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

Dr. Meredith is nationally recognized for developing computerized risk assessment protocols for both prisons and community corrections. Her research efforts focus on identifying and managing high-risk offender populations. Her OPERATION ELIMI-CON interactive website was recognized 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. Dr. Meredith has led numerous U.S. Department of Justice studies and 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.

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

Dr. Speir successfully designs and implements simulation software tools to forecast the impact of new sentencing and paroles policies on prison/jail populations, probation/parole caseloads, design prisons, and streamline forensic laboratories. His tools have been used in California, Georgia, Alabama, Indiana, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Canada, and Maryland. 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. Dr. Speir currently partners with the U.S. Department of Justice and Georgia Governor’s Office to evaluate prisoner reentry initiatives. 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.

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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 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, M.S., Research Associate

Sharon manages and contributes to a variety of ARS research projects. She recently conducted field work and focus groups for the largest study of Veteran’s Treatment Courts in the county. She has evaluated a variety of accountability courts for more than a decade and has been a speaker at the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP). At present she manages data collection and field work at seventeen pilot sites for the evaluation of Georgia’s Prisoner Re-Entry Initiative. Sharon has a passion for training and field work and their critical role in building bridges, creating solutions, and fostering change. Prior to joining ARS, Sharon worked in law enforcement. She was a Police Officer for the Morrow Georgia Police Department and a Public Safety Coordinator for the Floyd College Regional Police Academy. She has also worked in legal and marketing research. Sharon has a Master of Science degree in criminal justice from Georgia State University and actively serves her community volunteering at a group home for abused children in the metro Atlanta area.

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Shila René Hawk, Ph.D., Research Associate

Dr. Hawk primarily contributes to projects at ARS via data management and analyses. 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. Additionally, her award winning research and evaluation efforts focus on policing and violent crime. She is a consultant for several Atlanta-area police departments working on grants such as the Strategies for Policing Innovation and Project Safe Neighborhoods. Those policing efforts aim to reduce repeat and retaliatory shootings, gang violence, and community trauma. Other projects include understanding violent-incident reporting to the police, recurrent and poly victimization of violence types, and the risk factors for violence in prisons. She is an active committee member of the Homicide Research Working Group and on the Homicide Studies Editorial Board. She has also been involved in dozens of study presentations at universities, conferences, and justice agencies across the United States and internationally. Dr. Hawk completed her Ph.D. in Criminology and Criminal justice at Georgia State University. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice; and a Masters in Sociology from the University of Arkansas.


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