Walker (they/them) is a resource manager and research analyst in MDRC’s Youth Development, Criminal Justice, and Employment policy area. They are responsible for program development within MDRC’s Center for Criminal Justice Research, where they currently oversee a portfolio of federal and foundation evaluations designed to improve outcomes for individuals involved in the criminal justice system. Walker’s research spans the breadth of the justice system to include the Pretrial Justice Collaborative and the Los Angeles County Reentry Integrated Services Project.
Prior to joining the Center, Walker managed a suite of evaluations and technical assistance projects related to comprehensive student supports within MDRC’s Postsecondary Education policy area. They previously held roles with the American Civil Liberties Union, the Legal Aid Society, and the Center for Court Innovation. Walker holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University.
In recent years, policymakers and other leaders have established new systems intended to divert people experiencing mental health crises away from the criminal legal system before an arrest occurs. While there is some research supporting the effectiveness of police-mental health collaboration models, the evidence is mixed and very little is known about long-term...
Established in 2021, the Jefferson County Equitable Fines and Fees Project (Project JEFF) is a collaboration between MDRC, the Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, Alabama’s Tenth Judicial Circuit Court, and the Center for Court Innovation. The purpose of this collaborative is to better understand the debt...Michelle Ware, Alexander Mayer, Colleen Sommo, Leigh Parise, Elena Serna-Wallender, Jálynn Castleman-Smith, Shawna Anderson, Rae Walker, Melissa Wavelet, Katie Beal, Melissa Boynton, Diane Wren, Sumner Perera
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected colleges’ operations and students’ educational experiences, severely strained budgets, and created unprecedented financial and emotional stress for students, faculty, and staff. As colleges adapt to an evolving landscape, they need immediate solutions to support and retain students, as well as to...
College administrators are better positioned than ever before to make decisions about adopting programs based on the effectiveness and cost of interventions. There is, however, a third piece of information critical to decision-making: the amount of revenue an intervention would generate at their college because of increased student retention...
Under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020, Congress created the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) as the first-ever federal emergency aid program in higher education.
MDRC, in collaboration with the National Association of Student...Bret Barden, Sarah Picard, Michelle S. Manno, Douglas Phillips, Osvaldo Avila, Emily Brennan, Rae Walker, Raul Armenta, Jayce Helpley
Every year, the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services’ Office of Diversion and Reentry (ODR) provides reentry services for thousands of people involved in the justice system. These services cover a wide variety of needs, ranging from employment services and skills training for individuals on adult felony probation to connections to...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...Colleen Sommo, Alexander Mayer, Alyssa Ratledge, Michelle Ware, Osvaldo Avila, Katie Beal, Melissa Wavelet, Leigh Parise, Colin Hill, Rae Walker, Austin Slaughter, Hannah Dalporto, Elena Serna-Wallender, Stanley Dai
MDRC’s Scaling Up College Completion Efforts for Student Success (SUCCESS) seeks to improve graduation rates for traditionally underserved students at two- and four-year colleges, by helping states and institutions align their resources with evidence-driven practices. SUCCESS ...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...