Mara Dodson is a project director for The Moss Group, Inc., a criminal justice consulting firm that serves correctional agencies across the country. Ms. Dodson began her career with The Moss Group in 2008. In her role as project director, Ms. Dodson is responsible for relationship management, project oversight, and expert guidance on a variety of multi-year initiatives in adult prisons, jails, and juvenile jurisdictions. Projects address issues related to operational practice, policy, safety, PREA, special populations, staff sexual misconduct, female offenders, litigation support, leadership, and culture change.
Ms. Dodson’s passion is to problem solve with jurisdictions and become a trusted partner for positive outcomes, enhanced safety, and sustainable change. Currently, Ms. Dodson is leading a project team in their fourth year of work to support a state agency in effectively supervising female offenders. Notably, this work includes culture change strategies, gender-specific policy development, staff trainings on working effectively with female inmates, and implementation of a gender-responsive classification and programming process. Ms. Dodson has led similar initiatives focused on female services in two other large state agencies that have included litigation support, addressing conditions of confinement, sexual safety, and enhancing facility operations, consistent with gender-responsive and trauma-informed practices. Ms. Dodson co-authored a chapter in a corrections professional textbook addressing staff sexual misconduct. She regularly presents at conferences and facilitates trainings focused on a variety of correctional management issues. Ms. Dodson earned her B.A. from Tufts University and earned her M.B.A. at American University.
After completing her PhD, Dr Jeffries worked for six years within both the Australian federal and state government sector in a number of research/policy positions. Her academic career is characterised by an extensive track record of research, publications and conference presentations within the areas of:
1) domestic violence including protection order legislation, sentencing and family law,
2) gender, Indigeneity, sentencing and imprisonment.
Dr Jeffries has been successful in securing five competitive research grants and two government consultancies to undertake research in these areas.More recently, Dr Jeffries in partnership with the Thailand Institute of Justice has undertaken research projects exploring gendered trends in imprisonment in South East Asia and pathways to prison in Thailand and Cambodia. She has over a decade of university teaching experience and currently convenes three undergraduate criminology courses at Griffith University: Gender, Crime and Criminal Justice; Race, Crime and Criminal Justice; Sociology of Crime.
Barbara Owen, PhD is an international expert in the areas of women and imprisonment; gender inequality within the criminal justice system; improving operational practice in women’s prisons; and women’s prison culture, with extensive experience in conducting, ethnographies, large-scale surveys, policy studies; and program evaluation. Internationally, her work involves implementing human rights protections in women’s prisons with the Thailand Institute of Justice. A Professor Emerita of Criminology at California State University, Fresno, she received her Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Berkeley in 1984. Prior to returning to academia, Dr. Owen was a Senior Researcher with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Her books include In Search of Safety: Confronting inequality in women’s imprisonment (University of California Press, 2017) (with James Wells and Joy Pollock) and In the Mix: Struggle and Survival in a Women’s Prison (SUNY Press, 1998). Along with Barbara Bloom and Stephanie Covington, she has co-authored a major policy report, Gender-Responsive Strategies: Research, Practice, and Guiding Principles for Women Offenders (2003).
More recent projects include multiple projects relating to the context of sexual and other forms of safety in women’s prisons; an analysis of women’s recidivism; research and policy work on Realignment in California, and co-authoring the policy report “Unlocking America.” Dr. Owen’s work has been funded by local, state and federal agencies. Her consulting experience includes several projects with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation; on-going work with the National Institute of Corrections; extensive work with The Moss Group in providing research and policy review of operational practice in women’s facilities; developing architectural design in women’s jails; and evaluation efforts within local probation systems. She also serves on the Advisory Council of the Safe Alternatives to Segregation II initiative with the Vera Institute of Justice.
Chontit graduated a Master of Law from the University of Kent and Master of Science on Social Policy and Social Research from the University of Southampton, the United Kingdom.
A passionate advocate of gender-sensitive policies and practices in the correctional system, she was one of the pioneer team members behind the successful adoption of the Bangkok Rules in 2010. Currently, she is responsible for research and capacity building activities to support the implementation of the Bangkok Rules and other international instruments related to the treatment of offenders.