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Ashley Nellis, Ph.D.

Senior Research Analyst

Dr. Ashley Nellis has an academic and professional background in analyzing criminal justice policies and practice, and has extensive experience in analyzing disparities among youth of color in the juvenile justice system. She leads The Sentencing Project's research and legislative activities in juvenile justice reform and serves on several youth-serving coalitions and working groups in the Washington, D.C. area. She regularly delivers testimony, writes articles and reports, and conducts research. Nellis is the author of A Return to Justice: Rethinking our Approach to Juveniles in the System, which chronicles America’s historical treatment of youth in the justice system and discusses the work that remains in order to reorient the juvenile justice practices toward the original vision. She is actively engaged in federal and state efforts to eliminate life without parole sentences for juveniles and to reconsider lengthy sentences for all prisoners. She received her Ph.D. in Justice, Law and Society from American University’s School of Public Affairs.

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