Florida State University
Dan Kennedy, Northeastern University School of Journalism and Rappaport Institute Advisory Board Member
Massachusetts Office of the Child Advocate
Melissa Threadgill, Director of Juvenile Justice Initiatives and Former Rappaport Policy Fellow
Description of Fellowship
At the Office of the Child Advocate, Alexis researched and presented on juvenile justice diversion models, analyzed a survey on community-based interventions for youth, and assisted with creating a public-facing juvenile justice data website. This work contributed to a legislative report on youth diversion in Massachusetts and continues to serve as a model for ongoing discussions on expanding and reforming youth diversion in the state.
This aims to be a public facing website where policymakers, members of the public, and other stakeholders can go to learn detailed information about the juvenile justice system in Massachusetts. In addition, she analyzed a community-based intervention survey, which examined referral gaps in evidence-based services for youth. As Massachusetts does not have standardized youth diversion practices in place, she also researched and presented on different diversion models from other states in the hopes of generating discussion on how these practices can apply to Massachusetts.
Finally, Alexis created a policy memo and presentation on how these evidence-based practices and diversion models can be funded at the state level. This was presented by her Supervisor Melissa Theadgill a Community-Based Interventions Subcommittee meeting. Alexis found her fellowship’s work and mentorship so meaningful that she continued working for the Office of the Child Advocate in the Spring of 2020 through an Experiential Research Fellowship awarded by Northeastern University.
Alexis is currently a doctoral student as well as being a founder and writer to a social media blog called Informed Justice that aims to bridge the gap between research, public policy, and the general public.