During my time at Penn State Harrisburg, I had the opportunity to assist staff members on several research projects while I worked as a research and graduate assistant. I had also written a thesis as part of the Master’s program requirements. After these experiences, I was convinced that analyzing criminological data and researching justice issues was what I was truly passionate about.
In 2008, when Jose was released from his nine-month stay in a Pennsylvania residential placement for his auto theft adjudication and returned to Philadelphia, he had a 1 in 10 chance of graduating from high school, according to the Johns Hopkins study, “Unfulfilled Promise”. Without marketable skills, he was likely to join the ranks of the young unemployed, and his chances of landing in prison as an adult were significantly higher than his chances of landing in a family sustaining career.