Kathleen’s work at Vera is focused on creating significant policy change in two areas of criminal justice: reduction of prison segregation units and housing access for people leaving prisons and jails. Prior to joining Vera as a fulltime associate, Kathleen was an intern at Vera’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections, where she worked predominately on the incarceration trends project.
Kathleen’s previous work includes research on prison oversight mechanisms, conditions of confinement, and the multidimensional effects of correctional fees and fines on people leaving prison. She worked as a research assistant to Professor Bruce Western on Harvard’s Boston Reentry Study and conducted graduate-level research at Brandeis University on the health effects of specific conditions of confinement and prison violence. Previously incarcerated in California jails and prisons, Kathleen worked upon her release in homeless community health at the San Francisco Department of Public Health and at the Women’s Community Clinic of San Francisco. She was an appointed representative to the San Francisco Reentry Council and in 2015 was a member of JustLeadershipUSA's Leading with Conviction inaugural cohort. She currently serves in a voluntary capacity on Essie Justice Group’s National Program Team and serves on Columbia University- Mailman School of Public Health’s External Advisory Board on Incarceration and Public Health. She additionally coordinates a peer support group of women who were incarcerated in California state prisons. In 2015 Kathleen received her Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, where she was awarded the Impact Award for lasting impact on her graduate program and cohort.