Doctorate in family and child ecology with minors in criminology, community services, and measurement and methods; master’s degree in criminal justice and urban studies; and bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Michigan State University.
Also notable: Member of the Crime and Justice Research Alliance, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, the American Society of Criminology, the National Criminal Justice Association, and the American Evaluation Association. Certified Facilitator for the California Brief Multicultural Competence Scale (CMBCS) Multicultural Training Program.
Paul Elam, Ph.D., president of PPA, is a skilled team builder, project manager, and researcher with expertise in corrections, child welfare, and justice issues. He is a collaborative leader who brings an abiding commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity to his public policy work.
Dr. Elam has a wealth of knowledge and experience measuring racial and ethnic discrimination and believes that sound public policy analysis should include an examination of whether all people are being treated fairly and equitably.
Dr. Elam is currently assisting the U.S. Department of Justice to establish or enhance alternatives to incarceration that focus on reducing criminal behavior and enhancing public safety through Swift and Certain Sanctions (SAC) initiatives. In this work he assists jurisdictions in developing and improving the fidelity of their programs to the SAC model.
Dr. Elam is also working with the Governor’s Committee on Juvenile Justice, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and local jurisdictions to ensure that justice-involved youth are treated fairly and equitably. He is responsible for ongoing data collection and reporting and provides technical assistance and strategic support to develop and implement solutions that reduce disproportionate minority contact with Michigan’s child welfare and juvenile justice systems.
Dr. Elam recently began assisting the Annie E. Casey Foundation with the Expanding the Bench Initiative. This initiative aims to improve evaluation science and social innovation by increasing diversity in the field of research and evaluation. Dr. Elam’s work will focus on evaluators from historically underrepresented groups with evaluation expertise in the areas of child welfare and juvenile justice.
In addition, Dr. Elam is leading a PPA team conducting Student Voice focus groups for the Michigan Department of Education as part of the department’s strategy to improve educational outcomes through the African-American Young Men of Promise Initiative. Findings will be used to help develop new public policy, culturally responsive pedagogy and teaching approaches that increase the academic success and retention of students of color in underperforming schools.
Dr. Elam has been a lead consultant on numerous statewide projects, including the Michigan Coalition for Race Equity in Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice and the Michigan Child Welfare Improvement Task Force. He played a key role in the development and implementation of the Michigan Prisoner ReEntry Initiative and continues to work on reentry issues across the U.S.