SHADEEQUA SMITH has dedicated her career to studying the criminal justice system and understanding its impact on individuals, families, and communities. Her efforts are informed by her work with organizations that improve the transition from incarceration into the community, problem solving courts, the U.S. Probation Office, and, most recently, as the director of training for the nonprofit Prison of Peace. Shadeequa holds an LL.M. from Pepperdine University’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, a J.D. from The University of Mississippi School of Law, and a B.A. in criminal justice from The University of Southern Mississippi.
To advance criminal justice reforms, the Los Angeles County Probation Department is revamping operations to provide varying levels of pretrial assessments and post-release services, including community-based services such as mental health and housing assistance, to people who have been arrested and are awaiting trial. To support this work, FUSE executive fellow Shadeequa Smith is collaborating with community stakeholders regarding the development and provision of services for pretrial clients in order to develop a pilot program. The aim is to help justice-involved individuals remain in their communities while awaiting trial.