Faculty Director

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.

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.

Staff

Neda A. Khoshkhoo

Staff Attorneynkhoshkhoo@law.harvard.edu617-998-2448

Neda works on criminal justice debt initiatives that seek to end the criminalization of poverty.  She has experience representing indigent clients in a variety of poverty law matters.  She appealed public benefits eligibility denials and provided special education advocacy at the East Bay Community Law Center.  She also researched and investigated instances of discrimination against immigrants and persons with prior convictions at the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.  Later, as a litigation associate at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, LLP, Neda represented pro bono clients with prior misdemeanor convictions in removal proceedings.  Before joining the Criminal Justice Policy Program, Neda also clerked for Judge Sandra L. Lynch of the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, Justice Barbara A. Lenk of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and Judge Cormac J. Carney of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Neda received her B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her J.D., Order of the Coif, from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, where she served as Senior Notes and Comments editor for the California Law Review.  Prior to attending law school, Neda was the research coordinator at the U.C.L.A. Center for Middle East Development, where she supervised the student research team and supported the center’s economic and diplomatic policy initiatives.

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.

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.

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.

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

Visitors

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.