Patrick McCarthy, PhD

Patrick McCarthy currently serves as a Senior Fellow with the Columbia University Justice Lab’s Youth Justice Initiatives team, which is focused on ending the punitive youth prison model and accelerating investment in those communities that have been hardest hit by youth incarceration.

Previously, he served as a Stoneleigh Visiting Fellow in partnership with the Columbia University Justice Lab. In this role, he collaborated with policymakers, advocates, philanthropic organizations, and youth correctional administrators to transform youth justice systems. His goal was to move the youth justice system away from the use of incarceration and toward the creation of more robust supports for youth and families in their communities. Leveraging his connections with national leaders, he promoted youth justice reform efforts in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania through research, education, training, and policy and practice reform. He also acted as an advisor to Stoneleigh’s Fellows who work across systems to improve youth outcomes.

Patrick is a nationally recognized leader in youth justice and child welfare reform, and the immediate past President and Chief Executive Officer of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. During his 25-year tenure with the Foundation, Patrick deepened its commitment to race equity issues and led its efforts to create a fairer and safer youth justice system and a more family-focused child welfare system. He also oversaw the development of the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, which focused on reducing U.S. reliance on detention to address the challenges facing vulnerable young people.

Previously, Patrick held a variety of positions within the juvenile justice and child welfare fields, including as a psychiatric social worker; the head of a school for youth with emotional and behavioral challenges; and Director of the Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services at the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families.

Patrick holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD from the Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research.

Visiting Fellow


Columbia University Justice Lab

Current Position

Senior Fellow
Columbia University Justice Lab



See how Patrick is Advancing the Field