The TCJC Team

Leah Pinney

Executive Director

lpinney@TexasCJC.org

Leah Pinney is a graduate of St. Edward’s University, where she earned a B.A. in Political Science with honors. Leah has worked with the TCJC team for several years and in various capacities, but she officially joined the organization in 2007. Leah brings work experience from both corporate and nonprofit sectors, including work involving project research for a national civil rights organization. On joining TCJC, Leah supported the organization's youth project, where, through research efforts, she helped to advocate for increased safety and accountability within the Texas Youth Commission. Leah later shifted her focus to pretrial and defense, where she worked with key partners to promote best practices and policies that ensure opportunities for indigent defendants to receive timely and well-qualified counsel. Leah has previously served TCJC as its Finance and Operations Director, ensuring accurate financial reports and organizational records, as well as providing human resource functions for staff, work-study students, interns, and volunteers.  Leah currently serves as the Executive Director and continues to support TCJC through administrative leadership in organizational development, resource management, project guidance, and relationship building that will sustain TCJC’s viability and effectiveness in reducing Texas’ historical overreliance on incarceration.

Molly Totman, J.D.

Deputy Director

mtotman@TexasCJC.org

Molly Totman graduated with honors from the University of Texas in 2000, where she earned a B.A. in English. In 2003, she graduated from the University of Texas School of Law with a concentration in racial studies. She passed the Texas Bar Exam later that year and began an internship with TCJC in November 2003, during which time she also worked as a Researcher for the Center for Public Policy Priorities, a nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank in Austin. Molly was hired by TCJC in March 2004 and went on to become TCJC’s Public Safety Project Director, where she served as the sole statewide repository and analyst of required, annual racial profiling reports from Texas law enforcement agencies from 2004 to 2008.  She also assisted agencies in understanding their data, streamlining their reporting practices, and improving the way they protect the public through the implementation and institutionalization of needed policy changes. Ultimately, Molly was the chief contributor to the production of four comprehensive racial profiling reports on behalf of TCJC. Molly has served as TCJC’s Senior Editor and Grants Manager; in addition to drafting grant proposals and reports, she has contributed heavily both as a researcher and an editor during the production stages of various TCJC policy guides, manuals, and educational materials published by all of TCJC’s projects.  Molly, as the most senior staff member of TCJC, has been instrumental in ensuring the continuity of TCJC’s reputation for quality and integrity.  Effective October 1, 2015, Molly became TCJC’s Deputy Director.  In building upon her years of experience and as part of TCJC’s management team, she will continue to support TCJC, in partnership with the Executive Director, to further the impact of TCJC’s mission in Texas.

Shakira Pumphrey, J.D.

Policy Director

spumphrey@TexasCJC.org

Shakira Pumphrey graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology; she later received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and a Juris Doctorate from Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge.  She has served as a Civil Rights Investigator to the Arkansas Fair Housing Commission, as well as a consultant to various nonprofit groups, including an Arkansas nonprofit organization for children left behind due to parental incarceration.  She was instrumental in framing the organization and driving national conversations regarding evidence-based programs for families impacted by incarceration.  More recently, Shakira served as Senior Policy Advisor to Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, Joe Straus.  In that role, she advised the Speaker and his executive staff on policy issues related to corrections, criminal jurisprudence, juvenile justice, defense, veterans, and county affairs.  She also served as the primary liaison to legislators, legislative staff, constituents, advocates, agencies, and correlating legislative committees.  Shakira is TCJC's first-ever Policy Director, maintaining strategic and operational responsibility for guiding and coordinating TCJC’s research and policy work.

Alison Brock, M.P.A.

Policy Analyst

abrock@TexasCJC.org

Alison Brock received both her B.A. in Government and her Masters of Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin. She has served as a Juvenile Probation Officer, Director of the Prison and Jail Accountability Project for the ACLU of Texas, and Prison Event and Support Staff for the Prison Entrepreneurship Program. Alison has primarily served as Chief of Staff for State Rep. Sylvester Turner, and she most recently served as Chief of Staff for Mayor Turner in the City of Houston. Alison is passionate about creating positive change through policy and advocacy, and she is tremendously grateful and excited to join TCJC's team as a Policy Analyst.

Lindsey Linder, J.D.

Policy Attorney

llinder@TexasCJC.org

Lindsey Linder received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Louisiana at Monroe in 2013, and she went on to receive her Juris Doctorate with honors from Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 2016.  Lindsey has been continually active in community service and volunteerism.  In 2011, she was awarded first place in a national fundraising campaign, which resulted in an opportunity for her to visit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, and it was this experience that sparked her passion for legal advocacy.  Lindsey utilized her position of leadership as President of Delta Theta Phi Law Fraternity to organize local fundraising, community service, and advocacy efforts.  During summer 2014, Lindsey interned with UNICEF in Tel Aviv, Israel, drafting a report on Israel’s implementation of the UN treaty Convention on the Rights of the Child to be submitted to the New York and Geneva United Nations headquarters for review.  Through Senator Rodney Ellis’ Texas Legislative Internship Program, Lindsey spent the 84th Legislative Session as a Policy Associate with TCJC and continued to support TCJC while completing law school.  Upon graduation, Lindsey officially joined the TCJC team to support the organization's policy research and outreach efforts, and she continues to create positive change through policy work and advocacy.

Trey Owens, M.P.A.

Policy Analyst

towens@texascjc.org

Trey Owens graduated from Sam Houston State University with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a minor in Political Science. In 2015, he earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of St. Thomas in Houston. Trey first engaged in public policy while interning for State Representative Terri Hodge of Dallas in 2007. In 2009, while attending Sam Houston State University, he was selected to participate in Senator Ellis’ Texas Legislative Internship Program; Trey spent the 81st Legislative Session working on criminal justice policy for then-Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice, Senator Kel Seliger. After graduating from Sam Houston State, Trey began working for the City of Huntsville in the Office of the City Manager as an Intergovernmental Relations Coordinator. In 2012, Trey joined the staff of Senator John Whitmire, Chair of the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice and Dean of the Texas Senate. Trey currently serves as a Criminal Justice Policy Analyst for TCJC, bringing a decade of criminal justice policy experience to the organization.

Douglas Smith, M.S.S.W.

Policy Analyst

dsmith@TexasCJC.org

Doug Smith is a Criminal Justice Policy Analyst with TCJC, where he develops policies to reduce Texas’ over-reliance on incarceration and improve conditions of confinement and reentry for people leaving prison. Doug graduated magna cum laude from St. Edward’s University in 1994 and earned his M.S.S.W. from the University of Texas at Austin in 2000. He previously served as a Policy Analyst in the Texas House of Representatives’ Committee on Human Services, as well as a Legislative Director for a member of the House. He was also an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work, teaching courses on Public Policy Analysis. Doug’s passion for criminal justice reform stems from his own experience in the criminal justice system, where he served six years in prison for crimes committed as a direct outcome of addiction. In addition to his state-level advocacy work with TCJC, Doug serves on the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Reentry Taskforce, the Austin/Travis County Reentry Roundtable, and the Reentry Advocacy Project. He also sits on the Board of Directors for the Austin Sobriety Center and the Texas Research Society on Alcoholism and Addiction.

Kathy Mitchell

Grassroots Sentencing Campaign Coordinator

kmitchell@TexasCJC.org

Kathy Mitchell has been an organizer and policy advocate in a variety of local and national movements for social change for almost 30 years.  While at the Texas Office of Public Insurance Counsel, she conducted research and wrote policy reports on access to insurance, claims payment, and insurance pricing models.  Following that, she lobbied the Texas Legislature and managed policy research for Consumers Union’s Texas office.  In that role, Kathy authored more than a dozen major reports on Texas public policy, and she supervised research on a dozen more.  She conducted primary data research on mortgage lending in Texas, policy research on access to government information, legal research on chattel lending, and fieldwork on confined animal feeding operations, among other topics.  Over the past decade, Kathy led Consumer Reports’ national digital campaigns, where she built a 1.5 million-person email list and helped policy advocates win countless battles around the country.  Now, Kathy comes back to Texas focusing on her passion for criminal justice reform.  As TCJC’s Grassroots Sentencing Campaign Coordinator, she is bolstering the organization’s efforts to reduce incarcerated populations, including through local advocacy and base-building.  Kathy is also a founding member of the Texas Electronic Privacy Coalition, on the Board of EFF-Austin, and a Math Pentathlon Coach at a local elementary school.

Mary Kate Bevel

Policy Associate

mkbevel@TexasCJC.org

Mary Kate Bevel is a graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Spanish.  She is currently in her last semester at The University of Texas at Austin in the Master of Science in Social Work program.  Mary Kate has worked with sexual assault and domestic violence survivors in both Texas and Peru. Additionally, she has worked with individuals experiencing homelessness, and with those in adult education. Her interest in criminal justice reform stems from her belief that all people have unlimited potential for doing good in the world. Mary Kate knows that smart and rehabilitative criminal justice policies can make communities healthier and Texas safer. Mary Kate is a Policy Associate at TCJC through the School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin, and she hopes to make a positive impact on Texas criminal justice reform during Texas’ 2017 Legislative Session.

Brittany Hopkins

Policy Associate

bhopkins@TexasCJC.org

Brittany Hopkins is a graduate of The University of California, Santa Cruz, with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She is currently a second-year student at The University of Texas at Austin in the Master of Science in Social Work program. Brittany’s interest in criminal justice reform stems from both academic and real life experience relating to the unintended consequences of the criminal justice system. After completing her undergraduate education in 2013, Brittany worked at Breakthrough Austin helping at-risk youth achieve academic success and stay out of the juvenile justice system. Brittany is a Policy Associate at TCJC, through the School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin, bringing a social work perspective to the organization.

 

Fatima Mann

Policy Associate

fmann@TexasCJC.org

Fatima holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science, with a minor in Africana Studies, from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She has served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member in Wilmington, North Carolina, and Austin, Texas. In February 2014, Fatima co-founded the Austin Justice Coalition (AJC) and remained at that organization until September 2016. While at AJC, she was one of the main facilitators of the July 2015 Sandra Bland vigil; she co-facilitated a SXSW panel; she planned and executed marches, vigils, events, and other programs; and she contributed to the Austin Police Department’s body-worn camera policy. She has spoken at various demonstrations regarding social justice issues, and she has participated in numerous panels, community forums, and conferences.  Fatima’s work with AJC opened her eyes to the lack of time, energy, and attention given to self-identifying women in regard to police brutality, healthcare, and policy change. Recently, Fatima co-founded Counter Balance: ATX to better address those issues; she was also one of the presenters for Blackademics; she co-facilitated the African Diaspora Women Summit at Huston-Tillotson University; and she was nominated for the 40 Under 40 Award in Austin, Texas.  Fatima is currently a second-year law student at Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and she works with TCJC’s policy team through the Texas Legislative Internship Program.  She hopes to act as a bridge between the community and the legal system, and she wants to utilize the skills she has learned to make a difference within the community.

Dondraius Mayhew

Policy Associate

dmayhew@TexasCJC.org

Dondraius Mayhew is a graduate of The University of West Alabama with a Bachelor of Science in History. He is currently a second-year student at Thurgood Marshall School of Law. His decision to pursue a career as a criminal justice attorney emanated at a young age; growing up in a small, close-knit community in Alabama, he witnessed how the criminal justice system affected those incarcerated, as well as victims. As an undergraduate, he served as a legislative intern for Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell of the Alabama 7th Congressional District. During his second year of law school, he served as a Criminal Law Teaching Assistant, providing teaching support to his assigned professor and conducting weekly tutorial sessions for 60 first-year students. Through his participation in the Texas Legislative Internship Program, Dondraius is a Policy Associate at TCJC, bolstering the organization’s education and advocacy efforts across project areas.

Stephanie Frogge

Crime Survivor Organizer

sfrogge@texasCJC.org

Stephanie Frogge holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Texas Christian University and a master’s degree in Theological Studies from Brite Divinity School. She also did doctoral level coursework at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, and she was instrumental in the development of the nation’s first Bachelor of Arts degree program at Sam Houston State University. Stephanie is the former National Director of Victim Services at Mothers Against Drunk Driving and for seven years was the Assistant Director of the Institute for Restorative Justice and Restorative Dialogue at The University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work. Stephanie currently serves as a Crime Survivor Organizer for TCJC, working to elevate voices from communities most impacted by crime. A restorative justice practitioner, Stephanie has over 30 years’ experience in the area of trauma response, survivor services administration, survivor assistance and activism, writing, speaking, teaching, and training on victim survivor assistance and trauma issues.

Haley Stevens

Policy Associate

hstevens@TexasCJC.org

Haley Stevens is a graduate of The University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work. She is currently in her last semester at The University of Texas at Austin in the Master of Science in Social Work program. Haley has primarily worked with children and families living in poverty. At the Boys and Girls Club of Norman, she helped at-risk youth achieve academic success and stay engaged in the community; she also co-led parenting skills and recovery after trauma classes for clients seeking family reunification. Haley’s interest in criminal justice reform stems from being a dear friend to those who have been personally impacted by the criminal justice system. She believes that policy focused on rehabilitation and healing can lead to safer communities. Haley is a Policy Associate at TCJC through The University of Texas at Austin, and she hopes to use her education as a social worker to advance criminal justice reform.

Jay Jenkins, J.D.

Harris County Project Attorney

jjenkins@TexasCJC.org

Jay Jenkins graduated from Wake Forest University in 2005, earning a B.A. in Biology and Classical Languages. He received his J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law, graduating magna cum laude in 2009. While at Northwestern, he worked at the Bluhm Legal Clinic’s Children and Family Justice Center, focusing on a number of juvenile justice issues. In his third year, Jay was the lone law student at the newly formed Juvenile Post-Dispositional Clinic, where he promoted policy reform throughout Chicago while also advocating on behalf of juvenile clients.  After graduating in 2009, Jay was admitted to practice law in the State of Illinois and worked as a civil litigator in the private sector for three years. Most recently, Jay worked in Washington, D.C., for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, assisting the United States Department of Justice in its evaluation of claims and implementation of legislation passed in 2010.  Jay serves as TCJC's Project Attorney in Harris County (Houston), where he continues TCJC's efforts to support the work of the local Public Defender’s Office while assisting TCJC in promoting broader criminal and juvenile justice reforms throughout that county.

Mark Weimer, M.S.W.

Inmate Correspondence Coordinator

mweimer@TexasCJC.org

Mark Weimer received both his B.A. in history and M.S.W. from the University of Iowa.  He worked as an adult probation and pretrial release counselor in one of the first such programs in the State of Iowa.  Mark has worked in group homes for juveniles, as a clinical social worker/therapist with emotionally disturbed adolescent males in residential placement, and at home as a full-time parent. Following retirement, he worked as a substitute teacher before volunteering with TCJC. Mark is currently TCJC's Inmate Correspondence Coordinator. He is passionate about bringing change to the criminal justice system that will end racial disparity, the targeting of the poor, and the use of the death penalty.

Jenny Schurk, M.S.

Finance and Operations Manager

jschurk@TexasCJC.org

Jenny Schurk graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2007, where she earned a B.A. in English. As an undergraduate in Minneapolis, she volunteered with Communities United Against Police Brutality and was exposed to the challenges and opportunities for improvement within the criminal justice system. Jenny has worked as a nonprofit professional for over nine years in the areas of fundraising, marketing, and communications. In 2014, she graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she earned an M.S. in Urban Studies.  Jenny joined the TCJC team in 2015 to develop an individual giving program and manage donor relations.  Combining her previous nonprofit experience with her knowledge of TCJC’s projects and activities, Jenny currently serves as TCJC’s Finance and Operations Manager and continues to support TCJC’s existing development efforts.

Holly Jarmon

Executive Assistant

hjarmon@TexasCJC.org

Holly Jarmon is a graduate of the University of North Texas, where she earned her B.A. in Radio, Television, and Film with honors.  She brings eight years of administrative experience to TCJC, along with a spirit to help others. Holly enjoys learning about social issues, writing, filmmaking, art, and how they are inter-connected.