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.
Dr. Paul Elam is the chief strategy officer at MPHI.
Dr. Elam specializes in juvenile justice and equity. He is a skilled team builder, project manager, and researcher with policy expertise in youth violence and prevention, crime and justice, and child maltreatment. He conducts his work using a culturally responsive and racial equity lens and brings a commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity. Dr. Elam has a wealth of knowledge and experience measuring racial and ethnic disproportionality and believes that sound public policy analysis should include an examination of whether all people are being treated fairly and equitably.
For the last decade, Dr. Elam has worked 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 data collection, reporting, technical assistance and strategic support to develop and implement solutions that reduce disproportionate minority contact in Michigan’s child welfare and juvenile justice systems.
Dr. Elam is assisting the Annie E. Casey Foundation as an advisor and mentor 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.
Dr. Elam is also partnering with the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) to document the experiences and perspectives of students of color in Michigan’s public school system. The goal is to help Michigan schools narrow the achievement gap between African-American students and others by listening to these students about their experiences. Findings will be used to help develop 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 also played a key role in the development and implementation of the Michigan Prisoner ReEntry Initiative and continues to work on reentry training across the U.S.