Kelsie Chesnut


Kelsie Chesnut works as a senior research associate with Vera’s Unlocking Potential and Opening Doors to Housing initiatives focused on expanding access to postsecondary education in prison and connecting people returning to their communities with housing.

Kelsie has experience with program evaluation of targeted reentry services and policy reform in corrections. She is also a skilled qualitative researcher. Before joining Vera in 2018, Kelsie was the project manager of a multi-year research study examining solitary confinement reform in Washington State. Her research highlighted the critical role of corrections staff in prison reform and policy implementation.

In addition to her work at Vera, Kelsie has also conducted research on Los Angeles’s illegal gun market, focusing on sourcing in procurement.

Kelsie holds a BA in sociology and criminal justice from San Francisco State University, and an MA in social ecology and a PhD in criminology, law, and society from the University of California, Irvine.