JRSA Forum. March 2015. Volume 33, Number 1.

BJS Welcomes New Staff

The Bureau of Justice Statistics has recently added several statisticians and unit heads to its staff, as well as a policy analyst and a policy advisor. Learn more about these new staff members below.

Ron Planty joined BJS in early November as the newest member of the Criminal Justice Data Improvement Program Unit, serving as a Justice Statistics Policy Analyst. He will oversees state awards under the State Justice Statistics Program, the National Criminal History Improvement Program, and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Act Record Improvement Program. Previously Mr. Planty worked as a securities investigator/examiner for the last 14 years in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's Enforcement and Member Regulation offices in Washington, DC and New York City. He has a degree in communications from SUNY Plattsburgh and a master's degree in criminal justice policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Jennifer Bronson joined BJS as a Statistician in the Correction Statistics Program in October. Dr. Bronson holds a bachelor's and a master's degree in sociology from the Virginia Commonwealth University. She earned a Ph.D. in 2013, also in sociology, from Howard University. Since 2012, she has been a project coordinator at Howard University for a National Institute of Health-funded grant on "exposure to violence, immune function and HIV/AIDS risks in African American young adults." For the past two years she has been an adjunct instructor for the Department of Sociology and Criminology at George Washington University and, prior to 2007, was a researcher and program evaluator for several agencies in Richmond, VA. Dr. Bronson will be working on inmate surveys and on projects that focus on health and healthcare in corrections.

Anastasios "Tom" Tsoutis is the new Chief of the Recidivism, Reentry, and Special Projects Unit at BJS. Mr. Tsoutis is a retired Marine Corps officer who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He has experience conducting and leading analytical efforts ranging from topics on logistics to Counter-Improvised Explosive Devices and population dynamics. Most recently, Mr. Tsoutis worked for NASA as an Operations Research Analyst, where he was a member of the Strategic Investment Division's Cross-cutting Team and was also assigned as an analyst to the Aeronautics Research and Space Technology Mission Directorates' portfolios. Mr. Tsoutis received his B.S. in mathematics from the University of Florida in 2000 and his M.S. in operations research from the Naval Post-graduate School in 2006.

Joshua Markman joined BJS as a Statistician in its Recidivism, Reentry, and Special Projects Unit. Prior to joining BJS, Mr. Markman was a Manager with Grant Thornton LLP, where he provided risk management support to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency. Previously, Mr. Markman served as a Research Associate in the Urban Institute's Justice Policy Center, where his portfolio included forensic science applications in the criminal justice system, problem-solving courts, and the use of public surveillance cameras by law enforcement. Mr. Markman is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a B.A. in sociology and an M.S. in criminology in 2008.

Suzanne Strong recently joined BJS as a Statistician in its Prosecution and Adjudication Unit. Prior to joining BJS, she worked as a Supervisor of Courtroom Clerks in the Circuit Court in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Among her duties was the collection and dissemination of digital information within and outside the court system. Dr. Strong taught courses at SUNY - Albany and at Towson State University on the theories of crime, race and crime, interpersonal violence, social research, sociology of deviance, and criminology. She received her Ph.D. in criminology from SUNY-Albany in 2014, where her dissertation focused on assaults motivated by racial bias. In the Prosecution and Adjudication Unit, Dr. Strong will work initially on the National Survey of Indigent Defense Systems, the National Judicial Reporting Program, and the Census of Problem Solving Courts.

Andrew Tiedt recently joined BJS as a Statistician in the Recidivism, Reentry, and Special Projects Unit. He came to BJS in late 2013 after completing a postdoctoral research fellowship sponsored by the National Institute of Health at the Center on the Demography and Economics of Aging at the University of Chicago and NORC at the University of Chicago. Dr. Tiedt received a Ph.D. in sociology with a concentration in social demography from Fordham University. He has published on issues ranging from intimate partner violence to population aging, depression, pain measurement, marital conflict, and intergenerational support. In addition to recidivism projects, Dr. Tiedt is working on law enforcement and tribal justice issues.

Allina Lee assumed the role of BJS Statistical Policy Advisor in January 2015. In this capacity, she will be involved in a range of policy-related and analytic activities, including reviewing proposed statistical regulatory directives, conducting research and analysis of proposed legislation and regulations, conducting operational studies of BJS's statistical business processes, and reviewing and advising on data confidentiality and quality, human subject protection, and privacy issues. Prior to this, Ms. Lee worked as a BJS Justice Statistics Policy Advisor and was a program manager for four of BJS's major grant programs: the State Justice Statistics Program; National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP); National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Act Record Improvement Program; and the Firearm Inquiry Statistics Program. Ms. Lee is currently on detail at the Office of Management and Budget's Statistical and Science Policy Branch, located within the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, where she is involved in a wide array of projects, including reviewing information col- lection requests under the Paperwork Reduction Act; implementing and developing statistical standards, statistical directives, and information quality stan-dards; and supporting government-wide methodological committees such as the Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology. Ms. Lee holds an M.S. in criminology and an M.P.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A. in sociology-human services from Susquehanna University.

Timothy Kearley assumed the position of chief of BJS's Technology and Data Management Unit in February 2015. He has been with BJS since 2001 as Lead Technology Specialist. In his new position, Mr. Kearley will have supervisory responsibilities for federal and contractor staff, and oversee the design, development, implementation, and maintenance of technical solutions that optimize BJS operations across all phases of the data lifecycle from collection to archiving. Mr. Kearley represents BJS at national and international conferences related to the management and dissemination of statistical information and is an active member of many federal data-related working groups. Prior to BJS employ-ment, he was a programmer and application architect for a company that provided IT consulting to government agencies. Mr. Kearley received a B.S. in environmental engineering from the University of Florida.