DR. ERIKA FOUNTAIN is a developmental and community psychologist whose work lies at the intersection of research, policy, and practice in juvenile and criminal justice. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology with a concentration in Human Development and Public Policy from Georgetown University and is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Her research program includes projects examining plea bargaining, systemic and structural barriers to probation compliance, family engagement, and racial inequities in juvenile justice. Her work also explores how developmental science can inform evidence-based justice policy. She has provided scientific testimony to Maryland legislators considering changes to juvenile jurisdiction, the confidentiality of records, and legal protections in youth interrogation and has co-authored op-eds advocating for developmentally informed reforms to youth justice. From 2022 to 2023, Dr. Fountain served as an APA/AAAS Congressional Science and Technology Policy Fellow in Washington, DC.
CHRISTINA DUCAT is a fourth-year PhD student in the Human Services Psychology program on the Community track. Her research focuses on the impact of state violence in the legal system on girls and gender non-conforming youth and the ways which youth resist oppression. She received her bachelor's degrees in Applied Psychology, Global Public Health, and Politics from New York University in 2018. After graduating, she spent several years doing advocacy work and organizing with girls involved with the legal system as well as doing research on the current state of girls' incarceration nationally and collaborating with community organizations to promote youth agency and well-being.
ALLISON LLOYD is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the Human Services Psychology program on the Community track. She earned her M.A. in Clinical Psychology at Towson University in 2019. Her current research focuses on trans and gender-expansive youths' perceptions of the police and experiences with school resource officers, and how these perceptions and experiences relate to their wellbeing. Using an intersectional framework, Allison's research also examines how the nuances of race, gender, and socioeconomic status influence how trans and gender-expansive youth interact with law enforcement, inside and outside of school.
SARAH PERALTA is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the Human Services Psychology program on the Child-Clinical and Community track. She earned her M.A. in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness at New York University in 2018. Her research interests are on issues related to grief and bereavement in the United States juvenile and criminal justice system. She has a specific interest in the numerous ways that grief expressions in marginalized communities can become pathologized/penalized. Her goals are to address the need for grief-informed services through collaborative research that is not only community-driven but also critically focused on institutional power and actionable change.
RESEARCH ASSISTANTS & LAB ALUMNI