Franklin Lee Baxley, Jr.--Interim Executive Director
On November 14, 2016, Franklin Lee Baxley, Jr., joined the Criminal Justice Policy Coalition as its Interim Executive Director. As a returning citizen, Franklin has first-hand knowledge of the obstacles former prisoners face once they return to society. He is dedicated to the CJPC’s mission, with a focus on ending mass incarceration, eliminating discriminatory prosecution and mandatory minimum sentences, assisting ex-prisoners with reentry into the workforce, and ensuring that drug addiction is treated as a health, rather than criminal, problem.
Franklin is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts (B.A., 2000) and Fordham University School of Law (J.D., 2004). After graduating from law school, he worked as a Compliance Officer/Investigator at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD), in its Boston office. As a compliance officer, he investigated and brought to disposition hundreds of discrimination and sexual harassment complaints. He has conducted MCAD initiated investigations and given presentations to the public and private bar on matters related to employment discrimination and practicing before the MCAD.
Franklin is a former associate with Morgan, Brown, & Joy, LLP, and Robinson Donovan, PC. His practice included litigation of employment claims, employment discrimination and harassment prevention training and providing employment law counseling to clients. He handled matters spanning the full range of employment law issues, including claims of discrimination and harassment, leaves of absence violations, breaches of non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, wage and hour violations, and tort-based claims arising from employment issues. Franklin represented clients before administrative agencies and State and Federal courts.
Eric Tennen is a partner at Swomley and Tennen, LLP. His work focuses on trial and appellate practice, with a focus on criminal defense and civil liberties. Eric also teaches Legal Research and Writing for first year law students at Boston University School of Law.
In his career as an attorney, Eric has successfully defended persons charged with serious felonies in both State and Federal court. He has won the release of several persons facing civil commitment pursuant to G.L. chapter 123A as a sexually dangerous person and has successfully represented clients before the Sex Offender Registry Board. Eric has been on several Continuing Legal Education panels.
Prior to becoming an attorney, Eric received an LLM in Criminal Law from the University of Buffalo School of Law in 2004. He graduated magna cum laude from Boston University School of Law in 2001. He has a B.A., with distinction, from the University of Michigan from 1998. Eric has also published articles concerning a wide array of criminal law issues.
Eric joined the CJPC Board of Directors in 2009.
Walter Stone--Vice Chairman
Walter Stone is the longest serving member of the CJPC Board of Directors. Walter served four years with the United States Air Force. He then pursued his studies in college, ultimately graduating from seminary. He worked for the Christian Ministry for 25 years as a pastor, counseling, and teacher. He taught at colleges about the use of academic material to practical life. He developed a sister-city program, was a camp counselor and served on various boards. Walter is an ex-prisoner who spent his incarceration assisting men with their legal issues, helping other prisoner with personal issues. He also served on a Legal Advisory group. Walter brings tremendous life experience, and a long institutional memory of CJPC history and accomplishments.
Ed O'Connell- Secretary
A former practicing attorney, CJPC Board Member Ed O’Connell worked for many years as a legal writer and editor before joining the staff of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in 2015. Ed now works as the Institute's Manager for Exhibit Interpretation and Civic Engagement. In addition to his duties managing the Institute’s Visitor Experience staff, as well as his work in support of the Institute’s education programming and curriculum development, Ed heads up the Institute’s various civic engagement initiatives, all with the aim of bringing to fruition the Institute’s mission of encouraging the public’s engagement in civic life through large-scale community service projects, advocacy training, public policy initiatives, and civic learning, both within the confines of the Institute and throughout the Commonwealth. Ed is also a member of the Massachusetts Department of Education's Task Force on Civic Education and Engagement. In the fall of 2015, Ed was elected to the School Committee in Melrose, Massachusetts.
Susan McLaughlin joined the Board in 2015.
In the early 1960s, Susan saw the plague of racism and poverty in Massachusetts as a volunteer at the Columbia Point housing project in Dorchester. After marching for workers’ rights with the Rev Martin Luther King in Boston, she became an activist in the civil rights and anti-war movements, including war tax refusal to fund the Black Panthers’ free-breakfast program.
Susan earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology as a single working mother and began a career as a technical writer in computer engineering. In midlife, she left hi-tech for a second career in local newswriting and photography and began a life in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. For the past 20 years, she has volunteered in the state’s prisons, teaching the Houses of Healing curriculum and bringing 12-step programs to incarcerated men and women.
She is a past president and member of EPOCA (Ex-prisoners and Prisoners Organizing for Community Advancement) in Worcester. She is currently planning a street outreach project for clean needle exchange in Worcester.
Susan hopes that her small efforts, combined with those of many loving and determined people, will leave a more just and compassionate world for her grandson and future generations.
Arthur is the co-founder of several residential treatment facilities for disadvantage youths in Southern California. He is also a former Boston University student and database specialist with an extensive history in commercial and residential real estate. Currently, Arthur serves as the Director of Partakers, Inc., a Boston area non-profit organization. As an ex-prisoner, Arthur brings unique experience to the organization, helping address issues of recidivism and the need for rehabilitative and educational programming in Massachusetts prisons. Arthur joined the CJPC Board of Directors in 2009.
Nat, now retired, and his wife returned to the United States in September 2014 after many years living and working in France and elsewhere overseas and are now settled in Watertown. He had several reasons for wanting to return, but key among them was a desire to join what appears to be a burgeoning groundswell against mass incarceration. He is particularly interested in efforts to repeal legislation imposing life without the possibility of parole (LWOPP) sentences.
His engagement is also deeply personal and dates from 1973 when, in the aftermath of the uprising at Attica he was moved to join a Concord-based group called the Peaceful Movement Committee (PMC). The Committee brought together members of the community and men serving time at MCI Concord. They met once a week to talk and share and to work on various projects. He was a reporter then for the Lowell Sun and as such helped with the editing and printing of a PMC newspaper.
It was through the PMC that Nat met a man just a few years younger than him who was at the start of what would be life in prison without the possibility of parole. He remains incarcerated in Massachusetts, though he continues to appeal his conviction. They have stayed connected over the last 43 years and, as he has been moved frequently from prison to prison, Nat believes that as a result he have visited every state penal institution in Massachusetts.
He left the Lowell Sun and the United States in 1976, returning of course each summer to visit family and friends. He worked five years as a freelance journalist in Cairo and then joined the Paris-based French news agency Agence France-Presse in 1982. He retired from AFP, where he worked as a correspondent and editor, in November 2011.
In Paris he was a prison visitor and was part of a national program to offer support and friendship to men from France and other countries serving short-to-medium-term sentences. Through this program he was able to visit four different French prisons.
Nat has been married since 1973 and has two grown children, a son and a daughter, and one grandson. He was born in Boston in 1946.
Allison Jordan has been a public defender with the Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services since April 2011. She works in the Alternative Commitment unit, representing sex offenders who have completed their criminal sentences but remain indefinitely incarcerated for one-day-to-life, pursuant to the Massachusetts "sexually dangerous persons" law. Prior to CPCS, she worked for New York Legal Aid Society’s Queens and Brooklyn offices, representing indigent defendants charged with crimes ranging from misdemeanors to high-level felonies. While in law school, Ms. Jordan worked for the Cornell Legal Aid Clinic, the Capital Trial Clinic, the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, and the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office in Boston. Ms. Jordan’s dedication to public service began before she entered law school: she served as an intern, then a child protective services worker for the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth, and Families in Claremont, NH.
Kathy brings unique perspective to the CJPC Board, having worked in three Massachusetts Department of Youth Service (DYS) facilities: a staff-secure DYS facility with non-violent youth, a secure treatment DYS with violent offenders including youth convicted of murder, and a DYS detention unit. In these facilities she saw that limited community resources often put youth at increased risk of incarceration or other harm. Within months of her first job at DYS, she received a call that one her students had been shot and killed.
From this first-hand experience of seeing the inequities of the juvenile justice system and inequities in certain communities, Kathy is committed to addressing:
High rate of homicides of young black men in this country
Conditions of confinement for incarcerated youth including education and safety in facilities
Over incarceration of youth, especially youth of color
Improving community/police relations.
Because of her knowledge and experience in advocacy, juvenile justice and criminal justice systems, Kathy was recently invited to join the Resolve to Stop the Violence Project (RSVP). RSVP’s goal is to bring a violence reduction model from California into the Massachusetts Correctional System. This program works with inmates with violent histories both during and up to one year after incarceration and has shown success in reducing violence.
Kathy’s educational background includes:
Masters in Social Work and BA in Psychology
Training to deescalate people in crisis
Certificate in Mediation and Conflict Management
Certificate in Negotiation
Violent Crime Behavior I and II from retired FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit and Behavioral Science Unit agents through Academy Group, Inc.
She is currently a Parent Education Trainer with MWI, utilizing her knowledge of positive youth development and communication skills to train divorcing parents in effective co-parenting. Kathy joined the CJPC Board of Directors in 2016.
Ralph Galen, formerly the settled minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Andover, Massachusetts is associated with the Andover Interfaith Clergy Association, the Merrimack Valley People for Peace, the Merrimack Valley Project, Lawrence Community Works, Massachusetts Citizens Against the Death Penalty, and Promise the Children, a partner with the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. He is a singer/songwriter and a student in the Boundless Way Zen community.