Marc Schindler, Executive Director
Marc comes to JPI from Venture Philanthropy Partners, (VPP), where he served as a partner for the D.C.-based nonprofit philanthropic investment organization. As a partner, he led VPP’s Social Innovation Fund youthCONNECT initiative -- an innovative philanthropic effort aligning public-private capital, evaluation, and high performing non-profit organizations to improve the education, employment and health outcomes of 14-24 year old disconnected youth in the National Capital Region.
Prior to joining VPP Marc served as General Counsel, Chief of Staff and Interim Director for the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS), Washington, D.C.’s cabinet-level juvenile justice agency with a budget of $90 million dollars.
Marc has worked on justice system issues from a number of varied perspectives, and is indeed returning to his roots. He joined DYRS in 2005 as one of a team of reformers who worked to transform that agency into a nationally acclaimed and innovative department that reduced the use of incarceration in favor of community based solutions, with its approach grounded in the principles of Positive Youth Development. DYRS’ reforms were recognized by Harvard’s Kennedy School, naming the department one of the “Top 50” government programs in 2008 in its prestigious Innovations in American Government Awards competition.
Prior to joining DYRS, Schindler served as a Staff Attorney from 1997 to 2005 with the Youth Law Center (YLC), a national public interest civil rights law firm dedicated to protecting the rights of young people in juvenile justice and child welfare systems nationwide. While at YLC, Marc litigated cases on behalf of incarcerated youth and children in the child welfare system, served as co-chair of the national Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention Coalition in Washington, D.C., was a founding member of the Justice for DC Youth Coalition, and taught children’s rights at American University’s Washington College of Law. He has served on numerous boards and commissions including the ABA’s Juvenile Justice Committee, the DC Police Complaints Board, the Campaign for Youth Justice, the Center for Children’s Law and Policy, the Maryland Governor’s Task Force on Juvenile Justice and the Committee for Baltimore’s Children. He previously worked as an Assistant Public Defender in Baltimore's juvenile court representing children in delinquency proceedings, where he was the recipient of the Cahill Award for outstanding commitment to service and chaired the Juvenile Law Committee of the Baltimore City Bar Association. 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.
Marc is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Maryland School of Law. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and two children.
Paul Ashton, Research and Grants Coordinator
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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. His other JPI publications include Gaming the System, The Education of D.C., Rethinking the Blues, and Fostering Change. Paul has also served on the policy committee of the Delaware HIV Consortium – working to educate the Delaware State Legislature on the need for increased funding to address homelessness and HIV. And currently he serves on the Board of Directors for the Rainbow Response Coalition, a grassroots advocacy organization working to address LGBTQ intimate partner violence in the D.C. metro area. Paul received his Bachelor's in criminology from The Ohio State University and a Masters in criminology from the University of Delaware.
Zerline Hughes, Director of Communications
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Zerline interacts with media and helps execute JPI's traditional and social media communications strategies. Crafting press releases, outreach strategy and writing and editing content published by JPI, Zerline merges her communications and criminal justice reform expertise. She helped produce "Blocking the Exit," a short documentary on the parole process in Maryland for people serving life sentences which aided in successful policy reform. She has also successfully pitched news stories to national media including the New York Times, Washington Post, the Economist and National Public Radio. Prior to joining JPI, Zerline was the Communications Manager for The Sentencing Project, a national nonprofit focused on criminal justice reform by way of research and advocacy. Zerline has also worked as a public relations consultant, newspaper reporter and freelance writer for publications including the Boston Globe, Baltimore Sun, Ventura (Calif.) County Star and Dance Magazine. Zerline earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and photography from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and a Master of Science in communication management from Simmons College in Boston.
Kellie Shaw, Operations Coordinator
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Kellie ensures that the JPI office runs smoothly by overseeing day-to-day operations. She also helps organize JPI signature gatherings including our annual September Bail Month event and most recently, the "Incarceration Generation" national book tour. She comes to us with many years of experience including work as Service Administrator for Canon Business Solutions, Inc. and Webster Fredrickson & Brackshaw, LLP, both in Washington, D.C. Her operations experience also includes a position as Legal Secretary at Bryan Cave, LLP in New York City, and work in administration at Ashcraft & Gerel, LLP in Washington, D.C. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor's degree in communication studies, with a minor in Marketing, at the University of Maryland University College, College Park.
Keith Wallington, Project Manager
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Keith, Project Manager, 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. Keith joined JPI in 2010. Prior to joining JPI, 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.
Jason Ziedenberg, Director of Policy and Research
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Jason Ziedenberg is a nationally known researcher, writer and policy analyst on juvenile and adult criminal justice policy. Jason has held several positions at the Justice Policy Institute since its founding in 1997, including serving as Executive Director from 2005 to 2008. As JPI’s Director of Research & Policy, Jason has strategic and operational responsibility for generating and coordinating JPI’s research and policy work.
Most recently, Jason served as a consultant to JPI, the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, the National Center for Victims of Crime, the National Institute of Corrections, Commonweal Consulting, Evidence-based Associates, the DC Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Washington Lawyers Committee on Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, and the Campaign for Youth Justice.
He has worked in community corrections departments, county and city agencies, media organizations, research and non-profit organizations working to improve public safety performance, youth development and human services practices. He has served in staff positions with the Washington, D.C. Department of Youth Rehabilitative Services, the Multnomah County Department of Community Justice, and M+R Strategic Services on the National Campaign to Reform State Juvenile Justice Systems. He has authored various publications for JPI, the John D. and Catharine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change initiative, U.S. Justice Department’s National Institute of Corrections, the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, the New York City Alternatives-to-Incarceration Coalition, the Drug Policy Alliance, the Youth Law Center’s Building Blocks for Youth initiative, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
He has also been a co-author on numerous reports for the Justice Policy Institute, including , The Dangers of Detention: The Impact of Incarcerating Youth in Detention and Other Secure Facilities (2006), Cost Effective Youth Corrections: Rationalizing the Fiscal Architecture of Juvenile Justice Systems (2006), and The Vortex: The Concentrated Racial Impact of Drug Imprisonment and the Characteristics of Punitive Counties (2007). He co-authored the NAACP’s lead publication on the disinvestment in education versus prison spending, crafted a National Institute of Corrections’ white paper on the future of community corrections, and co-authored a publication for the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs on racial and ethnic disparities in drug enforcement.
A dual citizen, Jason has a Masters in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto from his hometown, Toronto, Canada.