Miriam Krinsky (Executive Director)
Miriam Krinsky has a unique combination of skills and expertise that enable her to lead FJP and serve as a resource for newly elected prosecutors. She previously served for 15 years as a federal prosecutor, both in Los Angeles and on an organized crime and narcotics task force in the Mid-Atlantic region. During her tenure as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Central District of California, Ms. Krinsky served as Chief of the General Crimes Section (supervising the work of over 50 new prosecutors) and Chief of the Criminal Appellate Section (overseeing the Office’s docket of over 1,000 criminal appeals); chaired the national Solicitor General’s Advisory Group on Appellate Issues; served on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee on Sentencing; and received the Attorney General’s highest national award for appellate work.
Ms. Krinsky has extensive experience in system change and reform of criminal justice institutions, policies and practice. In 2012, she served as the Executive Director of Los Angeles County’s Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence, charged with investigating allegations of excessive force by Sheriff’s deputies in L.A. County jails and developing recommendations for reform. Thereafter, Ms. Krinsky directed the newly elected Sheriff’s Transition Team and spent a year working inside the Sheriff’s Department as the Special Advisor to the Sheriff, assisting in implementing reforms within one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the nation. She also previously served as a Co-Director of the Transition Team for the newly elected Los Angeles City Attorney.
Ms. Krinsky has been involved over the years in the legal community, including serving as President of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (the first lawyer from the public sector to hold that position), five years (including two years as President) on the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, three years on the California Judicial Council, as a member of the California Blue Ribbon Commission on Foster Care and the American Bar Association’s Youth at Risk Commission, and was appointed by the California Supreme Court to serve a three-year term on the California State Bar Board of Trustees. She currently serves on the American Law Institute’s Sentencing Project Advisory group and the ALI Principles of Policing Advisory Group.
Ms. Krinsky has worked on a variety of system change endeavors, including spending a year as an advisor to the California Supreme Court during its creation of the Statewide Child Welfare Council and as an advisor to the Los Angeles County Bar’s Task Force that investigated and recommended prosecutive, court and justice system reforms in the wake of the LAPD Rampart scandal. She also spent five years as the Executive Director of the Children’s Law Center of Los Angeles – a 200-plus person legal services organization representing over 20,000 abused and neglected foster children. She has testified before national and state legislative, governmental and judicial bodies, authored over 50 articles, and lectured nationwide on criminal law, law enforcement oversight and reform, foster care, juvenile justice, and sentencing issues.
Rosemary Nidiry (Director of Research and Technical Assistance)
Rosemary Nidiry has had extensive experience in law enforcement and criminal justice as a prosecutor, and also in policymaking, research, and philanthropy. She served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where she investigated and prosecuted a wide variety of federal criminal matters, and conducted trainings for law enforcement agents. She was also a Director of Criminal Justice at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation where she worked on a number of criminal justice policy reform issues, including overseeing the Foundation’s policing and forensics portfolios. From 2009 to 2011, she served on the staff of the President’s Special Task Force on Detainee Disposition and later as Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for National Security at the U.S. Department of Justice, where she was involved in a number of national security and counter-terrorism policy initiatives. She was a senior investigator for and helped to set up an international investigation commission, mandated by the United Nations Security Council, to conduct the initial phases of an inquiry into the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in Beirut, Lebanon. Prior to joining the United States Attorney’s Office in 2001, she was an Attorney-Adviser at the Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Department. Ms. Nidiry clerked for Judge Robert P. Patterson of the US District Court in Manhattan and Judge Carlos F. Lucero of the US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, and is an honors graduate of Princeton University and Columbia University Law School. She serves as a Consultant for New York University Law School’s Policing Project and on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Prison Association.
Hillary Blout (Director of Policy and Outreach)
Hillary Blout spent six years as a prosecutor for the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office and worked with both Senator Kamala Harris (when Sen. Harris first served as San Francisco District Attorney) and District Attorney George Gascon. Ms. Blout is a talented and highly regarded lawyer who prosecuted a wide array of cases, led trainings for law enforcement partners, and also served as Neighborhood Assistant District Attorney. She is a fierce advocate for victims of crime and spent many years focusing on crimes against women and children, as well as securing enhanced and stable resources for victims of crime. Most recently, Ms. Blout spent three years leading criminal justice reform efforts in California on behalf of Californians for Safety and Justice, where she ran the statewide implementation of Proposition 47. Her work helped promote second chances for thousands of individuals previously convicted of lower-level felonies, while also resulting in a dramatic reduction in prison and jail populations, and the transfer of monies from prison spending to prevention and treatment programs. Ms. Blout has authored criminal justice reform laws for California; worked on a variety of criminal justice initiatives, including collateral consequences of criminal convictions, immigration reform, and strategies for reducing recidivism; and facilitates trainings for law enforcement, attorneys, judges, elected officials and community groups.
Greg Srolestar (Senior Research and Policy Associate)
Greg Srolestar is a program evaluator and policy analyst who focuses on the interconnected challenges facing youth, including the justice system, educational barriers, the child welfare system, mental health, housing instability, and other impediments to success. He has written about topics ranging from crossover youth to the free provision of glasses in schools, spoken with varied audiences about the child welfare system, and appeared on public radio to discuss the need for specialized foster care families. His most recent project, funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Jim Casey Youth Opportunity Initiative, centers on the expansion of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit to current and former foster youth ages 18 to 25. He holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from UCLA, a B.A. from Vassar College, and is a proud native Angelino committed to making change in his community.
Craig Cichy (Chief Operating Administrator)
Craig Cichy comes to FJP with over 20 years of experience in philanthropy, non-profit administration and program management. In 2013, he founded Philanthropy Matters, through which he manages the Social Impact Fund — a fiscal sponsor for charitable programs, many of which are rooted in the entertainment and creative communities. For the past eight years, he has also managed Right Action for Women, an initiative founded by Christina Applegate. Previously, Mr. Cichy served as the Program Officer for the Entertainment Industry Foundation, overseeing a vast portfolio of high-profile philanthropic initiatives totaling $15 million in annual grant making. From 2002-2008, he was the Director of the MAC AIDS Fund, the charitable foundation for MAC Cosmetics. Before entering into the philanthropy world, Mr. Cichy’s career focused on large-scale professional and recreational figure skating events, under the direction of legendary sports announcer and Olympic Champion Dick Button. While obtaining his B.A. in Journalism from Ohio State University, he had the opportunity to intern at CNN’s Washington, D.C. Bureau during the 1988 presidential election. Mr. Cichy currently volunteers on advisory councils for both the Foundation for the AIDS Monument and the Liberty Hill Foundation.
Marie Lively (Operations Associate)
Marie Lively has over ten years of operations and coordination experience. Ms. Lively has worked in multiple industries including publishing, the arts, and early childhood education, where she served as a pre-school teacher for four years. Her experience as an independent film producer has given her a wide variety of skills that are invaluable in operations. Marie has been a first-hand witness to the non-rehabilitative policies in the justice system, which drives her desire to support FJP. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Emerson College with a B.A. in Theatre Studies.
Research and Technical Assistance Partners (Center for Court Innovation)
Julius Lang (Director of Training and Technical Assistance)
Julius Lang oversees consulting services — including workshops, site visits, and in-person consulting — for jurisdictions around the nation and internationally. He has worked for over a decade providing expert assistance to prosecutors and other justice practitioners, including under “Smart Prosecution,” Community Prosecution, and High-Performance Prosecution national initiatives. Mr. Lang currently spearheads the Problem-Solving Justice Initiative, with support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance at the U.S. Department of Justice to promote the wider use of problem-solving practices to reduce crime and incarceration while strengthening public trust in justice. In addition, he oversees the Center’s role as site coordinator and technical assistance provider for the Minority Youth Violence Prevention initiative, a joint effort of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Heath. Previously, Mr. Lang served as the coordinator of the Midtown Community Court — the Center’s first demonstration project — in Manhattan’s Times Square neighborhood.
John Butler (Coordinator of Training & Technical Assistance)
John Butler provides consulting services to jurisdictions around the country, including assistance provided under the Problem-Solving Justice Initiative of the Bureau of Justice Assistance at the U.S. Department of Justice. He also helps to plan and coordinate regional and national training events on topics related to problem-solving justice. Prior to joining the Center, Mr. Butler clerked on the District Court of New Jersey, worked as a researcher for the Stanford Criminal Justice Center, and worked for a youth development non-profit in Newark, NJ. He holds a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Brown University, a Masters in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. He is the President of the Board of BioBus, Inc. and a Trustee at Frost Valley, YMCA, two education non-profits in the New York metropolitan area.
Liz Komar (Prosecution Innovation Coordinator)
Liz Komar served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Kings County (Brooklyn, NY) District Attorney’s Office, where she was assigned to a trial unit as well as the unique and innovative Red Hook Community Justice Center. In her capacity as an ADA at the Red Hook Community Justice Center, Ms. Komar became familiar with strategies that promote alternative dispositions and initiatives to build community trust. Prior to that, Ms. Komar was an Attorney Advisor in the Executive Office of Immigration Review at the U.S. Department of Justice Honors Program, where her work included assessing the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. Ms. Komar also served on the Civil Rights Committee of the New York City Bar Association from 2014 to 2017. Ms. Komar graduated magna cum laude from Brooklyn Law School. During law school, she interned at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, the New York State Attorney General’s Office, and in the chambers of the Hon. Joseph F. Bianco of the Eastern District of New York. Ms. Komar holds a B.A. in Peace, War, and Defense from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Hannah Raskin-Gross (Senior Program Associate)
Hannah Raskin-Gross works with the Center for Court Innovation’s Training and Technical Assistance Team, specifically on the Fair and Just Prosecution initiative. Ms. Raskin-Gross is increasingly engaged in criminal justice reform issues and has been active in the nonprofit world for many years. Hannah spent her last six summers serving youth at Frost Valley YMCA, where she took on a variety of roles, from supervising staff and campers to working with the Director of Camping Services. She is also a dedicated volunteer for Congenital Hyperinsulinism International, a patient-advocacy organization serving children and adults with a rare genetic condition. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in May of 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish.
Kiara Grant (Administrative Associate)
Kiara Grant graduated from SUNY Buffalo State with a B.A. in Psychology, where she conducted an independent study into the relationship between socioeconomic status and college readiness. In 2008-2009, she was a member of the Center for Court Innovation’s Youth Justice Board, and her cohort laid the foundation for the following year’s “I Got Arrested! Now What?” comic book (now distributed to all juvenile arrestees in New York City) by recommending that youth needed more tools to navigate the juvenile justice system. Ms. Grant developed her passion for justice reform through her experience growing up in a low-income community in the Bronx, where promoting trust in the justice system is an ongoing challenge.
Policy and Research Consultants
Lindsay Gilchrist is a respected consultant who provides expertise in policy development and communications support to non-profit organizations, foundations and policy-makers. She works with international non-profits such as PATH, Management Sciences for Health and Save the Children; domestic organizations such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Center for Policy Research on Aging at UCLA. Ms. Gilchrist previously worked for the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health. As a Congressional staff member, she advised Subcommittee Chairman Donald Payne on global health, security and humanitarian issues in Africa. In addition, she collaborated with the Foreign Affairs Committee staff on the successful passage of significant legislation and organized a Congressional hearing on the status of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Ms. Gilchrist also worked as a Special Assistant to Senator Edward M. Kennedy, providing recommendations for legislative and communications issues. While working for Senator Kennedy, she played a role in several critical pieces of legislation: the Iraqi Refugee Bill, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act and healthcare reform. Lindsay was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, and she holds a Bachelor of the Arts in Political Science and Spanish from the University of San Diego and a Master of Public Policy from UCLA.
Peter Katz is a respected criminal attorney who spent over a decade as a federal prosecutor, both as a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice Fraud Section — where he focused on complex white collar cases and supervised teams on the Health Care Fraud Strike Force —and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for both the District of New Jersey and the Eastern District of New York. During his tenure as an AUSA, Mr. Katz led investigations and prosecutions related to health care, bank, tax, money laundering, narcotics and weapons trafficking conspiracies, as well as RICO, capital murder, public corruption and obstruction of justice. He began his legal career as an Assistant D.A. with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office (DANY). For eight years at DANY, he handled thousands of cases, several dozen trials, and varied prosecutions including in the Homicide Investigation Unit and Asian Gang Unit, and supervised assistants in the Early Case Assessment Bureau. More recently, Mr. Katz served as Director of Criminal Justice at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, where he led efforts to develop and implement strategies to improve the United States criminal justice system. Peter vetted and managed dozens of grants aimed at improving public safety, increasing fairness and lowering costs. Mr. Katz worked closely with local prosecutor offices around the nation focusing on advancing meaningful, evidence-based reforms.
Courtney Khademi is a former litigation associate with the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers LLP. Ms. Khademi earned her J.D. from Stanford Law School, where she served as the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Stanford Journal of Complex Litigation. She clerked for two District Attorney’s Offices, in Santa Clara and Los Angeles Counties. Ms. Khademi was her law school class’s graduation speaker, a semi-finalist with the school’s Kirkwood Moot Court Competition, and a regional winner and top-eight national finalist in the Texas Young Lawyers Association’s annual National Trial Competition. Before law school, Ms. Khademi worked as an Account Strategist and Google Analytics specialist with Google, Inc. at its Mountain View headquarters. She received her B.A. in Political Science from Stanford University.
Ron LeGrand spent two decades in federal service – four years as a Special Agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration, five years as a Special Narcotics Prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Narcotics & Dangerous Drugs Section, and 10 years as a Congressional staffer, including as Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Select Committee on Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, Chief Investigator and Counsel with the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Counsel to the House Judiciary Committee. While serving as Counsel to the House Judiciary Committee, he also served as lead Democratic Counsel on the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, and as lead Democratic Counsel on the House Committee on the Judiciary’s Over-criminalization Task Force which provided the basis for the introduction of the Safe, Accountable, Fair, Effective (SAFE) Justice Reinvestment Act of 2015 and much of the criminal justice reform legislation that has been considered in House of Representatives in recent years. He has also served as Chief Diversity Officer for AARP and Nabisco Foods and Vice President for Public Policy for the National Network to End Domestic Violence. Mr. LeGrand has authored articles, presented, and currently provides consulting, on issues including gender-based violence, legislative affairs, and criminal justice reform to groups including the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the District of Columbia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and Ujima, the National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community. He received his J.D. from Boston College Law School and his B.A. from Boston College.
Taylor Pendergrass is a criminal justice reform advocate and litigator. In addition to working as a consultant for FJP, he also is a chief strategist for the ACLU and a senior staff attorney at the New York Civil Liberties Union. He advocates for a holistic approach to criminal justice reform that focuses on solutions that address the underlying causes of over criminalization, mass incarceration, and racial inequality. His work has covered numerous aspects of the criminal justice system, including policing, prosecutorial practices, indigent defense, pretrial justice, jail and prison conditions, and parole. His book “Solitary Voices,” a collection of oral histories told by solitary confinement survivors, will be published by Voice of Witness in the Fall/Winter of 2017. He is a graduate of Duke University and the University of Colorado Law School.
Jaclyn Kurin is an LLM student at UCLA, where she plans to concentrate on prison reform issues. Previously, she was a litigation law clerk at The Employment Law Group P.C. where she assisted clients with their civil rights claims. Jaclyn gained exposure to the criminal justice system while interning at the State’s Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Public Defender in Rockville, Maryland. She has served as a volunteer for the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project and the Offender Aid Restoration organization — where she taught classes to people incarcerated in the Arlington County Detention Center. Ms. Kurin earned her J.D. at George Mason University School of Law where she served as an editor of the Civil Rights Law Journal. She obtained a Master’s degree in Advocacy Journalism from Georgetown University, and her B.A. in Philosophy and International Relations from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College. She has authored seven law journal articles, covering such topics as prosecutorial and police misconduct, prisoner litigation, diversion, and other criminal justice issues.
Adam Schaffer is a Master in Public Policy student at the Harvard Kennedy School, and served as an intern at FJP and with the Office of Policy of the San Francisco District Attorney in the Summer of 2017. He is continuing as a part-time intern with FJP in Fall 2017 while continuing his studies at the Kennedy School. Previously, he served as Program Officer for Drug Policy and the Andes at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), a non-profit organization working to advance human rights and social justice in the Americas. At WOLA, he worked with government and civil society to advance evidence-based drug and criminal justice policies. He graduated magna cum laude from Middlebury College with a degree in Political Science and Spanish.