Samantha Harvell is a senior research associate for the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute. She is the current project director for the What Works in Reentry Clearinghouse, a product of the National Reentry Resource Center, and leads the coordination and assessment of local sites involved in the Justice Reinvestment Initiative. Harvell’s primary research interests focus on the identification and evaluation of policies and interventions that promote positive outcomes for at-risk and system-involved youth.
Immediately before joining the Urban Institute, Harvell worked as a program specialist with the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, where she staffed the state’s juvenile justice advisory group. Before that, she was a senior associate and then research manager with the Public Safety Performance Project at the Pew Charitable Trusts, where she managed multiple research projects analyzing criminal and juvenile corrections trends and played a lead role on the team that conceptualized and launched the project’s juvenile justice initiative. She previously worked on education, early childhood, and juvenile justice policy issues at First Focus, a cross-sector children’s advocacy organization, and as a congressional fellow in the office of Senator Jeff Bingaman.
Harvell holds a BA in psychology from the University of Virginia, an MPP from Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, and a PhD in developmental psychology from Georgetown University.