Kathleen Culhane is a Program Associate at the Vera Institute of Justice’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections where her current work is focused on solitary confinement and housing for people leaving prisons and jails. Formerly incarcerated herself in California state prisons, Kathleen recently earned her Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University where she was awarded the Graduate Impact Award for having a lasting impact on her cohort and the Public Policy Program. While a graduate student, she founded and coordinated an interdisciplinary working group on criminal justice policy. She conducted research on the economic and health effects of incarceration in vulnerable populations.
She also worked as a research assistant to Professor Bruce Western at Harvard University, and was a graduate summer intern at the Vera Institute of Justice. She is an ongoing Program Team member at Essie Justice Group and an Advisory Committee member for the Incarceration and Public Health Network at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She previously worked at the Women’s Community Clinic of San Francisco and at the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Kathleen additionally served as a formerly incarcerated representative to the San Francisco Reentry Council. She has presented both at the community level and nationally on conditions of confinement, and the intersection of poverty and gender in policies related to prisons and punishment.