Speaker Bios

Addressing Racial Imbalances in the Criminal Justice System

Lyndsie Ferrara, Ph.D.

Lyndsie Ferrara is a teaching assistant professor of forensic science and law at Duquesne University. Her work focuses on the role of forensic science in the criminal justice system. She is a former biologist at the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory and a forensics specialist/contractor for the Department of Justice's International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program.

Jalila Jefferson-Bullock, M.A., J.D.

Professor Jefferson-Bullock is an associate professor at Duquesne University School of Law, where she teaches constitutional law courses. She received a bachelor of arts degree in English and American literature and language from Harvard College, a master of arts in the humanities from the University of Chicago, and a juris doctorate from Harvard Law School. Prior to her current appointment, Prof. Jefferson-Bullock taught criminal law and criminal procedure in Phoenix, where she was an active member of the law school community. Her research interests include constitutional law, criminal law, criminal procedure, federal sentencing, legislation and civil rights. Prof. Jefferson-Bullock has published scholarly articles on the politics of disaster in post-Katrina New Orleans, the effects of excessively long federal criminal sentences on families and communities, and compassionate release of terminally ill offenders. Her most recent work refocuses the discussion of various aspects of sentencing law and policy reform on the need to de-emphasize traditional incarceration, while exploring, establishing, and maintaining meaningful, guiding purposes in federal sentencing. Prof. Jefferson-Bullock has presented scholarly research at several conferences and served on numerous research panels. Before embarking on her career in academia, she enjoyed a varied law practice for 10 years, representing plaintiffs at a litigation boutique firm in California, and in large, national class action cases in Louisiana. In 2005, Prof. Jefferson-Bullock opened a successful practice with her sister, specializing in personal injury and general business advices matters. She also served as a public defender in Orleans Parish Municipal Court, where she represented indigent criminal defendants, in matters ranging from simple misdemeanors to domestic violence. Prof. Jefferson-Bullock was elected to the Louisiana State House of Representatives in 2003, where she represented a district in her home city of New Orleans. Respected by her peers and House leadership, she was appointed to the powerful Appropriations Committee, which oversees the state's budget. Post-Katrina, Prof. Jefferson-Bullock was an outspoken champion for the rights of the displaced, most notably, the right to vote.

Jaclyn Kurin, J.D.

Jaclyn Kurin is an Abolitionist Law Center (ALC) staff attorney, barred in Washington, D.C. She received her J.D. from George Mason Law School in 2016 and her LL.M. from UCLA Law School in 2019, where she specialized in criminal justice. Ms. Kurin also earned a master's in advocacy journalism from Georgetown University in 2010. She has worked at a civil rights employment law firm and interned at Fair and Just Prosecution and the Office of the Public Defender in Rockville, MD. For several years, Ms. Kurin volunteered at Offender Aid Restoration and taught classes to inmates at the Arlington County Detention Center in Virginia. She also has published several law journal articles on prison reform, bail and police misconduct. Additionally, Ms. Kurin worked at a Los Angeles civil rights law firm, where she helped establish a new claim for suing the police that has been recognized in federal court. Her work at ALC focuses on pursuing claims against the Allegheny County Jail for its treatment of incarcerated community members.

Autumn Redcross, Ph.D.

Dr. Redcross is the founding director of the Abolitionist Law Center's Court Watch program. Prior to joining the ALC, she trained as a Democratic Conversations Coordinator through Everyday Democracy and completed her certification as an Inside/Out pedagogy instructor. Dr. Redcross attended the International Institute for Restorative Practices in Bethlehem, PA, adding to her understanding of democratic education, community-trauma informed engagement and restorative justice. She also served as the inaugural Gaultier Community-Engaged Teaching Fellow in the Community Engagement Teaching and Learning Center at Duquesne University, where she obtained her Ph.D. in the philosophy of communication and rhetoric.