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Renowned Reentry Expert Ann L. Jacobs Named Director of the Prisoner Reentry Institute at John Jay College

June 10, 2011, New York, NY -- John Jay College of Criminal Justice today announced the appointment of Ann L. Jacobs as director of the College's Prisoner Reentry Institute.

"We are indeed fortunate to have Ann Jacobs accept the position of Director of the Prisoner Reentry Institute," said Jeremy Travis, President of John Jay College. "A stellar leader in the field, she brings with her a wealth of experience that will help advance the scope and research of the Institute."

In accepting the appointment, Ms. Jacobs said, "I am delighted to join John Jay College at this important time in both the development of the College and the field of reentry. John Jay is a respected leader in the criminal justice community and the Prisoner Reentry Institute provides a unique foundation for contributing to the development of a crucial component of the criminal justice system."

Ms. Jacobs has worked in the criminal justice field for over forty years. For nearly two decades, she served at the executive director of the Women's Prison Association (WPA) in New York. The WPA is the nation's oldest and largest social service and advocacy organization for incarcerated women, formerly incarcerated women, and their families. She directed 120 staff members who served over 2500 women and their families per year at five community sites, the city jail, and four women's prisons in New York State. Under Ms. Jacobs leadership, the WPA budget expanded from $500,000 in 1990 to a budget of $8.5 million at the time her of departure in 2008.

She has served as a national spokesperson, consultant and trainer on gender issues; families and criminal justice as well as associated issues of substance abuse, mental health, health, housing, child welfare and employment. Ms. Jacobs has designed and implemented innovative programs for women at all stages of the criminal process and their families and served as a consultant to the National Institute of Corrections, Annie E. Casey Foundation and others in the development of national initiatives.

A recognized advocate and reformer, she founded the Women's Justice Alliance, a consortium of over 100 service providers in New York State; she created the Institute on Women in Criminal Justice, a national policy center dedicated to improving the policies and practices affecting women in the criminal justice system; and the Women's Advocacy Project, a program in public policy and civic involvement for formerly incarcerated women.

Before heading the WPA in 1990, Jacobs was responsible for oversight of the city's five public safety agencies for the New York City Mayor's Office of Operations. From 1986 to 1990, she served at the deputy director of the Mayor's Office of the Criminal Justice Coordinator. Earlier in her career, Ms. Jacobs worked at the Pretrial Services Resource Center and the National Institute for Dispute Resolution, both in Washington, DC. Her experience encompasses work in both the juvenile and adult justice systems, at the local and national levels.

Ms. Jacobs earned a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from the University of Maryland, College Park and attended the University of Baltimore Law School.

The mission of the Prisoner Reentry Institute at John Jay College of Criminal Justice is to spur innovation and improve practice in the field of reentry by advancing knowledge; translating research into effective policy and service delivery; and fostering effective partnerships between criminal justice and non-criminal justice disciplines.

About John Jay College of Criminal Justice: An international leader in educating for justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching, scholarship and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art and science in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information, visit