Faculty Directors

Carol S. Steiker

Henry J. Friendly Professor of Lawsteiker@law.harvard.edu617-496-5457

Carol Steiker is the Henry J. Friendly Professor of Law and faculty co-director of the Criminal Justice Policy Program. Her primary interest is the broad field of criminal justice, where her work ranges from substantive criminal law to criminal procedure to institutional design, with a special focus on issues related to capital punishment.

Professor Steiker served on the board of Editors of the Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice (2nd ed. Macmillan 2002), she is the editor of Criminal Procedure Stories (Foundation 2006), she is a co-editor with Michael Klarman and David Skeel of The Political Heart of Criminal Procedure: Essays on Themes of William J. Stuntz (Cambridge University Press 2012), and she is a co-author of the Kadish, Schulhofer, Steiker & Barkow casebook, Criminal Law and Its Processes (9th ed. Aspen 2012). Recent publications address topics such as the relationship of criminal justice scholarship to law reform, the role of mercy in the institutions of criminal justice, and the likelihood of nationwide abolition of capital punishment.

Courses taught by Professor Steiker have included Criminal Law, Advanced Criminal Procedure (both Investigation and Adjudication), Capital Punishment in America, Thinking About Law Teaching (with Professor Todd Rakoff), Criminal Justice Workshop (with Professor Adriaan Lanni), and Justice and Mercy in Jewish and Christian Tradition and American Criminal Law (with Professor Sarah Coakley of the Harvard Divinity School). Professor Steiker has offered reading groups on Criminal Justice Theory and Voices From Inside the Criminal Justice System.

Professor Steiker is a graduate of Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges and Harvard Law School, where she served as president of the Harvard Law Review, the second woman to hold that position in its then 99-year history. After clerking for Judge J. Skelly Wright of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Thurgood Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court, she worked as a staff attorney for the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, where she represented indigent defendants at all stages of the criminal process. She has been a member of the Harvard Law School faculty since 1992, where she was Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 1998-2001 and where she currently serves as the Dean’s Special Advisor for Public Service. She is also a faculty affiliate of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard University. In addition to her scholarly work, Professor Steiker has worked on pro bono litigation projects on behalf of indigent criminal defendants, including death penalty cases in the United States Supreme Court. She has also served as a consultant and an expert witness on issues of criminal justice for non-profit organizations and has testified before Congress and state legislatures.

Alex Whiting

Professor of Practiceawhiting@law.harvard.edu617-495-4622

Alex Whiting is a Professor of Practice at Harvard Law School and faculty co-director of the Criminal Justice Policy Program. He teaches, writes and consults on domestic and international criminal prosecution issues. From 2010 until 2013, he was in the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague where he served first as the Investigations Coordinator, overseeing all of the investigations in the office, and then as Prosecutions Coordinator, overseeing all of the office’s ongoing prosecutions.

Before going to the ICC, Whiting taught for more than three years as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, again with a focus on prosecution subjects. From 2002-2007, he was a Trial Attorney and then a Senior Trial Attorney with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague. He was lead prosecution counsel in Prosecutor v. Fatmir Limaj, Isak Musliu, and Haradin Bala; Prosecutor v. Milan Martic; and Prosecutor v. Dragomir Miloševic. Before going to the ICTY, he was a U.S. federal prosecutor for ten years, first with the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C., and then with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston where he focused on organized crime and corruption cases.

Whiting attended Yale College and Yale Law School, and clerked for Judge Eugene H. Nickerson of the Eastern District of New York. His publications include Dynamic Investigative Practice at the International Criminal Court, 76 Law and Contemporary Problems 163 (2014), INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL LAW: CASES AND COMMENTARY (2011), co-authored with Antonio Cassese and two other authors, and In International Criminal Prosecutions, Justice Delayed Can Be Justice Delivered, 50 Harv. Int’l L. J. 323 (2009).

Executive Director

Brook Hopkins

Executive Directorbhopkins@law.harvard.edu617-495-4169

Brook Hopkins has over ten years of experience working on a broad range of complex cases at all levels of state and federal court.  She has represented criminal defendants, death row inmates, plaintiffs in civil rights cases, and immigrant victims of domestic violence seeking work authorization.  She has experience working with prosecutors, public defenders, advocacy organizations, and scholars in the criminal justice field.  Most recently, Hopkins was a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law and Harvard Law School.

Hopkins received her J.D. degree magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. There she served as an editor on the Harvard Law Review. Following law school, she clerked for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for Justices David H. Souter (ret.) and Stephen G. Breyer of the Supreme Court of the United States. Hopkins served as a Relman Civil Rights Litigation Fellow at Relman, Dane & Colfax, PLLC and Special Assistant to then-Solicitor General Elena Kagan. She also worked as a senior associate and counsel at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, where she specialized in appellate litigation.  Hopkins maintained a robust pro bono practice, focusing primarily on criminal cases, including death penalty cases.


Sharon Brett

Senior Staff Attorneysbrett@law.harvard.edu617-495-1855

Sharon Brett joins the Criminal Justice Policy Program with over thirteen years of experience working on a diverse array of criminal justice reform issues.  Most recently, Sharon served as a Trial Attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section, where she focused on complex investigations and litigation regarding police misconduct and unlawful conditions in prisons and jails.  In that role, Sharon spearheaded several pattern or practice investigations of law enforcement agencies, and worked closely with jurisdictions to develop and implement changes to their law enforcement and correctional practices as required by court-ordered consent decrees.

In addition to her investigation and enforcement work, Sharon also wrote several Statements of Interest articulating the Department of Justice’s position regarding critical criminal justice issues.  These briefs focused on a wide range of topics, including the unconstitutionality of blanket prohibitions on hormone therapy for transgender prisoners (Diamond v. Owens); enforcement of anti-camping ordinances against individuals experiencing homelessness where there are no shelter beds available (Bell v. Boise); and monetary bail schemes that fail to account for a defendant’s ability to pay (Varden v. City of Clanton).  Finally, Sharon contributed to the Department’s 2015 report entitled Identifying and Preventing Gender Bias in Law Enforcement Response to Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence.

Sharon holds a B.A. in Psychology and Criminal Justice from the University of Michigan, and a J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School.  Immediately after graduating from law school, Sharon clerked for the Hon. John M. Facciola (ret.) of the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia.  Prior to attending law school, Sharon spent several years as a Program Analyst with the Vera Institute of Justice, where she focused on building and working with diverse coalitions to inform and push forward criminal justice reform agendas.

Colin Doyle

Staff Attorneycdoyle@law.harvard.edu(617) 495-0498

Colin Doyle works on bail and pretrial reform across the country at the local and state levels. His work includes advising jurisdictions on best practices in pretrial justice, writing legal and policy analysis, researching the efficacy of pretrial reforms, and educating the public about the harms of money bail and the opportunities and pitfalls of reform.

Doyle received his J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he served as articles chair for the Harvard Law Review and provided legal representation for indigent clients with the Criminal Justice Institute and Harvard Defenders. While pursuing his J.D., Doyle interned at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia and the ACLU of Michigan. Prior to law school, he worked as a counselor for a crisis and suicide prevention hotline.

Elizabeth Tsai Bishop

Empirical Research Fellowebishop@law.harvard.edu617-384-0004

Elizabeth is interested in using research and data science as tools to help people better understand social issues and to support labor and community organizing. She graduated summa cum laude from Tufts University with a major in Computer Science and a minor in Asian American Studies. When she was an undergraduate student, Elizabeth worked as an intern at Boston’s Asian American Resource Workshop and as a student leader during the Tufts Dining Workers’ successful unionization campaign.

Chijindu Obiofuma

Legal Fellowcobiofuma@law.harvard.edu617-495-0550

Chijindu Obiofuma joins the Criminal Justice Policy Program after receiving her J.D. from Columbia Law School. While at Columbia, Chijindu worked with Bernard Harcourt to create the Prison Healthcare Initiative, an interdisciplinary advocacy space targeting inadequate correctional healthcare. In addition to interning at the ACLU’s Capital Punishment Project, she joined the Columbia Human Rights Law Review as a Staff Editor on their Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual. Chijindu also spent three years as a student senator at Columbia, and during her last semester of law school, worked as a Teaching Fellow for Bernard Harcourt at the Eric H. Holder Jr. Initiative for Civil and Political Rights.

Mitali Nagrecha

Director, National Criminal Justice Debt Initiativemnagrecha@law.harvard.edu617-496-3002

Mitali Nagrecha launched and directs Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Policy Program’s Criminal Justice Debt Initiative. In the two years since its inception, Mitali has built the program into a leading voice in ending the criminalization of poverty. Together with her team and Harvard Law students, Mitali advises state and local jurisdictions seeking to reform fees and fines policies and implements solutions for sustainable change. The Atlantic covered CJPP’s work in North Carolina here. Mitali also advocates for nationwide reform of criminal justice debt practices. To that end, Mitali will be traveling to Europe this year to research its use of day fines as a model for reform in the United States.

Mitali joined CJPP with over ten years of experience researching and advocating on criminalization of poverty and reentry and is a frequent speaker and writer on these issues. Mitali was one of the first advocates to raise concerns of increasing fees and fines in a report for the Brennan Center, Criminal Justice Debt: A Barrier to Reentry. Mitali has also written about fees and fines’ impact on families with Mary Katzenstein, Professor of American Studies at Cornell University in When All Else Fails, Fining the Family published by the Center for Community Alternatives; and about the institutionalization of these practices in A New Punishment Regime, which appeared in the journal Criminology and Public Policy.

Prior to joining CJPP, Mitali was Senior Director of Policy at The Fortune Society where she led the organization’s criminal justice policy efforts, including state and local advocacy to increase use of alternatives to incarceration; local, state and federal efforts to increase access to reentry housing; and legislative changes to child support law. Mitali also served as Senior Policy Director for Cory Booker’s City of Newark Office of Reentry. In between earning her B.A. at Cornell University and her J.D. cum laude from The University of Pennsylvania School of Law, Ms. Nagrecha was a Fulbright Scholar in India.

Anna J. Weick

Program Coordinatoraweick@law.harvard.edu617-384-7715

Anna J. Weick joined the Criminal Justice Policy Program staff in August 2016. Previously, she worked for several years with the YWCA Cambridge, a women’s housing provider and racial and gender justice advocacy organization. Anna graduated cum laude from Wellesley College with a major in American Studies and completed an honors thesis focused on leveraging art with activism to further social justice causes. She is working towards a Master’s Degree in Social Innovation and Sustainability from Goddard College, where she uses LGBTQ+ history to engage with contemporary social movements.  Pronouns: she/her/hers


Valena Beety

Visiting Senior FellowValena.Beety@mail.wvu.edu

Professor Valena Elizabeth Beety is the Founding Director of the West Virginia Innocence Project at the West Virginia University College of Law. Her experiences as a federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C., and as an innocence litigator in Mississippi and West Virginia, shape her research and writing on wrongful convictions, forensic evidence, the opioid crisis and incarceration. She is the co-author of the newly published Wrongful Convictions Reader (2018). Professor Beety has successfully exonerated wrongfully convicted clients, obtained presidential grants of clemency for drug offenses, and serves as an elected board member of the national Innocence Network, an invited board member of the Research Center on Violence, and an appointed commissioner on the West Virginia Governor’s Indigent Defense Commission.

At West Virginia University, Beety created and was the inaugural director of the first Forensic Justice LL.M. degree program in the United States, and a founding member of the Appalachian Justice Initiative.  She received the WVU College of Law Faculty Scholarship Award in 2016 and her scholarship is published widely, most notably in the Northwestern Law Review, the North Carolina Law Review, the Ohio State Law Journal, and the Florida Law Review. Before serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, Beety clerked for the Honorable Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and for the Honorable Chief Judge James G. Carr of the Northern District of Ohio.  Beety holds a B.A. and J.D. from the University of Chicago.

Felix Owusu

Research Fellowowusu@g.harvard.edu

Felix Owusu is a doctoral candidate in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Felix’s research interests lie at the intersection of criminal justice policy, education, and inequality, and his work specifically examines relationships between criminal justice involvement, education, and labor market outcomes across race and class.

Felix is also Doctoral Fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy at Harvard University, and he holds a BA in economics and political science from Williams College and an MPP from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to attending Harvard University, Felix worked as an economic litigation consultant at Cornerstone Research and was involved in policy research at the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office of Research, and UC Berkeley’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment.

Ronald L. Davis

Visiting Senior Fellowrdavis@law.harvard.edu

Ronald L. Davis was appointed by United States Attorney General Eric Holder to serve as the Director of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) from 2013 to 2017. The COPS Office is responsible for advancing community policing nationwide and manages over $1.2 Billion in federal grants to support the community policing activities for approximately 18,000 local, state, and tribal law enforcement agencies.

In December 2014, President Barack Obama appointed Director Davis to serve as the Executive Director of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing (Task Force). President Obama charged Director Davis and the Task Force with developing concrete recommendations to improve community trust in the police while enhancing public safety. The final report of the Task Force now serves as a foundational document in American policing.

Prior to serving as COPS Director, Davis had a distinguished career in law enforcement serving over 8 years as Chief of Police of East Palo Alto (CA) and 20 years with the Oakland (CA) Police Department. Davis was recognized for his innovative community policing efforts and for working collaboratively with the community to dramatically reduce crime and violence in a city once named as the murder capital of the United States.

Davis is the co-author of the publications, Race and Policing: An Agenda for Action”, Exploring the Role of the Police in Prisoner Reentry, and the DOJ publication, How to Correctly Collect and Analyze Racial Profiling Data: Your Reputation Depends on It. Davis’ areas of focus and interest are 21st century policing strategies with an emphasis on policing and technology.

Davis possesses a Bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University and has completed the Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program at Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. Ronald Davis is also a Principal Consultant at 21st Century Policing Solutions, LLC.

Andrew Ferguson

Visiting Senior Fellowaferguson@law.harvard.edu

Professor Andrew Guthrie Ferguson is a national expert on predictive policing, big data policing, and emerging surveillance technologies.  He is the author of the new book The Rise of Big Data Policing: Surveillance, Race, and the Future of Law Enforcement (2017).  His recent research focuses on studying how new law enforcement technologies distort traditional methods of policing and the related issues of privacy, civil rights, and community safety.

Professor Ferguson currently teaches as a tenured full professor at the University of the District of Columbia’s David A. Clarke School of Law where he has been voted “Professor of the Year” four times.  His scholarship on the digital transformation of criminal justice has been published in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the California Law Review, the Cornell Law Review, the Minnesota Law Review, the Northwestern Law Review, the Boston University Law Review, the University of Southern California Law Review, the Notre Dame Law Review, and the Emory Law Journal among others.  In 2017 Professor Ferguson co-authored the law professors’ amicus brief to the Supreme Court on behalf of the Petitioner in Carpenter v. U.S., involving the warrantless collection of cell-site tracking data.

Professor Ferguson’s legal commentary has been featured in numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, CNN, NPR, USA Today, the ABA Journal, The Atlantic (digital), The Huffington Post, and many other national and international newspapers, magazines, and media sites.  He is regularly consulted by governments, private industry, local community groups, and civil liberties organizations interested in the future of policing.

Prior to joining the law faculty, Professor Ferguson worked as a supervising attorney at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. As a public defender for seven years, he represented adults and juveniles in serious felony cases ranging from homicide to misdemeanor offenses. In addition to participating as lead counsel in numerous jury and bench trials, he argued cases before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Before joining the Public Defender Service, Professor Ferguson was awarded the E. Barrett Prettyman Fellowship at the Georgetown Law Center’s Criminal Justice Clinic. For two years as a Prettyman Fellow, he taught and supervised third-year clinical students involved in the criminal justice clinic. Immediately after graduating from law school, he clerked for the Honorable Chief Judge Carolyn Dineen King of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  Professor Ferguson holds an LL.M from Georgetown Law Center, a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law (summa cum laude), and a B.A. from Williams College (cum laude).