Leigh Courtney is a policy associate in the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute, where she works primarily on issues related to mass incarceration and criminal justice system reform. Before joining Urban, Courtney led performance measures development and data analysis at CSR, Incorporated on behalf of the Office for Victims of Crime. As a research intern, she contributed to a report at The Sentencing Project on parole rates for people with life sentences and tracked advances in youth justice reform nationwide for the National Juvenile Justice Network. As an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Illinois Balanced and Restorative Justice Project, she helped build new community-based restorative justice initiatives for youth.
Courtney holds a BA in sociology/anthropology and Spanish from Denison University. She received her MPP from the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, where she prepared a policy analysis for the Maryland Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention on strategies for safely reducing the state’s pretrial jail population.