Melanie Skemer
Research Associate, Youth Development, Criminal Justice, and Employment

Skemer’s research focuses on evaluations of criminal justice policies, systems, and reforms. She also studies new system approaches in child support enforcement. Currently, she serves as a research and design lead for the Pretrial Justice Collaborative, a study of eight jurisdictions across the country aimed at building usable evidence on the most effective strategies for reducing pretrial detention, minimizing supervision conditions, and reducing racial and economic inequities, while preserving court appearance rates. Additionally, Skemer directs the Procedural Justice-Informed Alternatives to Contempt demonstration, a random assignment study testing the efficacy of incorporating procedural justice principles into child support practices to reengage noncustodial parents who have fallen behind in their child support payments, rather than relying on a court-led civil contempt process. Her responsibilities include project management and direction; research design; impact analysis; collecting qualitative data through observations, interviews, and focus groups; writing policy briefs and reports; presenting research findings; and project development. Selected past projects include an evaluation of New York City’s Pretrial Supervised Release program, the Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration, the evaluation of the PACE Center for Girls, and the Youth Villages Transitional Living evaluation. Skemer holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in sociology from the University of California-Irvine.

Curriculum Vitae