Peer Review Advisory Circle (PRAC)

The Peer Review Advisory Circle (PRAC) is a group of skilled social science researchers working in a wide variety of disciplines that provide support to the DOJ research staff in an advisory capacity. This group may assist when necessary with highly technical methodological concerns or data analytic techniques. This team may also be asked to review final research projects prior to official release.

If you are interested in applying to work as part of the PRAC, you will need to complete and submit an application. At this time, a new application is being developed and will be available soon. Please revisit this site or email us to submit your interest.


Advisor - Mia Bird, Ph.D.
Mia Bird, Ph.D.
Research Fellow
Public Policy Institute of California

Mia Bird is a research fellow in the areas of corrections and health and human services at the Public Policy Institute of California. She also serves on the faculty of the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. At PPIC, she leads a collaborative project between the California Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC), PPIC, and several partner counties, known as the BSCC–PPIC Multi-County Study. This data collection and evaluation effort is designed to estimate the effects of realignment on recidivism outcomes and identify best practices for recidivism reduction at the local level. She also leads a project focused on the impact of the Affordable Care Act on enrollment and recidivism outcomes for the criminal justice population. Her past work has covered topics such as the allocation of realignment funding, healthcare for the correctional population, and the use of data to improve policymaking. She holds a PhD in public policy, an MA in demography, and an MPP from the University of California, Berkeley.

Advisor - Alexander M. Holsinger, Ph.D.
Alexander M. Holsinger, Ph.D.
Professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology
University of Missouri-Kansas City

Dr. Alexander (Alex) M. Holsinger received his Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati in 1999. For the duration of his time at UC and the 18 years since Dr. Holsinger has built his career around program and process evaluation at the municipal, county, state, and Federal levels. Most of his published work (over 40 peer-reviewed articles), and unpublished work (over 50 technical reports and other research briefs) has involved tests of the effectiveness of various forms of correctional interventions (e.g., rehabilitation and treatment, core correctional practices in supervision, dosage probation, notification systems, graduated sanctions and more). Dr. Holsinger has also conducted a large amount of research regarding the development and testing of both published and original risk, need, and responsivity assessments. In addition to original research and publishing, Dr. Holsinger has assisted agencies at every level with training and implementation objectives as they relate to evidence based practices in correctional interventions. Dr. Holsinger’s work has been recognized by the American Probation and Parole Association which awarded him the "Award in Corrections" for outstanding contributions to the field of corrections in the United States and Canada. In 2015 Dr. Holsinger received the Legacy of Leadership Award from the Kansas City Metropolitan Crime Commission for outstanding contributions to public safety in corrections. Dr. Holsinger is a Professor of Criminal Justice & Criminology at the University of Missouri – Kansas City where he teaches the undergraduate and graduate statistics sequences, as well as several undergraduate and graduate courses in correctional interventions.

Advisor - Magnus Lofstrom, Ph.D.
Magnus Lofstrom, Ph.D.
Senior Fellow
Public Policy Institute of California

Magnus Lofstrom is a senior research fellow at PPIC and currently a visiting professor at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. His areas of expertise include public safety, economics of crime, immigration, entrepreneurship, and education. His recent work examines crime trends in California, public safety realignment and recidivism, and California’s jail capacity and construction needs. He also holds appointments as research fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), Germany; community scholar at the Julian Samora Research Institute at Michigan State University; and research associate at the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California, San Diego. Prior to joining PPIC, he was a faculty member at University of California, Irvine and the University of Texas at Dallas. He received his PhD in economics from the University of California, San Diego.

Advisor - Steven Raphael
Steven Raphael
Professor and James D. Marver Chair in Public Policy
University of California, Berkeley

Steven Raphael is a Professor of Public Policy at UC Berkeley and holds the James D. Marver Chair at the Goldman School of Public Policy. His research focuses on the economics of low-wage labor markets, housing, and the economics of crime and corrections. His most recent research focuses on the social consequences of the large increases in U.S. incarceration rates and racial disparities in criminal justice outcomes. Raphael also works on immigration policy, research questions pertaining to various aspects of racial inequality, the economics of labor unions, social insurance policies, homelessness, and low-income housing. Raphael is the author (with Michael Stoll) of Why Are so Many Americans in Prison? (published by the Russell Sage Foundation Press) and The New Scarlet Letter? Negotiating the U.S. Labor Market with a Criminal Record (published by the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research). Raphael is research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, the California Policy Lab, the University of Michigan National Poverty Center, the University of Chicago Crime Lab, IZA, Bonn Germany, and the Public Policy Institute of California. Raphael holds a Ph.D. in economics from UC Berkeley.

Advisor - Jesse Rothstein
Jesse Rothstein, Ph.D.
Professor of Public Policy and Economics
University of California, Berkeley
Co-Director, California Policy Lab

Jesse Rothstein is professor of public policy and economics at the University of California, Berkeley, with affiliations in the Department of Economics and the Goldman School of Public Policy. He is also the director of the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE); the co-director of the California Policy Lab; and the co-director of the Opportunity Lab. He previously served as Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Labor and as Senior Economist with the Council of Economic Advisers, Executive Office of the President, both in the Obama Administration.

Rothstein's research focuses on education policy and on the labor market. His recent work includes studies of teacher quality, of school finance, of intergenerational economic mobility, and of the labor market during the Great Recession. His work has been published in leading journals in economics, public policy, education, and law.

Rothstein received a Ph.D. in economics and a Masters in Public Policy, both from the University of California, Berkeley, and an A.B. from Harvard. He is a member of the editorial boards of the American Economic Review, Industrial Relations, and the National Education Policy Center. He was named the John T. Dunlop Outstanding Scholar by the Labor and Employment Relations Association in 2011. He is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and a fellow of the National Education Policy Center, the CESifo Research Network, the IZA, and the Learning Policy Institute.

Advisor - Evan White
Evan White
Executive Director of California Policy Lab
University of California, Berkeley

Evan White is the founding Executive Director of the California Policy Lab at UC Berkeley. His career in public service has been dedicated to synthesizing complex information to solve hard policy problems. Prior to joining CPL, he served as a Senior Advisor to Richard Cordray, the first Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. During his tenure at CFPB, Evan led initiatives on a broad portfolio of issues ranging from fintech and consumer lending to debt collection and financial empowerment. Evan’s expertise also centers on housing and discrimination policy and he served as Director of Fair Housing for Project Sentinel, northern California’s largest fair housing nonprofit. Evan holds a joint degree in Law and Public Policy (JD/MPP) from UC Berkeley, during which he clerked for the California Supreme Court, the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, and the White House Office of Management and Budget. He holds a BA in Political Science and Africana Studies from Vassar College.