Project Coordinator, Survivors Justice Project, Brooklyn, NY
Melissa Mahabir has been a social worker for more than 15 years. Her passion for working with families who have experienced violence began when she became an AmeriCorps member mentoring youth involved in the juvenile justice system. Ms. Mahabir then spent five years in Miami, Florida as a case manager and as special projects coordinator advocating for youth in foster care. In New York City, she worked as a domestic violence counselor/advocate at STEPS to End Family Violence and as a forensic social worker at Legal Aid Society. She is deeply committed to advocating on behalf of women in the criminal justice system, and her research on the impact of domestic violence on women’s criminal justice involvement has been published in The Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Ms. Mahabir is currently helping to lead implementation of the New York Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act (a newly passed law that offers domestic violence survivors more sentencing discretion and currently incarcerated survivors an opportunity for resentencing). Ms. Mahabir holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from The College of William and Mary and a Master in Social Work degree from Columbia University.