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Staff

Andrew Zarro--Executive Director

Andrew Zarro is the Executive Director of CJPC. He brings experience with his company, Good for Great, LLC, working as co-producer of the “In Our Name" Conference on Restoring Justice in America. The mission is to bring the general public into contact with members of the legal community in order to increase overall awareness of legal policy, and to facilitate discussion towards the reform of the criminal justice system.

Growing up as a child with an incarcerated parent, he has focused a great deal of his work on the children of incarcerated parents and overarching restorative justice policy implementation through community development and inclusive practices.

Prior to becoming the Executive Director of CJPC, Andrew received his MPA from Northeastern University in 2013, and a BS in Community Development and Applied Economics from the University of Vermont in 2010.

Leanne Harrigan--Community Outreach & Engagement Intern

Leanne Harrigan is originally from Connecticut and is currently a senior psychology student at Emmanuel College in Boston. Hoping to pursue a career in Forensic Psychology, she has joined CJPC as one of the newest interns with a passion for criminal justice, policy, and rehabilitation and reentry for incarcerated individuals."

Brittni Reilly is a first year master’s student at the Boston University School of Social Work, Macro Practice. Brittni is the current MSW field intern for the Mass Bail Fund.

Brittni served for two years as an AmeriCorps member with LIFT-Boston. More recently, she has worked with HomeStart as a coordinator for a rapid re-housing grant and now, as a client stabilization advocate. In addition to her work with HomeStart and the Mass Bail Fund, she volunteers with Partakers, Inc. as a College Behind Bars mentor. Brittni graduated in 2010 from UMass-Amherst with a BA in Holistic Pedagogy for Social Change and a minor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies.

Board

Eric Tennen--Chairman

Eric Tennen is a partner at Swomley and Tennen, LLP. His work focuses on trial and appellate practice, with a focus on criminal defense and civil liberties. Eric also teaches Legal Research and Writing for first year law students at Boston University School of Law.

In his career as an attorney, Eric has successfully defended persons charged with serious felonies in both State and Federal court. He has won the release of several persons facing civil commitment pursuant to G.L. chapter 123A as a sexually dangerous person and has successfully represented clients before the Sex Offender Registry Board. Eric has been on several Continuing Legal Education panels.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Eric received an LLM in Criminal Law from the University of Buffalo School of Law in 2004. He graduated magna cum laude from Boston University School of Law in 2001. He has a B.A., with distinction, from the University of Michigan from 1998. Eric has also published articles concerning a wide array of criminal law issues.

Eric joined the CJPC Board of Directors in 2009.

Walter Stone--Vice Chairman

Walter Stone is the longest serving member of the CJPC Board of Directors. Walter served four years with the United States Air Force. He then pursued his studies in college, ultimately graduating from seminary. He worked for the Christian Ministry for 25 years as a pastor, counseling, and teacher. He taught at colleges about the use of academic material to practical life. He developed a sister-city program, was a camp counselor and served on various boards. Walter is an ex-prisoner who spent his incarceration assisting men with their legal issues, helping other prisoner with personal issues. He also served on a Legal Advisory group. Walter brings tremendous life experience, and a long institutional memory of CJPC history and accomplishments.

Joel Pentlarge--Treasurer

Joel Pentlarge was born in Boston, grew up in Worcester, and graduated from Reed College in Portland Oregon and New England School of Law in Boston. He established a civil legal aid program in Ware, MA as a VISTA Volunteer and worked as a legal aid lawyer for five years. After that, he went into private practice in Ware for twenty years. He was chairman of the Ware Conservation Commission for ten years and President of the Palmer Airport Association. He experienced the other side of criminal justice system as prisoner for 3 ˝ years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Norfolk and two years at the Massachusetts Treatment Center. He corresponded with CJPC while in prison and attended his first CJPC meeting shortly after getting out of prison in the spring of 2006. In the spring of 2007 he was invited to join the CJPC board of directors. For the last several years, Joel has served the board in various capacities including Secretary, Interim Executive Director and, now, Treasurer.

Arthur Bembury

Arthur is the co-founder of several residential treatment facilities for disadvantage youths in Southern California. He is also a former Boston University student and database specialist with an extensive history in commercial and residential real estate. Currently, Arthur serves as the Director of Partakers, Inc., a Boston area non-profit organization. As an ex-prisoner, Arthur brings unique experience to the organization, helping address issues of recidivism and the need for rehabilitative and educational programming in Massachusetts prisons. Arthur joined the CJPC Board of Directors in 2009.

Fred Smith

Fred is the Director of Program Development, Research and Evaluation for St. Francis House, Inc., New England’s largest Day Shelter located in downtown Boston, MA. Fred helped develop and, for 11+ years, directed the highly regarded St. Francis House Moving Ahead Program (MAP), an intensive life skills, career development and addictions treatment program that has been recognized by city and federal officials for its quality and innovative programming. Fred has directed the program’s development since its first class of students in the fall of 1995. He brings 20+ years of experience in policy development, program design, implementation and training in the field of vocational rehabilitation. He had the unique opportunity to help design, and then direct, a first of its kind supported work program for people with psychiatric disabilities in Boston, as well as a high intensity residential/vocational program for people being discharged from state psychiatric facilities with a dual diagnosis of mental illness and substance abuse.

An advocate of strength based counseling, Fred has received short and long-term training from both Columbia University’s Teachers College and the Division on Addictions at Harvard Medical School in addition to his undergraduate and graduate work in public administration. He has conducted workshops throughout the Boston, area, as well as in New York and New Hampshire in the areas of program marketing, job development strategies and program design, including an 8-city tour across the country delivering two-day symposia to HUD vendors and officials on the Moving Ahead Program model. As a result, the model has been replicated in part and in total in virtually every city visited. Currently, MAP has contracts with HUD, the Mass. Parole Board, the U.S. Dept. of Justice and the Federal Probation Dept.

As Director of Program Development, Research and Evaluation, Mr. Smith is dedicated to continually improving all the programs and services of St. Francis House. Among the program initiatives currently being developed is an integration of Mind/Body Health Curricula for both MAP and the Next Step Residential Program; developing a comprehensive assessment and evaluation instrument for all guests and a community based mentoring program. Fred joined the CJPC Board of Directors in 2008.

David Levine

David is a career entrepreneur and small businessman who, among other accomplishments, built a snack food delivery business from the ground up and operated it for over 18 years. Through his experience with hiring and training employees, David became interested in expanding opportunities for work for the unemployed. He recently drafted a job creation proposal that would consolidate efforts of government economic stimulus, initiatives led by nonprofit organizations, and the innovative potential of the private sector to counteract the contemporary trend of high unemployment that the recession has precipitated. The need for job creation is especially salient for individuals who have recently been laid off and for those who have been incarcerated, both of which groups represent a significant proportion of the population in Massachusetts.

Antonn Bryant

Antonn is from the Boston area and is currently the Assistant Site Director at Hearth, Inc. where she works with formerly homeless/at-risk elders. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics with a minor in Political Science at Simmons College, and a Master of Science in Crime and Justice Studies at Suffolk University. As part of her Masters program she interned at the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse at the Office of Representative Ruth B. Balser. There she analyzed correspondence from mentally ill inmates and performed research on recidivism rates and policy-making in regard to mentally ill inmates. Antonn's policy interests are ex-offender re-entry and reintegration, as well as restorative justice. She is also interested in issues surrounding poverty and food security.

Allison Jordan

Allison Jordan has been a public defender with the Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services since April 2011. She works in the Alternative Commitment unit, representing sex offenders who have completed their criminal sentences but remain indefinitely incarcerated for one-day-to-life, pursuant to the Massachusetts "sexually dangerous persons" law. Prior to CPCS, she worked for New York Legal Aid Society’s Queens and Brooklyn offices, representing indigent defendants charged with crimes ranging from misdemeanors to high-level felonies. While in law school, Ms. Jordan worked for the Cornell Legal Aid Clinic, the Capital Trial Clinic, the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, and the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office in Boston. Ms. Jordan’s dedication to public service began before she entered law school: she served as an intern, then a child protective services worker for the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth, and Families in Claremont, NH.

Eustace Payne

Eustace Payne Jr. is the founder and Executive Director of the Massachusetts Community Outreach Initiative (MCOI). Mr. Payne is a graduate of Framingham State College with a Bachelors of Art in Sociology. He is currently on the ministerial staff at Bethel AME church in Boston, MA. Recognizing the importance of stability as it pertains to re-entry Mr. Payne is an advocate and a voice in the community educating and assisting churches interested in developing, training and implementing prison ministries. Under the auspices of The Massachusetts Community Outreach Initiative (MCOI) Mr. Payne provides Godly leadership of integrity, maturity, and humility as he reconnects the incarcerated with their families, churches, and communities.

Mr. Payne has 21 years tenure in the Federal and State court system as a probation officer. His experience in the judicial system taught him that the standard Cognitive Behavioral Therapeutic approach, although direct, is ineffective in producing results within the target population. Consistent focus on an individual’s dysfunction by the law enforcement community, court system, correctional system, and often times family members leaves an individual in an emotionally vulnerable and abused mental state. Mr. Payne’s experience as a probation officer, as well as his experience as a Department of Social Services Case Manager has equipped him with the unique ability to advocate firmly but effectively for clients with perspective employers, continuing education facilities, churches and communities. Additionally, Mr. Payne is a certified Trainer and Facilitator through Prison Fellowship Ministries and has recently completed the Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership Certification program at Boston University School of Management.

CJPC Mass Bail Fund Steering Committee

CJPC's Steering Committee is a group of professionals working together specifically on the issue of bail. The Mass Bail Fund is a special project of CJPC, The MBF helps low income and poor residents to meet bail and fight their cases from the outside. Throughout Massachusetts, many men and women remain in jail who are charged with misdemeanors and other less serious offenses such as violent crime because they do not have the resources to afford their bail even when it may be as low as $100.

Over the years in her professional social work experience, Norma Wassel has covered a wide range of responsibilities and areas of practice in diverse communities and cultures, ranging from clinical work in mental health and trauma to college teaching and program administration After receiving her MSW from Columbia University, Norma became involved in advocacy in prison health in both New York and then California. Returning to the Northeast, she then worked in community mental health in Massachusetts. Her most recent international practice has been in Eastern Europe, assisting former Soviet Republics in the development of social work practice in their countries.

Norma serves as consultant to a range of human service organizations and also individuals in clinical and legal practice, including political asylum cases. She is a member of the National Association of Sentencing Advocates and Mitigation Specialists and a founder of the Massachusetts Bail Fund. Active in developing more equitable practices and policies in our state’s criminal justice system, Norma is currently the Director of the Social Services Advocates for the Public Defender Division at the Committee for Public Counsel Service.

Marguerite Rosenthal was a professor at the Salem State University's School of Social Work where her major focus was social policy, at Salem State University. Her publications focus on social welfare history, comparative social policy and criminal injustice problems.

Her doctoral dissertation, completed at Rutgers University, examined federal delinquency policy in the early part of the 20th century. Prior to her academic career, Marguerite worked as a lead investigator with the NJ Dep't of the Public Advocate, Office of the Public Defender, where she assisted in representation of psychiatric patients, juvenile defendants, parents in child abuse and neglect cases, and death penalty defense research.

Marguerite has been an activist in a variety of areas (civil rights, justice for workers, Israel/Palestinian peace as well as criminal justice) all through her professional career. Now retired from SSU, in addition to her work with the Bail Fund, she is a member of the Mass. Chapter's National Assn. of Social Workers Criminal Justice Shared Interest Group, supervises the Fund's social work intern, and is the Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare's co Book Review Editor.

Jessica Thrall is a staff attorney at the Committee for Public Counsel Services, working primarily in the Essex County Superior Court. Her work focuses on criminal defense trial work. Jessica has been employed with CPCS since 2007.

Before working at CPCS, Jessica was an investigator at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, investigating alleged civil rights violations brought by pro se litigants.

Jessica received her B.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2000, graduating magna cum laude and her J.D. from the New England School of Law in 2007, graduating cum laude, while also a member of the Law Review.