Rachel Corey is currently the interim Executive Director of CJPC. As interim Executive Director, she will lead CJPC through the 2014 Summer Series. She is currently enrolled at Northeastern University for her M.S. in Law and Public Policy with a concentration in Crime, Law and Justice. She received her B.A. in Growth and Structure of Cities from Bryn Mawr College in 2010.
Rachel wants to dedicate her life to ending mass incarceration and making the entire criminal justice system humane, equitable and effective.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
Erick is an accountant and tax professional who joined the Board in 2013. He holds master's degrees in accounting, business administration, sport studies, and teaching. As an an ex-prisoner, Erick brings a unique perspective about the practical effects of criminal justice policy and programming.
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.
Hope Haff, LICSW, is a retired social worker, who was a psychotherapist and advocate for families of all ethnicities. She wrote her Masters thesis at Columbia University School of Social Work on youth held in NY State’s Youthful Offender Program. After moving to Boston she organized rent strikes with the Congress of Racial Equality in Roxbury during the Civil Rights Movement, gathered experience in the community health movement and was trained in the treatment of post traumatic stress. She has worked for 40 years in Boston and in Germany, experiencing 2 systems with very different sets of values around justice, disability and rehabilitation. Hope is on the Steering Committee of the Pretrial Working Group and of the Mass. Bail Fund, and is a member of the Criminal Justice SIG of the National Association of Social Workers, MA.
Carrie Burke joined the Massachusetts Bail Fund Steering Committee in the fall of 2013. Carrie brings her experience in community organizing in Boston and beyond, and direct advocacy around issues of criminal justice. She is currently the Supervising Social Services Advocate for the Central and Western Region of the Committee for Public Counsel Services Public Defender Division, where she has been employed since 2009. Prior to her work at CPCS, Carrie worked in immigrant rights advocacy and community organizing both at the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), organizing in Boston, Metro-west and New Hampshire, as well as the International Irish Immigrant Center (IIIC) in Boston, where she directed the organizing department. She additionally has worked in domestic violence services in Berkshire County. She received her MSW from Boston College in 2007, with a focus on human-rights based intervention. She is a proud Berkshire County native.