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MALS Final Project Spotlight: Jennifer Cowley

Concentration: Criminal Psychology

About Jennifer’s Project

With the growing number of incarcerated mentally ill offenders, it is necessary for our community to be aware of what systems of care are in place to help ensure they have a successful transition back into the community upon release. Systems of care can range from pre-release screening and transitional planning programs, to post-release reentry and treatment programs. For her final project, Jen examined a multitude of studies that looked at what specific systems of care are currently available to mentally ill offenders in our community, and why these different programs have been either successful, or unsuccessful. In reviewing all of the literature, Cowley compiled a list of recommendations for transition programs to implement to help ensure success for mentally ill participants. She also provided an in-depth discussion on specific limitations of the research and policy implications that could lead to an increase in funding and overall success for these programs.

About Jennifer

Jennifer graduated with her undergraduate degree from NC State in 2012 with a major in Criminology and three minors in Psychology, Forensic Science and Spanish. She has always had a passion for the criminal justice system and has completed her Master’s degree while working full time at the Wake County District Attorney’s office. At the District Attorney’s office, Cowley is a Legal Assistant that manages the Driving While Impaired charges in the Wake County DWI court. For the past 5 years she has been an active volunteer with the Guardian ad Litem program, in which she represents abused and/or neglected children in the court system. She recently got engaged, adopted a beagle puppy, and bought a house with her fiance!