Peggy McGarry to Direct Vera's Center on Sentencing and Corrections

NEW YORK–Peggy McGarry, former director of criminal justice programs for the JEHT Foundation, will join the Vera Institute of Justice as director of its Center on Sentencing and Corrections (CSC), effective March 16, 2009. In leading the center, McGarry will draw on more than three decades of experience in shaping criminal justice policy across the nation.

In her prior position as director of criminal justice programs for the JEHT Foundation, McGarry oversaw an annual portfolio of $20 million in grants for organizations working on juvenile and criminal justice issues. Her grantees ranged from programs that help former prisoners as they return to their communities to programs that investigate possible wrongful convictions.

Before joining JEHT, McGarry was a principal with the highly regarded Center for Effective Pubic Policy, which provides technical assistance, research, and training to government and other agencies working in probation, parole, and community corrections.

McGarry has also contributed significantly to efforts to curb violence against women. She founded Women Against Abuse, a Philadelphia shelter that provides services to victims of domestic violence, and was the first president of the Pennsylvania Coalition against Domestic Violence. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Bryn Mawr College.

“Vera has a long and distinguished record as a leader in criminal justice policies,” said McGarry. “It provides an ideal platform for anyone who is committed to meaningful and efficient progress in justice and public safety—as I am.”

As director of Vera’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections, McGarry will seek to consolidate the center’s achievements as a partner in the Pew Charitable Trust’s Public Safety Performance Project, and to advance the center’s reputation as a preeminent source of technical assistance and research for criminal justice officials. She will also concentrate on making Vera’s full suite of services, including demonstration projects that break new ground in policy and practice, available to government officials nationally.

“We are delighted that Peggy McGarry has joined Vera,” said Michael P. Jacobson, Vera’s executive director. “Peggy has a long record of leadership and correctional innovation as a manager, practitioner, consultant, and funder. She has excelled in all these roles and her broad experience, breadth of knowledge and accomplishments will contribute immeasurably to Vera’s work on corrections and sentencing issues.”