Board & Staff
Sister Alison McCrary, SFCC
Sister Alison McCrary is a Catholic nun, a social justice attorney, a criminal justice reform advocate, community mediator, and a Spiritual Advisor on Louisiana’s death row. She most recently served as the Statewide Director of Operations for the Unanimous Jury Coalition working to abolish a 138-year-old Jim Crow law in Louisiana allowing a sentence of life imprisonment without a unanimous jury. She formerly served as the Executive Director of the National Police Accountability Project, President of the Louisiana Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, and founding Director of the Community-Police Mediation at the New Orleans Office of the Independent Police Monitor. As a 2010 Soros Justice Advocacy Fellowship in New Orleans, she challenged and changed policing practices and policies to transform relationships between police officers and the bearers of New Orleans’ indigenous cultural traditions. She works on issues related to criminal justice reform, immigrant rights, international human rights, cultural preservation, voting rights, disaster recovery, and provides support to various social justice movements and organizations locally, nationally, and internationally. Prior to law school, she worked at the Capital Post-Conviction Project of Louisiana providing litigation support on death penalty cases and at the United Nations monitoring the implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolutions relating to women, peace, and security. In 2009, she was an Ella Baker Fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights. She received her J.D. from Loyola University’s College of Law in New Orleans and her B.A. in English at Georgia State University in Atlanta. She also completed coursework and programs at Johannes Gutenburg Universität in Mainz, Germany, University of Surrey in London, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Loyola University Chicago, and Catholic Theological Union. Alison serves as the Executive Director and Board President for the Re-Entry Mediation Institute of Louisiana.
Louis “Jack” Ward
Louis “Jack” Ward is a native New Orleanian who manages a landscaping business and works full time at The Ubuntu Village mentoring young people. He served time for more than three decades at correctional facilities across Louisiana since he was twelve years old. He served as inmate counsel in the law library at Angola State Penitentiary and returned home in 2012. Louis serves a Board Member for the Re-Entry Mediation Institute of Louisiana.
Thad Tatum is a native New Orleanian who works at The Advocacy Center helping formerly-incarcerated people with disabilities with various needs and services. He also coordinates the mentoring program with Voice of the Experienced. Thad served 28.5 years at Angola State Penitentiary. He returned home in 2011. Thad serves a Board Member for the Re-Entry Mediation Institute of Louisiana.
Julie Griff has served as the Director of the New Orleans Community-Police Mediation Program (CPMP), a program of the Office of the Independent Police Monitor since October 2017. She first began working with the CPMP in 2014, first as a volunteer and then as a mediator and as a contractor assisting with program operations. The program provides opportunities for community members and police officers to have facilitated face-to-face dialogues to be heard, build understanding, and resolve conflict they’ve had in their interactions with each other. In addition to her mediation work, Jules is a facilitator and trainer of Restorative Approaches and has worked with the Center for Restorative Approaches, providing conflict resolution in New Orleans schools and working to intervene in the school-to-prison pipeline.
Previously, Jules’ work has encompassed issues regarding public health, human rights, and community education. She worked for four years for Breakthrough, a human rights organization that uses art and media to raise awareness on women’s rights, HIV/AIDS, immigrant rights, and racial justice in the US and India. She served as Program Director for the HeartRescue Project in Philadelphia and has worked on issues of food security and senior health at the The Elderly Project and Santropol Roulant in Montreal. She is a co-founder of the MoBo Bicycle Co-op, a community bicycle education project in Cincinnati. Jules received a BA in history and humanistic studies from McGill University in Montreal. Jules serves a Board Member and Treasurer for the Re-Entry Mediation Institute of Louisiana.
Board Treasurer and Secretary