Jennifer Peirce is a doctoral student in Criminal Justice at John Jay College and the Graduate Center, at the City University of New York (CUNY), in New York City. Her research analyzes prison reform processes, alternatives to incarceration, and reentry issues, in the framework of broader criminal justice system reforms, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, Jennifer was part of the Citizen Security and Justice team at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), where she worked on the design, implementation, and evaluation of crime prevention, juvenile justice, prison reform, and restorative justice projects in several Latin American and Caribbean countries. Jennifer joined the federal public service of Canada through the Recruitment of Policy Leaders (RPL) program in 2008. As an analyst with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development (DFATD), Jennifer worked on bilateral relations and political and human rights issues related to Latin America and the Caribbean. She also managed program funding for transitional justice, victims' rights, conflict mediation, and police reform issues in Guatemala and Colombia. Previously, Jennifer lived for several years in The Gambia, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, working with non-governmental organizations focused on women's rights, youth violence prevention, and economic and social justice advocacy.
Jennifer holds an M.A. from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University and a B.A. in International Development Studies and Spanish from Dalhousie University and the University of King's College. Her research addressed social movements' responses to urban violence and post-conflict challenges in Latin America. Jennifer's writing has been published in The Paterson Review and Studies in Religion, as well as in the IDB's Technical Papers series and its Sin Miedos blog on citizen security.
While living in Ottawa, Jennifer was the volunteer Chair of the Board of Directors of One World Arts, a nonprofit organization that offers arts programs for social change. She has also volunteered with YouthBuild USA, Discovery University/The Ottawa Mission, and the Elizabeth Fry Society. Jennifer was born and raised in Calgary, and enjoys skiing and hiking in the mountains.