Tammy Meredith, Ph.D., ARS Principal and Co-Founder

Dr. Meredith is nationally recognized for developing computerized risk assessment protocols for both prisons and community corrections. She continues to focus her research efforts on identifying and managing the high-risk offender populations. Dr. Meredith’s OPERATION ELIMI-CON interactive website was recognized by the U.S. Attorney General as a “Project Safe Neighborhoods Innovative Practice” for the use of technology to fight gun crime.

Dr. Meredith currently partners with the Center for Effective Public Policy on a campus-focused sexual assault prevention and education program helping colleges to identify situational prevention strategies to reduce perpetration opportunities. She has led numerous U.S. Department of Justice (NIJ) studies. Dr. Meredith currently serves as curriculum advisor and instructor for the Bureau of Justice Assistance Smart Suite Researcher Practitioner Fellows Academy. She has also instructed college courses and led professional research seminars for various agencies including: The National Institute of Justice, The FBI’s National Academy, The Bureau of Justice Statistics, and The Justice Research & Statistics Association.

She received her MA degree from the State University of New York at Albany and a Ph.D. from the School of Criminology at Florida State University. Dr. Meredith served multiple years on the Board of Director’s for the Louis C. Hudson, Jr. Scholarship Fund which identifies high-risk youth for academic scholarships, and served as a peer reviewer for various academic journals and federal grant applications. She resides in midtown Atlanta, where her daughter recently received an engineering degree from Georgia Institute of Technology.

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John C Speir, Ph.D., ARS Principal and Co-Founder

Dr. Speir successfully designs and implements simulation software tools for correctional systems. Used to forecast the impact of new policies on prison/jail populations and probation/parole caseloads, his tools are currently in use in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Importantly, his effort to convert Georgia’s Computerized Criminal History fingerprint repository into a research warehouse has dramatically changed policy and program evaluation in these states.

Recently, Dr. Speir completed a multi-year evaluation of a new program designed to expedite the response and sanctioning of probation violators. He also redesigned Georgia’s jury source list consolidation and statistical methods to ensure inclusive and constitutionally defensible jury lists. Dr. Speir is currently working on a time and motion study to simulate and validate proposed architectural and engineering changes to a statewide inmate diagnostic and classification prison. Through the use of simulation tools, he will determine if the proposed plans can accommodate increasing admissions over the next decade.

Prior to establishing ARS, Dr. Speir was an assistant professor at Georgia State University. He also worked for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as a Special Agent for seven years conducting sensitive risk management and vulnerability studies of the nation’s air traffic control system. He remains affiliated with the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. Dr. Speir has a Ph.D. in criminology from Florida State University and lives in Atlanta with his wife and two sons.

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Kevin Baldwin, Ph.D., Senior Researcher

Dr. Baldwin is a clinical psychologist with a dual emphasis on research and forensics. He serves as Senior Researcher for Applied Research Services in Atlanta, Georgia, providing criminal justice research and policy analysis nationally. He has directed federally-funded research projects, authored over a dozen articles in peer-reviewed journals, and has both designed and evaluated substance abuse treatment programs. Dr. Baldwin authored the U.S. DOJ SMART Office’s publication entitled “Sex Offender Risk Assessment” (available for download at: http://www.smart.gov/SOMAPI/sec1/ch6_risk.html). Dr. Baldwin is also Director of Forensic Services at the Highland Institute, an Atlanta outpatient clinic specializing in the assessment and treatment of persons with sexual behavior problems. He performs forensic examinations for state and federal courts and probation/parole authorities, serves as an expert witness in both juvenile and adult courts, and has worked in both inpatient and community-based mental health settings. Dr. Baldwin is a frequent presenter at regional and national conferences, and has provided training and technical assistance to treatment and court staff in a variety of settings. Dr. Baldwin earned his Ph.D. at Georgia State University, after completing an adult forensic internship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

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Sharon Johnson, Research Associate

Sharon manages and contributes to a variety of ARS research projects. Currently, she is in the process of evaluating multiple accountability courts as well as Georgia’s Prisoner Re-Entry Initiative. Prior to joining ARS, Sharon worked in law enforcement for many years. She was a Police Officer for the Morrow Georgia Police Department and a Public Safety Coordinator for the Floyd College Regional Police Academy. She also worked in legal and marketing research for Yankelovich Partners in Atlanta. Sharon has a Master of Science degree in criminal justice from Georgia State University and serves her community as a volunteer at group homes for abused children in the metro Atlanta area. Sharon resides with her husband in the Atlanta suburb of Snellville.

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Shila René Hawk, Ph.D., Research Associate

Dr. Hawk primarily contributes to projects at ARS via data management and analyses and as a formal social control (e.g. policing) and violence research expert. She has experience conducting research throughout the criminal justice system with a focus on evidence-based policy and practice development. Dr. Hawk has overseen data collection using mixed methods, worked on a variety of secondary dataset types, and is trained in a range of statistical techniques. She has also been involved in a couple of dozen study presentations at Universities, conferences, and justice agencies across the United States and in Canada. She completed her Ph.D. in Criminology and Criminal justice at Georgia State University. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice; and a Masters in Sociology from the University of Arkansas. Outside of her role at ARS, Dr. Hawk collaborates on several scholarly papers. Her work has been featured in numerous professional publications and she has received multiple awards for her efforts as both a graduate student and researcher. Dr. Hawk resides in the East Lake Terrace neighborhood of Atlanta.

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