Tammy Meredith, PhD, Principal and Co-Founder

Tammy Meredith is a Principal and Co-Founder of Applied Research Services, a public policy research firm located in Atlanta, GA. Her research efforts focus on quantitative methods of predicting violent behavior. Tammy was a student of C. Ray Jeffery, who developed the theory of “crime prevention through environmental design,” an epidemiological public health approach to reducing violence. She served on a multidisciplinary team to help colleges and universities to identify environmental strategies to prevent sexual assault. Dr. Meredith leads the ARS efforts in Advancing Pretrial Policy and Research (APPR), a project of the National Partnership for Pretrial Justice, dedicated to achieving fair, just and effective pretrial practices, every day, throughout the nation. 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 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, PhD, 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, PhD, Principal and 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, MS, Research Associate

Sharon manages and contributes to a variety of ARS research projects. Recently completed projects include an evaluation of Georgia’s Prisoner Re-Entry Initiative, and the largest national study to date of Veteran’s Courts. Sharon focuses on process and implementation research and spends much time in the field collecting data, observing, training, interviewing practitioners, and understanding field realities to improve implementation practices. Sharon is a skilled trainer that enjoys making data and research accessible and relatable to practitioners. She is a certified Trauma-Informed Response Trainer through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). 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 serves her community volunteering at group homes for abused teens in the metro Atlanta area.

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Shila René Hawk, PhD, 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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Becky East, MPA, Office Manager

Becky manages the financial/business operations for ARS. She retired from the State of Georgia with 30 years of credible service in August 2017. The last position held was Chief Financial Officer for two different departments and for over 8 years combined. Before being appointed CFO, she held several other financial related positions within several different departments. She has served as President of the Georgia Fiscal Management Council, member of the State Training Advisory Council as well as serving on other boards and project related panels. Becky holds a Masters of Public Administration degree from Columbus State University.



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