Our Team

Kathy Boudin

Senior Advisor

Dr. Kathy Boudin is Co-Director and Co-Founder of Columbia University’s Center for Justice, Director of the Criminal Justice Initiative, and Adjunct Lecturer at the School of Social Work. Dr. Boudin’s work focuses on the causes and consequences of mass incarceration and the development of strategies to transform the US criminal justice system. Working with women she was incarcerated with during her 22 years in prison, Dr. Boudin focused on strengthening mother-child relationships across the separation of incarceration; bringing back college to Bedford Hills after the ending of the Pell grants; and on the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Since her release from prison in 2003, her projects and research areas include: founding the Coming Home Program at Mt. Sinai-St. Luke’s, developing a restorative practice program in prisons for long-termers, policy initiatives to release aging people from prison, reforming the parole system, the impact of higher education on incarcerated women, the experience of adolescents with incarcerated mothers, and the role of peer support. Her work is based on participation and leadership by those who are most deeply affected by the issues. Dr. Boudin’s publications have appeared in journals such as The Harvard Education Review, Journal of Corrections Education, Women and Therapy, Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, and Liman Report of Yale Law School. She is editor and co-author of Breaking the Walls of Silence: AIDS and Women in a NYS Maximum Security Prison. She received her undergraduate degree from Bryn Mawr College, her master’s degree from Norwich University, and her doctoral degree from Columbia University Teachers College.

Judith Clark

Senior Advisor

Judith Clark spent 38 years in prison, primarily at Bedford Hills, New York’s maximum security prison for women, for her part in the 1981 Brinks armored car robbery, in which three people were killed. While reckoning with the damage she caused, she worked with others inside to create community based programs to address the problems they faced and their desires to grow. She was one of the founders of ACE (AIDS Counseling and Education) and part of the committee of women who built a college program after public funding was eliminated. She helped develop programs for mothers to sustain bonds with their children and mentored new mothers living in the prison nursery. She has written about that work, the experiences of mothers inside, the spiritual work of remorse and the efforts of women inside to build community. Released in 2019, she currently works with Hour Children, which provides housing and support for women emerging from prison. She is on the advisory committee for the Survivors Justice Project and is active in advocacy work for those she left behind the walls. Having worked with the Women & Justice Project while inside, she is honored to contribute to its work from the outside.

Christina Holdrege

Associate Director of Policy Affairs & Research

Christina oversees a variety of initiatives at WJP, including the organization’s efforts to engage in partner work in ways that are transformative and healing. Christina serves as a key advisor on WJP’s strategic growth, and spearheads the organization’s efforts to collect and disseminate data related to women’s incarceration and leadership. Prior to joining WJP, Christina was a nonprofit consultant and served as adjunct lecturer at Columbia School of Social Work and Stony Brook University School of Social Welfare. Christina also served as the Brooklyn Borough Coordinator at Court Appointed Special Advocates NYC (CASA), which provides advocacy services for youth in foster care, and worked at the Incarcerated Mothers Program of Edwin Gould Services for Children and Families where she supervised frontline staff and oversaw all aspects of service provision. She is a founding board member of City Living, NY, and a longtime member of the Coalition for Women Prisoners, co-chairing its Incarcerated Mothers Committee for five years. Christina is a licensed social worker, and holds a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University, and a Bachelor of Science in Social Welfare from SUNY Albany.

Jess Jackson

Director of Operations & Arts Advocacy

Jess leads WJP’s operations and digital communications efforts, including designing and implementing operational infrastructure and digital strategy, spearheading WJP’s social media platforms, managing the organization’s website, and overseeing administrative needs. Prior to joining WJP, Jess worked in sales, business management, and arts administration with organizations including Marriott, Google, and the School of Visual Arts, bringing into every role a lifelong passion for the arts and a commitment to social justice. She is known for developing and executing artful, tech-forward and scalable solutions for organizations looking to expand their capacity and scope, communicate more efficiently, and work with minimal stress and redundancy.

Tamar Kraft-Stolar

Co-Founder & Co-Director

Tamar co-leads WJP, including the organization’s strategy, development, programs, and partnership work. For 12 years before co-founding WJP, Tamar directed the Correctional Association of New York’s Women in Prison Project, where she spearheaded efforts to monitor conditions inside women’s prisons, directed policy campaigns, drafted legislation, and managed organizing efforts. Tamar has helped lead several successful campaigns, including for New York State laws that ban the shackling of pregnant and post-partum women who are incarcerated, protect the parental rights of mothers and fathers who are incarcerated, and establish alternative sentencing guidelines for survivors of abuse. She is author of Reproductive Injustice: The State of Reproductive Health Care for Women in New York State Prisons (2015) and co-author of From Protection to Punishment: Post-Conviction Barriers to Justice for Domestic Violence Survivor-Defendants in New York State (2011). Prior to this, Tamar coordinated the Correctional Association’s Drop the Rock campaign to repeal New York’s mandatory minimum Rockefeller Drug Laws.

Ebony Lawson

Senior Manager of Operations & Administration

Ebony develops operations-related systems and carries out key work related to WJP’s operations and infrastructure. She also supports WJP’s programmatic initiatives and partnership efforts. Ebony was previously the Operations Manager for the Working Women Re-Entry program at Hour Children, an innovative nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive services to women and families directly impacted by incarceration. From developing job training programs, to designing evaluation efforts, to managing operational protocols and information management systems, Ebony held a central role in all aspects of the program’s operations and growth. Ebony also played a key role in successful efforts to ban shackling of pregnant women in NY’s prisons and jails. Ebony’s passion for the rights of girls and women is coupled with a deep interest in technology and innovation. She brings years of experience from the private sector, where she worked in various capacities as a client services professional. She resides in New York with her daughter.

Jaya Vasandani

Co-Founder & Co-Director

Jaya co-leads WJP, including organizational strategy, development, programs and partnership work. From 2004-2015, Jaya worked at the Correctional Association of New York’s Women in Prison Project where she helped manage the Project, including leading coalition-building and organizing efforts, policy advocacy, and prison monitoring visits. Jaya has helped lead several successful policy campaigns, including for New York State laws that ban the shackling of pregnant women who are incarcerated and establish alternative sentencing guidelines for survivors of abuse. Jaya also previously worked at the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the Center for Women Policy Studies. She holds a J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and a BSFS from Georgetown University.

Sharon White-Harrigan

Strategic Consultant & Senior Advisor

Sharon is the Executive Director of the Women’s Community Justice Association (WCJA), a gender-specific, trauma-informed, advocacy-for-justice agency that uplifts and amplifies the voices of women who are experts through their life experiences and efforts. Prior to joining WCJA where she leads the BEYONDrosies campaign, Sharon was Program Director of a temporary residence for women who are formerly incarcerated at the Women’s Prison Association. She has worked in a range of direct service fields including reentry, domestic violence, homelessness, mental health and substance abuse. She has also worked on policy advocacy efforts and was a leader in the successful campaign to pass NY’s Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act (DVSJA) in 2019. Sharon is a minister, motivational speaker, adjunct lecturer and therapist. She also serves as an advisory member of the Survivors Justice Project, the co-lead of the Bedford Hills project, a strategic consultant to the Women & Justice Project, and is a co-founder of the Justice for Women Task Force. Sharon draws upon her expertise as a licensed social worker, survivor of violence, and survivor of 11 years of incarceration. She holds a master’s degree in Social Work from Lehman College, a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Criminal Justice from CUNY where she was a Thomas W. Smith Fellow, and an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts from Marymount Manhattan College. Sharon is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the 2017 Frank & Lisina Hoch Award for Social Justice Advocacy and Activism, and the 2019 Leadership Award for her advocacy to pass the DVSJA.

Cheryl Wilkins

Senior Advisor

Cheryl Wilkins is the Co-Founder and Associate Director at Columbia University’s Center for Justice (CFJ) where her work is committed to ending the nation’s reliance on incarceration, developing new approaches to safety and justice, and participating in the national and global conversation around developing effective criminal justice policy. She is also an adjunct lecturer at Columbia University School of Social Work and director of Women Transcending. In the community, Cheryl is a board member with the Women’s Community Justice Association, a co-convener of the Justice 4 Women’s Task-Force, an advisor with the Survivors Justice Project and the formerly incarcerated Women’s International Commission, a senior advisor with the Women & Justice Project, and co-founder and executive team member with Women Building Up. She holds a graduate degree in Urban Affairs and is the recipient of the Brian Fischer Award, Davis Putter scholarship, the Sister Mary Nerney Visionary Award and the Citizens against Recidivism Award.