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Brianna Jackson

Brianna Jackson

Graduate Student Assistant

1001 Oswald Tower
University Park , PA 16802


Brianna Jackson, a second year student in the Criminology PhD program at Penn State, joined the Justice Center for Research in July 2016. Prior to her time at Penn State, Brianna completed her Master’s in Criminal Justice and an Advanced Certificate in Crime Prevention and Analysis from John Jay College CUNY in 2015. While attending John Jay, she was a research assistant at the Institute for Criminal Justice Ethics and primarily worked on a project on sexual victimization, disclosure, and accountability within the Boy Scouts of America. She received the Tow Policy and Advocacy Fellowship during her second year at John Jay and worked at the New York Policy Office of the Drug Policy Alliance to conduct research and policy analysis with a focus on the areas of drug courts, opioid overdose deaths, safe access to medical marijuana legislation, and racial equity in policy making. She assisted with a multi-method investigation of national compensation statutes for wrongful convictions with the Research Foundation of the City University of New York during the summer between completion of her Master’s and beginning the Penn State PhD program in Criminology. Brianna is currently involved with two projects at the center — an investigation of the structure and dynamics of a therapeutic community in a medium security men’s prison and a pilot project exploring rewards and incentives of legal and illegal work among incarcerated males. She is completing independent thesis research examining the impact of religiosity and spirituality on desistance from problematic substance use.