Melanie
Skemer
Research Associate, Youth Development, Criminal Justice, and Employment Policy Area

Skemer’s research focuses on evaluations of criminal justice policies, systems, and reforms. She also studies new system approaches in child support enforcement. Currently, Skemer leads the process and impact evaluation of New York City’s Supervised Release program, a bail alternative designed to reduce the use of pretrial detention and money bail while ensuring defendants’ appearance in court and maintaining public safety. Skemer also serves as a research and design lead for the Pretrial Justice Collaborative, a study of eight jurisdictions across the country aimed at building usable evidence on the most effective strategies for reducing pretrial detention, minimizing supervision conditions, and reducing racial and economic inequities while preserving court appearance rates. Additionally, Skemer directs the Procedural Justice-Informed Alternatives to Contempt demonstration, a random assignment study testing the efficacy of incorporating procedural justice principles into child support practices to re-engage noncustodial parents who have fallen behind in their payments, rather than relying on a court-led civil contempt process. Skemer’s responsibilities include project management and direction; research design; impact analysis; the collection of qualitative data through observations, interviews, and focus groups; the writing of policy briefs and reports; and the presentation of research findings. Selected past projects include the Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration, the Evaluation of the PACE Center for Girls, and the Youth Villages Transitional Living Evaluation. Skemer holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in sociology from the University of California-Irvine.

Curriculum Vitae