Our advisors inform the work we do at Reclaiming Futures. We look to them for their expertise in equity, public health, and juvenile justice reform.

David Altschuler, Ph.D.

Dr. Altschuler is a Principal Research Scientist at The Johns Hopkins Institute for Health and Social Policy, an Adjunct Associate Professor in Sociology, and he holds a joint appointment in the Department of Mental Health of the Bloomberg School of Public Health. He also is affiliated with the Johns Hopkins Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence. Dr. Altschuler has a doctorate in social service administration and a master's degree in urban studies from The University of Chicago.

His work focuses on juvenile crime and justice system sanctioning, juvenile aftercare and parole, offender reentry, privatization in juvenile corrections, and drug involvement and crime among inner-city youth. Dr. Altschuler's work focuses on juvenile crime and justice system sanctioning; juvenile reentry, aftercare and parole; community-based correctional program development, implementation and assessment; and drug involvement and crime among inner-city adolescents.

Dr. Altschuler's overall objective is to contribute to the state of knowledge regarding the efficacy of community-based approaches and reintegration strategies focused on adolescents involved in corrections.

James Bell

Mr. Bell is the founder and executive director of the W. Haywood Burns Institute (BI). Since 2001, Mr. Bell has been spearheading a national movement to address racial and ethnic disparities in the youth justice system. Nationally, Mr. Bell and his colleagues at the BI work to reduce the disproportionality of youth of color in the justice system.

Mr. Bell guides the BI's Community Justice Network for Youth (CJNY), a national network of programs working successfully with young people of color. Mr. Bell also works closely with the Casey Foundation’s JDAI jurisdictions and the MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change Initiative.

Mr. Bell is the recipient of a Kellogg National Leadership Fellowship, the Livingstone Hall Award from the American Bar Association, Attorney of the Year from the Charles Houston Bar Association, the Advocate of the Year from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Moral Leadership Against Injustice Award of the Delancey Street Foundation and the Local Hero Award from the San Francisco Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award.

Alex Busansky

Mr. Busansky serves as the president of Impact Justice, a national justice innovation and research center based in Oakland, California. He began his career as a prosecutor at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in 1987. In 1998, he left New York City to work for the United States (US) Department of Justice (DOJ) in Washington, DC where he became a trial attorney in the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division. While at DOJ, he investigated and prosecuted cases across the nation involving excessive use of force by federal, state, and local law enforcement and corrections officers and racial and religious hate crimes. In 2002, he served as counsel to Senator Russ Feingold on the US Senate Judiciary Committee. In 2004, Mr. Busansky joined the Vera Institute of Justice as executive director of the Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons. He was the founding director of the Washington, DC, office where he led Vera’s work on numerous national and local initiatives including the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission. In 2010, he joined the National Council on Crime & Delinquency (NCDD) as president. During his tenure, Mr. Busansky led NCCD to become a leading organization working at the forefront of criminal justice innovations. In 2011, he served as a member of the Los Angeles County Commission on Jail Violence. Mr. Busansky earned his Juris Doctor at the Georgetown University Law Center and received a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He lives in the Bay Area with his wife and four children.

Jeffrey A. Butts, Ph.D.

Dr. Butts is director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and an adjunct member of the doctoral faculty in the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). Previously, he was a research fellow with Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, director of the Program on Youth Justice at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC, and senior research associate at the National Center for Juvenile Justice in Pittsburgh. Dr. Butts has managed more than $18 million of research projects and worked with policymakers and justice practitioners in 28 states. He has published two books, dozens of monographs and reports for government agencies and foundations, as well as articles in academic and peer-reviewed journals. He began his justice career as a drug and alcohol counselor with the juvenile court in Eugene, Oregon.

Honorable Anthony Capizzi

Judge Capizzi has been a strong advocate for youth throughout his career, serving as a voice for children on issues such as shackling, disproportionate representation of minorities, and drug and mental health treatment.  Judge Capizzi has served as Montgomery County, Ohio Juvenile Court Judge since 2004. He previously served as an Acting Municipal Court Judge and in private practice. He received his J.D. from the University of Dayton.

Judge Capizzi has overseen the growth of Treatment Court and the implementation of Family Mental Health Court and a Juvenile Mental Health Court.  He led the initiative to create two Evening Reporting Centers, implemented the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI), initiated the Pro Se Services program and strengthened the Court’s Reclaiming Futures and Natural Helpers programs to better serve youth and their families in our community.

 Nationally, Judge Capizzi serves as President of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Association (“NCJFCJ”). He serves on the National Advisory Committee for the ABA Homeless Youth Legal Network and the Stewards of Change Institute National Board. In addition, he serves as the Reclaiming Futures Judicial Faculty Director, supervising judicial training nationwide.  

 Judge Capizzi served on the U.S. DOJ Global Justice Information Sharing Committee (GAC), and as a member of the Global Strategic Solution Working Group, Corrections Management and Reentry Task Team Chair and on the Global Advisory Committee Executive Board from 2007 - 2014.

Judge Capizzi has authored articles published in the Juvenile and Family Court Journal and in Future Trends in State Courts.

Judge Capizzi serves as Chairman of the Ohio Judicial College Board of Trustees and Past-President of the Juvenile Judges Association. He lectures at state, national and international conferences focusing on judicial leadership, juvenile treatment courts, substance abuse, the roles and responsibilities of guardians ad litem, juveniles’ rights in delinquency court, abuse, neglect and dependency, racial and ethnic disparity, data and information sharing/exchange and mental health issues.

 He remains enthusiastic and energetic about working to promote the welfare of children, as has been his focus throughout his legal career.

Emmitt Hayes

Mr. Hayes retired in January 2014 as division director for the Travis County Juvenile Probation Department (JPD) in Austin, TX and now extends his career as an independent consultant. After 38 years of public service, he is now able to expand his service to the benefit of communities across the United States. During his tenure as assistant deputy director for the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, one of his crowning achievements was the development and implementation of the Texas Criminal Justice Treatment Initiative. “The Initiative,” a fully comprehensive program for substance abuse treatment in prisons and a continuum of care for transition from prison to the community, was the largest of its kind anywhere in the world. Another achievement was the development and implementation of one of the first juvenile justice integrated networks in Travis County JPD. “The Network,” a federally funded demonstration project that in 2007 received the prestigious Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) “Science to Service Award” and continues to operate within the Department. Mr. Hayes was appointed to the National Advisory Council for the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment; has served on numerous nonprofit boards and currently serves as chair of the National Advisory Committee for Reclaiming Futures; board member for, Neighborhood Housing Services of Austin, Strong Side Vocational Youth Development Program; and the Epsilon Iota Foundation Board of Directors.

Angela Irvine, Ph.D.

Dr. Irvine has more than 20 years of experience in education and social policy. Raised in Santa Cruz County, CA, she earned her BA from UC Berkeley in 1984, her secondary teaching credential from St. Mary’s College of California in 1985, and her Ph.D. in sociology from Northwestern University in 2002, while simultaneously serving as a National Science Fellow (NSF) in public policy and program evaluation. Dr. Irvine spent 10 years running her own program evaluation and policy research business, and she has studied housing, education, health, and criminal justice policy. She spent the last four years as research director at the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD), serving as the principal investigator of a national study of juvenile deincarceration; a national study of LGBT youth in the juvenile justice system; a project to improve permanency for LGBT youth and youth of color within the criminal justice and juvenile justice systems; a survey of every detention hall, ranch, and camp in California to understand statewide pathways into the juvenile justice system for LGBT youth; and a National Institute of Justice researcher-practitioner partnership grant in Santa Cruz County to determine whether structured decision making instruments used by adult probation departments can lead to more equitable probation outcomes for Latinos and women.

Robin Jenkins, Ph.D.

Dr. Jenkins is an assistant professor in the Justice Studies, Forensic Science and Cyber Crime Department at Methodist University. Additionally, he provides independent, strategic consulting services to an array of national, state and local organizations. Dr. Jenkins has an extensive work history in public agency/governmental, academic and nonprofit environments. He is the former chief deputy secretary of the North Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (and later, Deputy Director of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety – Division of Juvenile Justice). Prior to state government employment, Dr. Jenkins was the executive director of Cumberland County CommuniCare and a former staff psychologist with Cumberland County Mental Health Center. His educational background includes a Ph.D. in Community/Ecological Psychology (with a focus on Human Resource Development, Public Administration and Community Systems) from North Carolina State University, a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology from East Carolina University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from North Carolina State University.

Nicole Pittman

Ms. Pittman has worked exclusively on questioning the wisdom of placing children on sex offender registries since 2005, becoming a national expert on policy, litigation, legislation, and research in this area. In 2011, Ms. Pittman published, A Snapshot of Juvenile Sex Offender Registration and Notification Laws: A Survey of the United States, a comprehensive guide on sex offender registration and notification laws applied to children adjudicated delinquent in the juvenile justice system. As a 2011 Soros Senior Justice Advocacy Fellow at Human Rights Watch, Ms. Pittman interviewed hundreds of individuals on registries across the country to document abuses that stem from subjecting children to sex offender registration laws. In 2013, Human Rights Watch published the results of her work in Raised on the Registry: The Irreparable Harm of Placing Children on Sex Offender Registries in the US. Ms. Pittman has been invited to testify before 37 state legislatures and the U.S. Congress. Through her Stoneleigh Fellowship, she is serving as the Director of the Center on Youth Registration Reform at Impact Justice. For seven years, she worked as a specialist attorney. She is the recipient of the 2013 Distinguished Service Award, Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) and the 2010 National Juvenile Defender Center Robert Shepherd Jr. Leadership Award of Excellence in Juvenile Defense. In 2015, she was named a “Rising Star” by for her work to remove youth from sex offender registries. Ms. Pittman received her JD from Tulane Law School and her undergraduate degree from Duke University.

Robert Schwebel, Ph.D.

Dr. Schwebel is a psychologist who wrote and developed The Seven Challenges® Program for adolescents, now widely used across the United States, Canada and Germany. He works closely with organizations to provide clinical support, and is actively involved in the oversight of program implementation. Dr. Schwebel has worked in the fields of mental health drug counseling for more than 40 years and is the author of several books including Saying No Is Not Enough; Keep Your Kids Tobacco-Free; and Who’s on Top, Who’s on Bottom: How Couples Can Learn to Share Power. He has appeared on the Oprah Show, The Today Show, The CBS Early Show, CNN interviews and other national media. He contributes articles to and pro-talk at

Amy Singer

Amy Singer has more than 40 years of experience in the criminal justice and human services fields. In her most recent position as the SVP for Program Planning and Public/Private Partnerships at the Phoenix House Foundation, Amy developed evidence-based substance abuse program models for men and women, adolescents and families. She oversaw a range of special services that addressed health, mental health, and homelessness and created targeted programming for veterans, justice-involved youth and adults.  She also led the agency’s national government affairs strategy seeking funding support and policy reform for substance abuse treatment and prevention programs. As Deputy Commissioner for Strategic Planning and Programs at the NYC Department of Correction, she oversaw all health, social service and educational programs.  She developed and managed numerous alternative-to-incarceration initiatives. Special interests included improving services for adolescents and women housed on Rikers Island. As Assistant Secretary for Criminal Justice in Massachusetts, Amy was responsible for statewide criminal justice policy.  She worked closely with the state’s Correction’s Commissioner, the Parole Board Chairman, 14 county sheriffs and the Health and Mental Health Commissioners to coordinate care –  especially for those who had significant health, mental health and substance abuse problems.  Amy also  chaired the Statewide Task Force on Females Offenders and chaired the Governor’s Task Force on Prison Overcrowding. While working in the Middlesex DAs office in MA, Amy ran a nationally recognized advocacy program for victims, witnesses, and their families. She developed legislative strategies relating to child abuse and domestic violence.  She co-led efforts to reform the state’s Child Abuse Reporting Law, resulting in the passage of a law that promoted interagency collaboration while providing greater protections for children. Amy has served in an advisory role for several national foundations and helped inform their funding strategies, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and its Reclaiming Futures initiative. Amy holds a B.A. from American University and an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government where she was selected as the Arthur D Little Fellow, awarded for her public sector leadership.

Updated: February 23 2018