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Janeen Buck Willison
Senior Fellow
Evaluation Director, Transition from Jail to Community Initiative; Principal Investigator of the Evaluation of the Allegheny County Jail Collaborative Reentry Programs
Former employee
Sound policy should be data-driven, informed by the findings of objective, rigorous research. Urban’s reputation for impartial, independent, high-quality research and the opportunity to bring that research to policymakers and practitioners is what drew me here. It is exciting and rewarding to translate research into actionable recommendations that can improve practice, programming, or policies, and positively affect individuals and communities.

Janeen Buck Willison, a senior fellow in the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute, has over 15 years of experience managing and directing multisite studies of youth and adult offender populations. Her work includes evaluations for the federal government and private foundations focused on specialized courts, prisoner reentry, juvenile justice reform, delinquency prevention, mental health interventions for offenders, faith-based reentry programs, evidence-based practice, and systems change. She has expertise in action research, evaluability assessment, program evaluation, policy analysis, performance measurement, technical assistance, and qualitative and quantitative data analysis including experimental and quasi-experimental designs.

Buck Willison served as project manager on the first national evaluation of teen courts, an intervention for juvenile offenders; and the Opportunity to Succeed Program, the first multisite evaluation of prisoner reentry featuring an experimental design. Currently, she is evaluating the performance and impact of jail reentry programs in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and is principal investigator (PI) for the evaluation of OJJDP’s FY2010 Second Chance Act Juvenile Offender Reentry Demonstration Projects. She coleads the process evaluation for the FY2011 Second Chance Act Adult Offender Reentry Demonstration Projects and was PI for the Evaluability Assessment of the FY2011 Second Chance Act Adult Offender Reentry Demonstration Projects. She is also the evaluation director for the Transition from Jail to Community initiative on 14 sites, co-PI for the National Institute of Correction’s Norval Morris workforce transformation project, and a member of Urban’s Institutional Review Board.

Buck Willison holds an MSJ in law and society from American University.

Research Areas
Crime, justice, and safety
Children and youth

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