My childhood is what led me into the field of criminal justice. Both my parents were system-involved stemming from battles with substance abuse. 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 (Burgess-Proctor et al., 2016). Education was the mechanism that helped both my father and I break the cycle.
Photo 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 help persons desist from law-breaking behavior. Given the high costs of incarceration (on average $33,274 for prison supervision versus $3,000 for community supervision per client annually; Vera Institute of Justice, 2015), it's about being Smart on Crime, not Soft or Tough on Crime.
I am dedicated to involving those directly impacted in the research and policy reform process. I emphasize the use of participatory action research methods to help give voices to those most often neglected and ignored within the correctional system.
Below are links to my media appearances. This coverage granted me the opportunity to connect with other families impacted by lengthy prison sentences. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you've had similar experiences. I plan to start a project on the effects of incarceration on families and would greatly appreciate insight from others who have been affected.
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!