My childhood is what led me into the field of criminal justice. Both my parents were system-involved stemming from battles with substance use. My father was incarcerated periodically for nonviolent drug-related offenses. When I was 11, my father was sentenced to 9-29 years for his third drug-related felony charges. He served 10 years in prisons across Nevada. Visiting my father had a profound impact on my life and influenced me to pursue a career in higher education. Research shows that children of incarcerated parents are nearly twice as likely to end up incarcerated themselves. Education was the mechanism that helped both my father and I break the cycle.
Taken at Northern Nevada Correctional Center
I now use my position in higher education to help and empower others who have been impacted by incarceration. Through my research, teaching, and service, I aim to address issues related to gender and race and increasing support for system-involved individuals and their families. This can be accomplished through the de-carceration and improved reliance on evidence-based practices to support desistance.
I seek to involve those directly impacted in the research and policy reform process. Those closest to the problem are often closest to the solution. The lived experience of those directly impacted can help inform policies and practices through qualitative research. I emphasize the use of participatory action research methods to help give voices to those most often neglected and ignored within the correctional system.
I am also committed to working with correctional agencies towards reform efforts. Many of the agencies I have worked with are open and eager for evidence-based solutions. Bridging the gap between academic research and practice improves correctional outcomes through increased efficiency and effectiveness, which ultimately helps make the community safer. As a graduate student, I volunteered and interned with correctional agencies in Oregon, including facilitating cognitive-behavioral treatment groups (i.e., Thinking for a Change).
Lazareck, J. “Having Both Parents Incarcerated Led To a Career in Understanding and Helping Others.” Podcast. Prison: The Hidden Sentence.
Formoso, J.A. “The Rebuilder: Breanna Boppre.” University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) News Center.
Bruzda, N. “Visits to See Dad in Jail Led to UNLV Criminal Justice Ph.D.” Las Vegas Review Journal.
“May 2018 Outstanding UNLV Graduates.” UNLV News Center.
Drummond, C. “UNLV Grad Says Father's Past Influenced Her Future.” KLAS-TV Channel 8 Las Vegas.
Lapan, T. “Breaking the Cycle: An Imprisoned Parent Inspired this Woman’s Work for Reform.” A Beautiful Perspective.
Glaze, R. “Driven to Discover.” UNLV News Center.
Check out this Reno News and Review Article about my father's band Downtime. They recorded their first album together while incarcerated at Nevada State Prison!