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Paul Elam, PhD.

President, Public Policy Associates Inc. (PPA)
Paul Elam

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 holds a 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 National Criminal Justice Association, the American Society of Criminology, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, the American Evaluation Association, and the Michigan Association for Evaluation.

Dr. Elam believes that sound public policy analysis should include an examination of whether all people are being treated fairly and equitably. He is an affiliated faculty member with the Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment.

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 across the United States 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 Human Services, the Michigan Supreme Court, and local jurisdictions to ensure that justice-involved youth are processed in compliance with the core requirements of the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. As project manger, he is responsible for data collection and reporting. He also provides technical assistance and strategic support to develop and implement solutions that promote the safe detention of juveniles in adult facilities and reduce disproportionate minority contact in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

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.