Henderson’s work uses data science approaches to provide technical assistance to organizations and inform evaluations of policies, programs, and systems in a variety of domains, including criminal justice, employment and training, education, and youth development. They are experienced in directing and managing projects; overseeing the acquisition, integration, processing, and analysis of complex administrative data sources; mapping system processes and data flows; research design; impact analysis; equity analysis; providing technical assistance to organizations; and collecting qualitative data through on-site observations, document reviews, interviews, focus groups, and participatory methods.
They are the project director for a study of United Way of King County’s Bridge to Finish program, which provides basic needs services to community college students to increase equity in educational attainment. They are also the co-principal investigator and impact lead for the NJ CARE project; the data manager and quantitative lead for the OTTERS project, which aims to optimize chatbot messaging to increase access to postsecondary training and education in Washington state; and the quantitative and equity advisor for the Pretrial Justice Collaborative project. Past projects include the impact evaluation of New York City’s Supervised Release program, the Youth Villages Transitional Living Program Evaluation, and an evaluation of the Re-Integration of Ex-Offenders Program. They earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Cornell University and a master’s degree in sociology from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, where they are currently a doctoral candidate in sociology.
MDRC PublicationsIssue Focus
The Bridge to Finish CampaignFebruary, 2023
The Bridge to Finish campaign aims to meet students’ basic needs at nine community colleges and one four-year institution in Washington State. This issue focus describes some features of the Bridge to Finish model that may be helpful to other state systems hoping to implement similar basic-needs programs.Commentary
Promising Strategies for Reforming Pretrial Justice Systems: Strengthening the Presumption of ReleaseMay, 2022
Research suggests that pretrial policy reforms supporting arrested individuals’ release pending trial—unless evidence shows they will not return to court or they pose a threat to public safety—have positive results. This post discusses several policies that were established to prevent the overuse of pretrial detention.Report
Effects in Mecklenburg County, North CarolinaMarch, 2019
The Public Safety Assessment (PSA) assesses the likelihood that a defendant will commit a new crime or fail to appear for court hearings, information that then can guide decisions about release conditions. This study presents the effects of the PSA and related policy changes in Mecklenburg County, NC.Report
Two-Year Impact ReportMay, 2015
RExO increased the number and types of services received by participants and improved their self-reported labor market outcomes as well. But there is little evidence it had any impacts on recidivism or other outcomes. Further, the impacts on employment, while statistically significant, are quite small in practical terms.
ProjectsErika Lundquist, Brit Henderson, Richard Hendra, Caitlin Anzelone, Sophia Sutcliffe, Shawna Anderson
Washington state is consistently ranked among the bottom states in Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion. In 2017, Washington left more than $50 million in federal student financial aid on the table. In 2019, the...
Jurisdictions across the country are striving to increase equity in their pretrial justice systems by reducing their use of pretrial detention and money bail, which affect Black people and other people of color disproportionately and are linked to negative health and well-being outcomes. Despite the intentions of these reforms, there is little rigorous evidence...Bret Barden, Melanie Skemer, Chloe Anderson Golub, Brit Henderson, Lily Freedman, Emily Brennan, Sarah Picard, Rae Walker
Jurisdictions across the United States are taking steps to reduce the number of people who are detained in jail unnecessarily while awaiting trial. These reforms include the use of risk-assessment tools to inform release decisions and...Sarah Picard, Melanie Skemer, Bret Barden, Chloe Anderson Golub, Brit Henderson, Lily Freedman, Rae Walker, Michelle S. Manno, Raul Armenta, Emily Brennan, Kyla Wasserman
MDRC’s Center for Criminal Justice Research is dedicated to developing, evaluating, and disseminating actionable models for justice reform that improve efficacy, mitigate harm, and center those directly impacted by the criminal legal system.
We are committed to advancing evidence-based, equitable, and accessible solutions, sharing...
Many jurisdictions across the United States are rethinking the “front end” of the criminal justice system — the pretrial period between an arrest and the disposition of a criminal case. Often these reforms focus on the initial decisions that judges and other court stakeholders make about whether to detain individuals in jail while they are awaiting trial, and on the...
MDRC launched a study of New York City’s Supervised Release (SR) program shortly after its citywide rollout in 2016, assessing its effectiveness as it existed before New York State’s bail reform legislation went into effect in 2020. SR offered judges across the five boroughs of New York City...
The number of people incarcerated in the U.S. has quadrupled since the 1970s. The more than 600,000 people who are released from prison each year face a range of obstacles to successful reentry into the community. Perhaps not surprisingly, outcomes are often poor: Two-thirds of those who are released from prison are rearrested and half are...
Most of the children who are placed in out-of-home care through the child welfare system exit to a “permanent” placement with a family member, or they are adopted or placed with a legal guardian. However, more than 20,000 young people each year “age out” of care, usually when they reach age 18. Most of these young people entered foster care in their teens after having...