Cassandra Ramdath is a senior research associate in the Urban Institute's Justice Policy Center. She is the co-Principal Investigator for the center’s Prison Research and Innovation Initiative, a five-year, $10 million initiative using evidence to drive prison reforms and launch a national movement to redefine corrections. She was a researcher for Fathers Advancing Community Together, a program aimed at improving responsible parenting, healthy relationships, and economic stability for low-income fathers.
Ramdath’s research portfolio focuses on corrections reform, health and justice, procedural fairness, and youth violence. Before joining Urban, she was the senior research director at the NYC Board of Correction and led research and policy oversight of sexual victimization policies in New York City jails. She was a senior research associate at the Center for Court Innovation, leading mixed-methods studies on neighborhood-based probation models, prosecutor-led diversion, illegal firearm ownership among youth, and perceptions of procedural justice.
Ramdath earned her bachelor of social sciences degree in psychology and criminology at the University of Ottawa in Canada and her master’s studying therapeutic alternatives to incarceration at Bond University in Australia, and she completed her doctoral dissertation on the neurocognitive effects of brain injuries on adolescents in Rikers Island at John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York.
Ramdath was born in Toronto, Canada and spent 10 years living in New York City (basically a New Yorker!). She is of Indo-Caribbean decent with most of her family being born on the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, and a history of ancestors that arrived to Trinidad as indentured laborers in the 1800's. She recently moved to Washington, DC and is always on the lookout for good eats, especially Trinidadian delicacies in the neighborhood.