Criminal justice reform is a policy area of increasing saliency to practitioners, decision makers, and members of the general public. With an ever increasing number of jurisdictions recognizing the importance of balancing crime reduction strategies with fiscal responsibility, and public safety, the need for data-driven, evidence-based policy and program development is paramount.Keenly aware of this need, Whitney Threadcraft Walker, Ph.D. provides invaluable technical assistance to local jurisdictions through her research and evaluation.
Whitney Threadcraft-Walker, Ph.D. is the Senior Justice Researcher for Harris County, TX, where she identifies macro-level trends across subgroups of offenders. In addition to tracking changes across incarcerated populations, Dr. Threadcraft-Walker provides data support to Harris County’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. To date, she has analyzed the impact of the federally ordered bond reform on both failure to appear and bond forfeiture rates. Among her many projects, are a risk profiles of Harris County’s pretrial detention population, a typology of persons with mental illness in Harris County’s jail population, and an examination of juvenile referrals for terroristic threats in the wake of the Parkland shooting tragedy. Concurrent to her role with Harris County, Dr. Threadcraft-Walker provides data support to various Houston area non-profits, community organizations, law firms, advocacy groups and governmental entities.
Dr. Threadcraft-Walker assisted in the National Science Foundation funded project with Baylor College of Medicine’s Initiative on Neuroscience and Law, which developed a tablet based risk assessment to investigate offender decision-making across a range of cognitive behavioral traits. She also co-implemented the evaluation of an innovative population specific approach to juvenile diversion in Dallas County (Diversion Male Court of Dallas County). A member of Harris County’s Racial and Ethnic Disparities Committee and Jail Population Management Committee, Dr. Threadcraft-Walker conducts quantitative data analysis to reduce racial and ethnic disparities throughout the justice system for the safe and equitable management of persons interacting with Harris County’s justice system.
Whitney Threadcraft-Walker earned her B.S. from the University of Houston Downtown. She received her Ph.D. in 2017 from the Barbara Jordan Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University. Her research can be found in the Huffington Post, Journal of Criminal Justice, as well as Corrections: Policy, Practice and Research.