About Our Staff


Madeline Carter has been a Principal with the Center for Effective Public Policy for the past two decades. Ms. Carter has managed numerous national, state and local projects on a variety of topics including implementing evidence-based practices, advancing effective prisoner reentry strategies, developing policy and guidelines to respond to parole and probation violations, establishing and maintaining multi-disciplinary collaborative teams, and working with special populations including women offenders and sex offenders. In 1996, under funding from the U.S. Department of Justice and its collaborating partners, Ms. Carter established the Center for Sex Offender Management (CSOM); she has served as its director ever since. Currently, Ms. Carter serves as the Project Director for the National Institute of Corrections’ Evidence-Based Decision Making in Local Criminal Justice Systems project and is working closely with several state corrections agencies on offender reentry. Ms. Carter is also working with numerous states on a variety of issues related to the management of adult and juvenile sex offenders. She has previously served as the Project Director of a National Institute of Corrections initiative designed to develop a Gender Responsive Management and Assessment Protocol for jails and prisons serving women offenders, and was the Lead Consultant assisting the California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation, Division of Adult Parole Operations, to develop policy and a decision making instrument to guide responses to parole violations. Prior to joining the Center Ms. Carter spent a decade in government working for the Montgomery County (Maryland) Department of Correction and Rehabilitation, serving as Resident Supervisor, Correctional Counselor, and Lead Screener for the Pre-Release Center, and overseeing the establishment and operations of the screening unit of the Pre-Trial Services agency. Ms. Carter holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration from the American University. She has published more than 25 journal articles and practitioner handbooks on critical issues in criminal justice.

Becki Ney is a Principal with the Center. She has directed a number of national training and technical assistance projects that have focused on issues of justice-involved women, domestic violence, sex offender management, criminal justice system assessment, correctional sentencing options, parole and probation supervision and violations, parole decision making, and jail overcrowding. Ms. Ney was a primary architect of the National Jail and Prison Overcrowding Project. Prior to joining the Center, she was the Vice President of the American Institute of Criminal Justice and a Research Associate for the American Foundation. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Sociology from La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and a Master of Science degree in Criminology from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Ms. Ney is a founding member of the Center.

Program Staff

Leilah Gilligan is a Senior Manager with the Center. In this role, she serves as an author, contributor, and editor of numerous Center publications on topics of sex offender management and collaboration. She also provides technical assistance to jurisdictions working to enhance their management of sex offenders in the community. Her work in the criminal justice field has focused primarily on issues of violence against women, offender supervision, violations decision making, and collaboration. Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Gilligan supervised and provided crisis counseling to offenders in a community corrections setting and worked on an initiative to provide enhanced training to judges on issues of domestic violence and sexual assault. Ms. Gilligan holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Criminology and Criminal Justice and a Master of Arts degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland, College Park. Ms. Gilligan began her career with the Center in 1996.

Jenna Mackey is a Program Associate at the Center. She specializes in the practical application of research and collaborating with agencies to strategically plan and implement evidence-based practices. Ms. Mackey has held various practitioner, administrative, academic, and consulting positions in the field of criminal justice at the federal, state, and university levels over nearly the past 15 years. Prior to working at the Center, Ms. Mackey was a Program Director with the Indiana Department of Correction. In this role, she was instrumental in the implementation of evidence-based case management, programming, and continuous quality improvement practices across the state’s adult prisons. As a consultant for the University of Cincinnati Corrections Institute, Ms. Mackey has also collaborated with dozens of agencies across the country to implement Effective Practices in Community Supervision (EPICS). She has also provided analytical research support to the Federal Bureau of Prisons (Psychology Services Branch) and Vera Institute of Justice (Center on Sentencing and Corrections). In addition, Ms. Mackey has years of experience delivering direct services through specialized caseloads and cognitive-behavioral treatment for adults on probation and parole, as well as for juveniles in residential treatment. She graduated summa cum laude in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, and summa cum laude in 2013 with a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology from Marymount University.

Supreet Minhas is a Program Associate with the Center and provides support for the Advancing Pretrial Policy and Research (APPR) initiative. Prior to working at the Center, Ms. Minhas was a Program Analyst at the Vera Institute of Justice, for the Center on Victimization and Safety. As Program Analyst, she provided administrative and programmatic support for projects ranging from the National Resource Center on Reaching Victims, the Accessing Safety Initiative, and the NoVo Coalition on Ending Violence Against People with Disabilities. She began her career at Vera as Center Coordinator, and worked on creating and managing contracts, processing fiscal invoices, and planning meetings and events. Ms. Minhas has extensive experience working in legal and public interest law environments, having previously worked at the Human Rights Institute at Columbia Law School, the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School, and Shearman & Sterling, LLP. She is a graduate of Columbia College, Columbia University and holds a Bachelor’s degree in political science.

Alison Shames is a Senior Associate at the Center. Ms. Shames is an innovative non-profit manager and lawyer with both domestic and international experience in private, government, and non-profit organizations. She has a strong record of implementing new programs and policies; managing complex projects; conducting strategic planning; delivering training and technical assistance to criminal justice policymakers and professionals; and authoring publications. Ms. Shames graduated magna cum laude from the New York University School of Law in 1997. Following graduation, she served as a law clerk in New Orleans and then as an Associate for a San Francisco based law firm. Ms. Shames then relocated to Australia, where she worked as corporate counsel to one of Australia’s largest media and publishing companies. She left this position to serve as a policy manager for the Attorney General’s Department of New South Wales, where she staffed a cross-agency committee composed of the directors of each of the criminal justice agencies in the state. Returning to the United States in 2008, she joined the Vera Institute of Justice as Associate Director and Director of Programs for Vera’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections. Most recently, Ms. Shames served as an independent criminal justice consultant. She managed the successful launch and operations of the Public Safety Assessment website (www.psapretrial.org), which makes available a range of resources to help jurisdictions implement the pretrial risk assessment developed by Arnold Ventures. Ms. Shames is also a co-author of Reimagining Prison (Vera Institute of Justice, 2018), a report that presents a transformative vision of incarceration with human dignity as the foundational principle.

Richard Stroker is a Senior Manager for the Center for Effective Public Policy and serves as the Director of the three national projects funded by the Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance, including the National Parole Resource Center.  He has provided technical assistance to an extensive number of parole boards and agencies, corrections departments, probation departments, courts, law enforcement agencies and other criminal justice practitioners during his career.  He has over 25 years of experience as a practitioner in the criminal justice field in South Carolina, holding positions such as Chief of Staff and General Counsel with the S.C. Department of Corrections, and Deputy Executive Director, Director of Field Services, and Chief Legal Counsel with the S.C. Dept. of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of South Carolina.  He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and all state and federal courts in South Carolina.

Denise Symdon is a Senior Manager with the Center.  Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Symdon worked in the criminal justice field in Wisconsin for over 30 years in a variety of positions, including:  Administrator, Wisconsin Department of Corrections, Division of Community Corrections; Assistant Administrator, Division of Adult Institutions and Regional Chief and Assistant Regional Chief, Division of Community Corrections. Ms. Symdon also served as Interstate Compact Specialist for Dane County and acted as liaison to the Dane County Jail, Courts, and Alternatives to Incarceration Program.  Ms. Symdon received her Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major—Social Work and Behavioral Science and Law—from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Communications Staff

Holly Ziemer is the Director of Communications for the Center and supports the Advancing Pretrial Policy and Research (APPR) initiative.  She has served as Director of Communications at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, the Center for Victims of Torture, the Minnesota Smoke-Free Coalition, and Minnesota Attorney General Hubert H. Humphrey III.  She has a background in journalism, having worked as an associate producer for several PBS Frontline documentaries produced at the Center for Investigative Reporting, and has written for the Los Angeles Times and the Orange County Register.  Ms. Ziemer holds an undergraduate degree in Speech Communication and Rhetoric from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Arts in Print Journalism from the University of Southern California.

LaWanda Johnson is a Communications Manager with the Center. She has more than 15 years of communications experience, and served as the Communications Director for the Justice Policy Institute, where she provided technical assistance to juvenile justice reform initiatives in more than 1,200 jurisdictions. Ms. Johnson has developed and implemented communication strategies that resulted in articles generated by the Associated Press, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and LA Times, as well as a New York Times editorial. Her efforts in communications outreach have led to stories for The Tavis Smiley Show, NPR Midday, and other radio talk show formats nationwide. Ms. Johnson was formerly the press secretary for the National Association of People with AIDS, where she oversaw national media campaigns involving people living with HIV/AIDS. In this capacity, she collaborated with BET and the Kaiser Family Foundation to produce HIV prevention PSAs with HIV-positive youth, which ran in major city markets. A former journalist, Ms. Johnson worked for periodicals focused on advocacy issues in underserved communities for nearly a decade. She has written numerous stories on mandatory minimums, gentrification, and land seizure among African Americans. Internationally, Ms. Johnson has written about crisis situations in Cote d’ Ivoire, Benin, and Nigeria.

Edith Han is the Center’s Digital Coordinator.  Ms. Han formerly served as the Digital Content Coordinator for the National Park Foundation. In this capacity, she helped to facilitate the major redesign and launch of multiple websites and created content for online platforms to reach diverse audiences on a variety of topics. Ms. Han has also worked as a Communications Materials Developer for the Expanded Food and Nutrition Program of Prince George’s County, Maryland, and a Communications and Program Associate for the Results for Development Institute in Washington, D.C.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.

Administrative Staff

Susan Gibel is the Center’s Chief Operating Officer. In this capacity, she serves as a Project Manager on national training and technical assistance initiatives related to domestic violence and offender reentry. Ms. Gibel also serves as the Administrative Manager of the Center and is responsible for overseeing the Center’s administrative, accounting, and meeting planning functions. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Economics, from the University of Arizona and also holds a law degree from the University of Minnesota. She has worked with anti-violence organizations on issues of domestic violence and gay rights and organized and presented trainings on both. Ms. Gibel was formerly part of an effort that successfully lobbied the Minnesota legislators to pass a bill to provide civil remedies for women coerced into prostitution. Ms. Gibel has been a member of the Center’s staff since 1998.

Anke Mann is the Center’s Accounting Manager. In this capacity, she is responsible for oversight of all of the Center’s financial activities, including budgeting, expense tracking, and audit compliance. Ms. Mann holds a Bachelor of Science degree in International Business and Finance from the University of Maryland, College Park and also attended the College of Business and Applied Sciences in Dresden, Germany, where she received an Intermediate Certificate in International Business Studies. Ms. Mann is bilingual in German and English. She has been with the Center since 2000.

Cherrie Smith-Raines is the Center’s Executive Assistant. In this position, she is responsible for providing administrative support to the Center staff and many of the Center’s projects. Ms. Smith–Raines has over 19 years of experience as an Administrative and Legal Assistant. Ms. Smith-Raines joined the Center in 2005.