Hammond Institute Announces Criminal Justice Reform Initiative

Hammond Institute Announces Criminal Justice Reform Initiative


Associate Professor Jeanie Thies assumes oversight as research fellow.

May 16, 2016 – Dr. Howard J. Wall, director of the Hammond Institute for Free Enterprise at Lindenwood University, recently announced the institute has launched a Criminal Justice Reform Initiative with Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Jeanie Thies as research fellow guiding the effort.

According to Wall, the Hammond Institute has become increasingly involved in criminal justice reform.

“As a result, we thought it would be advantageous to collect all the new and continuing activities in this area under one umbrella,” he said. “Given the funding we received from the Charles Koch Foundation in 2015, we now have a unique opportunity expand upon our existing programs, as well as initiate new ones. We’ve already begun to fund local research projects, and having Dr. Thies on board in the capacity of research fellow will further our reach in supporting reform efforts across the region.”

Thies joined the Lindenwood faculty in 2007. Starting this fall, she will join the Department of Public Affairs and Administration and chair the Master of Public Administration program on Lindenwood’s St. Charles campus.

“I'm very pleased to be part of this initiative and hope my experience is an asset as we move forward,” said Thies. “There is much work to be done to better understand and strengthen our criminal justice system. This is an exciting opportunity to engage in meaningful research that can have a positive impact on our communities, with the added benefit of offering research and learning opportunities for our students.”

Thies earned her Ph.D. in political science and master’s degrees in political Science and psychology from the University of Missouri–St. Louis, and her B.A. in psychology from the University of Missouri–Columbia. She began her career as a criminal psychologist and spent nearly 10 years working in corrections as a therapist and director of Missouri’s mandatory sex offender program.

Thies has an additional 20 years of experience as a consultant and trainer for criminal and juvenile justice agencies and the courts and has consulted on national, state, and local projects. Her areas of expertise include offender risk assessment, design and evaluation of offender treatment programs, and sex offenders.

She has presented at conferences and published articles on the topics of prison siting, sex offending, mental health and drug courts, juveniles in residential setting, use of criminology, criminal justice systems, corrections, criminal behavior, victimology, criminal justice and popular culture, program evaluation, research methods, and psychology.

“We are fortunate to have someone of Dr. Thies’ caliber and expertise to provide oversight for our new Criminal Justice Reform Initiative,” said Wall. “As a part of this initiative, the Hammond Institute will set aside up to $20,000 per year for the next two years to support rigorous empirical research related to criminal justice reform.”

Wall added that the goal of this support is to aid policymakers and practitioners in developing and administering evidence-based best practices.

“The emphasis will be on issues relevant at the local, state, and federal levels in Missouri, as well as surrounding states,” he said. “Researchers from different disciplines, including criminal justice, sociology, political science, psychology, economics, and others are eligible to participate. Participants will include faculty at Lindenwood and other local area universities.”

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