Associate
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Jeremy Kittredge is JPI’s Research and Policy Associate. In this position, he is responsible for assisting in the generation and coordination of JPI’s research and policy work. Prior to working at JPI, Jeremy held various positions in non-profits that work towards criminal justice reform, including The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the American Correctional Association. Throughout his academic and work experiences, he has developed a passion for youth justice reform, specifically for those that are serving long-term sentences and those housed in adult correctional facilities. Jeremy received his Bachelors in Criminal Justice from Curry College and a Masters in Criminology from American University.

Sadie Rose-Stern 

Director of Communications and External Affairs
202.888.6748 (direct)

Sadie Rose-Stern is a non-profit advocate and expert with a focus on social justice. She has been a Staff Attorney, Communications Director and Executive Director, and is excited to return to the justice field with JPI. Her expertise spans communications and branding, strategic planning, smart organizational growth, developing sustainability for organizations and change management. Sadie is proud to have worked with and for the National Juvenile Defender Center, the Senate Labor Committee, Jack Berman Advocacy Center, the American Institute on Bisexuality and more. She holds a law degree from the University of San Francisco, a fine arts degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York City and is a proud graduate in Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy from James Madison College at Michigan State University.

Ashley Wagstaff

Operations Coordinator
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Ashley Wagstaff is JPI’s Operations Coordinator. In her position she is responsible for assisting with office administration, human resources, and general operations. Prior to joining JPI, Ashley supported the advancement of social justice through her volunteer work and professional endeavors. Most recently, as a Volunteer and Development Associate, Ashley oversaw the volunteer program at Shepherd’s Table, a direct service nonprofit. While holding that position she also supported development endeavors, including helping secure a generous grant for the organization. She is eager to channel her passion for helping others into supporting the advancement of juvenile and adult justice reform. Ashley received her bachelor of arts in Political Science from St. Mary’s Honors College of Maryland in 2015.


JPI Associate
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Tyrone met his first mentor during his first month of incarceration when he was 19. This mentor recognized Tyrone’s intellect and aptitude, and he empowered Tyrone to take the steps to overturn his initial sentence, shorten the time he would serve, and get his GED.

While incarcerated, Tyrone tutored other incarcerated men studying for their GEDs, and he took it upon himself to mentor young men in his facility. Recognized for his leadership abilities, he formally became a mentor in the Young Men Emerging Unit, a program in the D.C. Department of Correction’s Central Treatment Facility, which matched young men with mentors. Through this program, Tyrone and his peers mentored a group of 25 young men between the ages of 18-25. Upon being released after serving 25 years in prison, he completed the Georgetown University Pivot Program, during which he served as a Pivot Fellow with JPI.  Through his fellowship and now as a full-time Associate at JPI he utilizes his experience, expertise and a passion for prison reform to advocate for change.

Tyrone also has translated his passion for coaching and mentoring into his work as a professional personal trainer instructor, which allowed him not only to help others in his facility toward their fitness goals, but to help them become personal trainers as well. Going forward, Tyrone has a passion for helping others reach their goals, and he also continues to love all things fitness. He has a particular interest in helping cancer survivors design exercise and nutrition plans to support their well-being and continued recovery. He also dreams of starting a weightlifting competition for at-risk youth, giving them training on clean eating and building strength. In his spare time, Tyrone is an avid Scrabble player. In his new life, he is enjoying spending time with his two children and three grandchildren, watching football, and reading the New York Times on Sundays.

Keith Wallington

State Based Strategist
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Keith Wallington, State Based Strategist, leads JPI's state-based projects, the Models for Change juvenile justice initiative and is intimately involved with the Greater Baltimore Grassroots Criminal Justice Network which works on Maryland criminal justice initiatives including re-entry, child support for returning citizens, and life without parole issues. Keith pens opinion editorials and writes and delivers testimonies before various policymakers in an effort to incite change.  Prior to joining JPI in 2010, Keith worked as an organizer for the Alliance for Retired Americans, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the health and economic security of older Americans. As a field organizer, he helped to build and charter states to the national Alliance and educate the public about the health and economic concerns of older Americans. After working as an organizer, he served as the Director of Community Outreach for the Alliance for Retired Americans where he helped build the organization through group affiliation. Keith also worked as a field organizer for Fight Crime: Invest in Kids (FCIK), where he recruited and educated top law enforcement officials about the importance of early education and evidence-based programs as proactive investments to fighting crime including meetings with Congressman John Spratt (SC), U.S. Budget Committee Chairman, to discuss investments in education as a way of reducing future crime. Keith graduated from American University with degrees in biology and psychology.

Sarita Benesch


Sarita is a recent graduate from Cornell University. She majored in human development, focusing her coursework on the justice system’s interaction with youth development. She is excited to move beyond theoretical teachings to practical experiences in research, advocacy, and communication strategy at JPI. She intends to pursue a career of social justice impact litigation after starting law school in Fall 2020.

Felisa Concepcion


Felisa Concepcion is JPI’s 2019-2020 intern. During her year-long internship, Felisa will assist with the generation of research and communication materials to help advocacy efforts locally, and nationally. Currently, Felisa is a second year Master’s in Social Work candidate at Howard University with a concentration in public policy and criminal justice. There she serves as Vice President of the School of Social work and is a graduate assistant for a criminal justice professor. Felisa is also a part time research assistant for The Policy Equity Group, a consultancy firm on Capitol Hill. Prior to joining JPI, Felisa spent time volunteering for local DC nonprofits such as Free Minds, Women Involved in Reentry Efforts, and Miriam’s Kitchen. Throughout this work experience Felisa has provided case management for returning citizens experiencing homelessness, and has responded to letters from those currently experiencing incarceration, providing them with tools and encouragement, while fostering a sense of community. She has a BA in Ethnic Studies from Sacramento State University of California.

Antonella Portugal


Antonella is a junior at Brown University concentrating in Public Policy and Political Science. Her studies are aligned with the American Politics and Law, Government, and Ethics tracks.  She first became interested in criminal justice reform after studying urban policy and the intersection of race in the criminal justice system. At JPI, Antonella will work with the research and communications teams to produce briefs and other advocacy materials promoting justice reform. After college, she hopes to keep working toward equitable and fair policies and practices related to the criminal justice and immigration systems. 

JPI's work

Through a combination of groundbreaking research, communications strategies and technical assistance, we inform advocates, policymakers and the media about fair and effective approaches to justice and community well-being.

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We envision a society with safe, equitable and healthy communities; just and effective solutions to social problems; and the use of incarceration only as a last resort. Please help us end the #IncarcerationGeneration with a generous contribution.

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