Eric Tennen is a partner at Swomley and Tennen, LLP. He specializes in issues related to sex offenses and collateral consequences, such as involuntary civil commitment and sex offender registration. He has won the release of many persons facing civil commitment as a sexually dangerous person and has successfully petitioned for the release of persons who were already involuntarily committed. He has also successfully represented clients before the Sex Offender Registry Board. Eric has been on several continuing legal education panels as an expert in sex offender registration practice. In addition to his work as a trial attorney, Eric has extensive experience as an appellate advocate. He began his career as a judicial law clerk. He has successfully argued many cases in the Appellate Courts of Massachusetts. He has also authored several amicus briefs on behalf of various organizations. Eric is one of few attorneys authorized to represent indigent defendants in District Court, Superior Court, and in post-conviction matters (appeals), as well as persons who are charged with murder, petitioned for involuntarily commitment, and those appearing before the Sex Offender Registry Board. He also represents Federal defendants through the Criminal Justice Act.
In 2011, he was awarded the Paul Liacos Mental Health Advocacy Award by the Committee for Public Counsel Services for zealous advocacy on behalf of indigent defendants. In 2007 and 2013, Attorney Tennen was recognized as “Massachusetts Rising Star.” Since 2015, he has been selected as a "Super Lawyer" as published in Boston Magazine.
He graduated from the University of Michigan, with distinction, in 1998. He graduated from Boston University School of Law, magna cum laude, in 2001. He received his LL.M. in Criminal Law from the University of Buffalo School of Law in 2004.
He frequently lectures in Massachusetts and beyond about issues related to sex offenders. He was a keynote address at the National Reform Sex Offender Laws conference in 2015, he recently gave a presentation at the Law and Psychiatry program and UMass Medical center; and he often speaks on legal education panels throughout Massachusetts.
He has taught classes on legal writing, criminal procedure, and "Sex Crimes" at Boston University School of Law and the Boston University Metropolitan College.
Eric joined the 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.
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.
Nat joined the Board of Directors in 2016.
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 Board of Directors in 2016.
Frank Farrow was born and raised in the Roxbury section of Boston, Ma. Frank Farrow is the founder and Executive Director of the Elevate Boston Foundation, a non profit organizationlocated in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Elevate Boston is a community-based youth violence prevention organization for predominantly black and latino males aimed at creating a healthy, positive community through mentorship, violence prevention and trauma reduction initiatives. Elevate Boston initiatives focus on youth development, academic enrichment activities, service learning, social justice awareness, restorative justice workshops, workforce development and recreational activities.
Frank continues to strive to foster safe and healthy communities through his professional and community work.
Frank joined the Board of Directors in 2019.
Rebeca Cudmore Kendall
Rebecca Cudmore Kendall is an Assistant Professor in the Criminal Justice & Sociology Department at Curry College. She graduated in May of 2017 with her Ph.D. in Criminology and Justice Studies from Northeastern University. Before that, Rebecca received her master’s degree in Forensic and Counseling Psychology from William James College.
Rebecca has clinical experience doing mental health and sex offender assessment and treatment with incarcerated male offenders in two Massachusetts state prisons. Her primary clinical, policy, and research interests are in the area of violence and victimization, with a specific focus on sex offender treatment and reentry. Her recent publications include manuscripts in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence and Criminal Justice Policy Review.
Rebecca is passionate about addressing issues related to: · Community notification and residency restrictions for sex offenders · Employment and housingchallenges for individuals reentering society from the prison system · The overlap between mental illness and crime and the treatment of mentally ill offender in corrections · LGBTQ+ population interaction with the criminal justice system
Rebecca joined the Board of Directors in 2019.
Allison brings a cross-sector communications background to the team. After obtaining her degrees in Marketing and Media Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Allison returned home to Farmville, Virginia. From there, she worked for nearly three years in the endowment investment department of the University of Richmond, where she served as the client service liaison to the University’s 22 nonprofit partners. After her first vacation to Boston in 2011, she decided Massachusetts was her home-to-be, and spent the next two years in Virginia figuring out how she wanted to make an impact in the world, while falling further in love with Boston and everything related to it. In 2013,
Allison began her MBA journey with a concentration in Public and Nonprofit Management at Boston University. She completed her fellowship at Boston City Hall, in the Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement. After graduation, she spent two and half years at the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as a Marketing and Communications Manager with the Operational Services Division, the State’s purchasing and procurement agency.
For the last two years, she has been the Marketing and Communications Manager at Samaritans, Inc., a suicide prevention nonprofit. In her spare time, Allison volunteers with Prison Book Program and Rosie’s Place. She is passionate about eliminating barriers to employment, financial aid, and housing for formerly incarcerated folks; restoring voting rights; practicing restorative justice; treating those with mental health and substance abuse crises; and abolishing death penalty and, ultimately, all prisons.