The TCJC Team

Leah Pinney

Executive Director

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

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.

Lindsey Linder, J.D.

Policy Attorney

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.

Douglas Smith, M.S.S.W.

Senior Policy Analyst

Doug Smith is the Senior 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. He also serves as an Assistant Adjunct Professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work, teaching Advanced Policy. 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. 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 is a member of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Reentry Task Force, and he serves as Treasurer on the Board of Directors for the Austin Sobriety Center.

Reggie Smith

Policy Analyst

Reggie Smith is a passionate advocate for people with mental health conditions, substance use disorder, and criminal justice involvement. Having served several years in prison, he brings his own lived experience with justice involvement, behavioral health, and peer support to his work, and as a Policy Analyst at TCJC, Reggie seeks to transform the relationship between criminal justice and mental health through the advancement of innovative policies and model programs. Reggie graduated with high honors from The University of Texas at Austin in 2016 and is completing his graduate studies at the University of Texas Steve Hicks School of Social Work. He previously served as a 2016-2018 Hogg Foundation of Mental Health Peer Policy Fellow at Communities for Recovery. Reggie was appointed to Texas’ Judicial Commission on Mental Health in April 2018, and he serves on the Board of Directors for the Austin/Travis County Sobering Center.

Allison Franklin

Peer Policy Fellow

Allison Franklin is a passionate and dedicated Survivor Leader. She has extensive experience advocating for survivors of all forms of sexual exploitation, and for solutions to systemic practices that fuel oppression and stigma. Allison is an accomplished speaker, addressing sex trafficking and sexual exploitation accompanied by drug abuse, mental health, and intersections with the criminal justice system. She brings her own lived experienced of trauma, mental health, and incarceration to TCJC, with a special focus on changing the narrative for those involved in the criminal justice system. Allison serves as the 2018-2020 Hogg Foundation for Mental Health Peer Policy Fellow for TCJC, and she is working toward her undergraduate degree in Communications at the University of Texas.

Jay Jenkins, J.D.

Harris County Project Attorney

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.

Torrie Bethany

Communications Manager

A native of San Antonio, Torrie earned her B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from Our Lady of the Lake University. As TCJC’s Communications Manager, she strives to increase the organization’s profile in the media, raising the visibility of issues important to the organization and its partners. Prior to joining TCJC, Torrie was the communications manager for the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and worked for nearly three years as the communications project coordinator for the State Bar of Texas, a member-based organization that serves over 100,000 attorneys. She is excited to utilize her talents to advocate for equitable justice reform in Texas. 

Jenny Schurk, M.S.

Finance and Operations Manager

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

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.