After a national search, Impact Justice, which operates the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Resource Center (PRC) through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, has selected Dana Shoenberg to serve as the next director of the PRC and its PREA programs. Dana will assume leadership of the PRC in late May 2022 as Michela Bowman and Jenni Trovillion step down from their co-director positions to serve in other roles at Impact Justice.
Dana Shoenberg has been involved in PREA since shortly after its passage. She served as an advisor and then consultant to the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission, was among the earliest groups of DOJ-certified PREA auditors, and helped educate a wide range of juvenile justice stakeholders about the requirements and opportunities associated with PREA implementation. She helped states and localities implement the PREA Standards, apply for grants to support implementation, and share their innovations. As a co-author of the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Juvenile Detention Facility Assessment Standards, she ensured that its 2014 update fully incorporated PREA compliance. She later served as a consultant to the PRC as it began to develop the auditor peer review program, and she has continued to maintain her auditor certification.
Over the course of her career, Dana has focused on improving conditions of confinement, reducing unnecessary incarceration, and eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile and criminal legal systems. As a senior manager with the Pew Charitable Trust’s Public Safety Performance Project (PSPP), she has worked to advance data-driven, research-based, and fiscally sound criminal and juvenile justice policies and practices. During her time at Pew, she has overseen a variety of PSPP’s portfolios, including strategy, research, grant making, and juvenile justice. Dana has also served as a court-appointed expert on conditions of confinement and juvenile justice practices. She has taught criminal justice, juvenile justice, and family law in the law schools of Georgetown University, American University, and the University of Baltimore. As deputy director of the Center for Children's Law and Policy, she provided training and technical assistance to states and localities working to improve their juvenile justice systems and advocated for federal strategies to promote reform. Earlier in her career, she served in the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, where she investigated and, when necessary, litigated to resolve violations of constitutional and federal law in public institutions. She also served as a law clerk for the Honorable Edward N. Cahn, then Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Dana holds a bachelor's degree from Cornell University, a juris doctor from Yale Law School, and a master's degree in law from the Georgetown University Law Center.
We welcome Dana to this significant leadership role and look forward to all she will bring to the movement to eliminate sexual abuse and sexual harassment of all people in confinement and to establish sexual safety as a fundamental human right.