Melanie Skemer
Melanie Skemer
Senior Associate
Youth Development, Criminal Justice, and Employment

Skemer’s research focuses on evaluations of criminal legal policies, systems, and reforms. She also studies new system approaches in child support enforcement. Currently, Skemer 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 (PJAC) demonstration, a random assignment study testing the efficacy of incorporating procedural justice principles into child support practices to re-engage parents who have fallen behind in their child support payments, rather than relying on a court-led civil contempt process. PJAC also includes an equity study that will assess racial/ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic disparities at various decision points across the child support process, with an emphasis on use of punitive enforcement measures.

Skemer’s responsibilities include project direction and management; research design; impact analysis; interview and focus group facilitation; writing policy briefs, reports, and commentaries; presenting research findings; and developing new projects. Selected past projects include an evaluation of New York City’s Pretrial Supervised Release program, 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

Products

Report

Findings from a Random Assignment Study of Remote Versus Hybrid Supervision in New York City

Report

Effects of the Procedural Justice-Informed Alternatives to Contempt Demonstration

Commentary
Report

Lessons from an Implementation Study of the Procedural Justice-Informed Alternatives to Contempt Demonstration

Report

Findings from an Evaluation of New York City’s Supervised Release Program

Report

Summary Report on the Youth Villages Transitional Living Evaluation

Report

Final Impacts and Costs of New York City's Young Adult Internship Program

Report

Implementation and Early Impacts of the Young Adult Internship Program

Brief

An Alternative to Bail

Report

Two-Year Impact Findings from the Youth Villages Transitional Living Evaluation

Report

The Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration

Report

One-Year Impact Findings from the Youth Villages Transitional Living Evaluation

Report

Implementation Findings from the Youth Villages Transitional Living Evaluation

Report

Lessons from an In-Depth Data Analysis

Other Publications

Courtney, Mark E., Erin J. Valentine, and Melanie Skemer. 2019. “Experimental Evaluation of Transitional Living Services for System-Involved Youth: Implications for Policy and Practice.” Children and Youth Services Review 96: 396-408. 

Baer, Justin, and Melanie Skemer. 2009. Review of State Motorcycle Safety Program Technical Assessments. DOT HS 811–082. Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation.

Baldi, Stéphane, Ying Jin, Melanie Skemer, Patricia J. Green, and Deborah Herget. 2007. Highlights From PISA 2006: Performance of U.S. 15-Year-Old Students in Science and Mathematics Literacy in an International Context. NCES 2008–016. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.