Resource Development Associates

Mikaela Rabinowitz, Ph.D.

Practice Director

Mikaela is a mixed-methods researcher with a background in juvenile and criminal justice policy and research and a commitment to using research to improve justice systems. Having worked extensively with criminal justice professionals, social service providers, and justice-system involved youth and adults in jurisdictions across California and the United States, Mikaela believes that meaningful criminal justice reform must involve diverse and broad-based stakeholder coalitions. These coalitions should include criminal justice and social service agencies, community-based service providers, and individuals under both custodial and community-based correctional supervision.

Prior to joining to RDA, Mikaela worked as a Juvenile Justice Policy Advocate at the National Center for Youth Law, where she worked with state and local jurisdictions across the country to identify local juvenile justice reform needs and provide support for research and policy implementation. Prior to that, Mikaela worked on the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Program, a project for which she oversaw several years of research inside the nation’s largest single-site pretrial detention center, the Cook County Jail in Chicago.


  • B.A. in African American Studies – Columbia University
  • M.A. in Social Services – University of Chicago
  • Ph.D. in Sociology – Northwestern University

Select Projects

  • AB 109 Evaluation (Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Santa Clara County, Santa Cruz County, Sonoma County)
  • California Gang Reduction, Intervention and Prevention (CalGRIP) Evaluation (Oakland, Oxnard)
  • Los Angeles Probation Governance Model Assessment
  • Los Angeles Public Defender Client Assessment, Recommendation, and Evaluation (CARE) Project Evaluation
  • Oakland Measure Y Violence Prevention Program Evaluation
  • San Jose Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Evaluation
  • San Jose Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Services Trauma-Informed Service Assessment
  • Santa Clara County LGBT & African American Health Assessment
  • Sierra Health Foundation Positive Youth Justice Initiative Phase II Evaluation