The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) is the state planning agency for criminal justice, juvenile justice, traffic safety and victim services. The institute develops long-range strategies for the effective administration of Indiana's criminal and juvenile justice systems and administers state and federal funds to carry out these strategies.
Through the use of evidence-based decision making, ICJI works to improve the efficiency of the criminal justice system, from call for service through post-conviction. The agency accomplishes this by bringing together key leaders from the criminal justice system at the state, local, and national levels to identify critical issues facing Indiana. The agency evaluates policies, programs and legislation designed to address these issues. ICJI is designated as the State Administering Agency for distribution of federal funds, and as the State Statistical Analysis Center for research.
Executive Director: Devon McDonald
Devon has served with ICJI since 2012, where he began his service as the Victim Compensation Supervisor and General Counsel. Devon received his BS in Criminal Justice from Indiana University of Indianapolis and his Juris Doctorate from the IU McKinney School of Law. Prior to entering law school, Devon served his country in the US Army where he earned multiple awards for outstanding achievement.
Chief of Staff: Jade Palin
Jade previously served as Victim Services Division Director, leading a team responsible for distributing over $60 million in grant funding each year. Her prior work history was in social service programming, within both the public and private sector. Jade specializes in grant writing, quality assurance and personnel management. Jade’s greatest joy is in seeing the positive impact strength-based social service programming can have in the lives of others.
General Counsel & Director of Regulatory Affairs: Natalie Huffman
Natalie joined ICJI in October 2019 after five years of providing legal guidance to various state agencies. Most recently, she served as Deputy General Counsel for the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Previously, Natalie was a staff attorney for the Indiana Gaming Commission and clerked for the Marion Superior Court. She received her Juris Doctor from Notre Dame Law School and her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Indianapolis.
Chief Financial Officer: Sheryll Espinas
Sheryll joined ICJI in 2022 as the agency's Chief Financial Officer. Prior to that, she served as the controller for the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, after working in a similar capacity for the Indiana Department of Education.
Communications Director: Ben Gavelek
Ben's communications career began in 2012 working as a Press Secretary for the Indiana House of Representatives, where he managed communications and media relations for eight lawmakers. Two years later, he was promoted to Deputy Communications Director and was responsible for strategy and overseeing communications for House leadership. In 2016, Ben joined the Indiana State Department of Agriculture as its Public Information Officer. There, he worked to raise awareness and advocate on behalf of the agriculture industry, as well as promote the work being done by the department .He joined CJI in Oct. 2019. and oversees all aspects of internal and external communications, which includes everything from media relations to marketing to managing the agency’s website and social media platforms. Ben graduated from Indiana University Northwest in 2011 and has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. He served six years in the Indiana Army National Guard as a Human Intelligence Collector, earning the rank of Sergeant.
Behavioral Health: Michael Ross
Michael Ross joins ICJI from the Division of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA) within the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, where he managed $10+ million in evidence-based programs and led efforts related to disaster resilience, public-safety mental health, serious mental illness and co-occurring issues. In his previous position with DMHA, Michael oversaw the training, compliance and clinical direction of the Recovery Works program, which provides support services to criminal justice-involved individuals without insurance coverage. Ross is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and holds a Master of Social Work in Mental Health and Addiction and Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security and Emergency Management from Indiana University. For the last two years, he has taught courses for IU’s School of Social Work and supervised practicum students in both short- and long-term placements.
Drug and Crime Control: Leann Jaggers
Leann started with ICJI in September of 2016 as a Program Manager and was later promoted to Drug and Crime Control Division Director in May of 2022. Prior to joining the agency, Leann worked for the State Budge Agency for two years and Department of Children Services for 5 years. She received a bachelor's degree in Accounting from Harrison College.
Research: Christine Reynolds
Prior to being named Division Director, Christine Reynolds served with ICJI’s Research Division, starting in 2007. As Research Associate, Christine assisted with strategic planning, developed research databases, created survey methods, interpreted complex data, prepared research reports, assisted in writing federal grant applications, reviewed grant applications, performed project evaluations, led training sessions and created performance-measure reporting forms. She holds a BS in Administration of Justice from the University of Louisville and Masters Degree in Criminal Justice from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Traffic Safety: VACANT
Victim Compensation: Nolan Jenkins
Nolan started with the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute in February of 2011 as a Claims Analyst and was later promoted to Victim Compensation Program Director in December of 2015. Prior to joining ICJI, Nolan worked for the Indiana Department of Transportation for 18 years. He attended Indiana University, but after a few years, left to serve in the US Marine Corps. After serving for six years, Nolan went back to school and earned a B.S. in Business Administration at Indiana Wesleyan University.
Victim Services: Kim Lambert
Prior to joining ICJI’s Victim Services Division in 2017, Kim managed a variety of housing programs in Elkhart and St. Joseph counties for the Oaklawn Psychiatric Center. She received a BA in Psychology from Indiana University South Bend.
Board of Trustees
ICJI is governed by a 16-member Board of Trustees representing every area of Indiana’s criminal and juvenile justice system. The board evaluates and disseminates information concerning the cost and effectiveness of criminal and juvenile justice programs. It also promotes effective coordination and cooperation for the administration of the criminal and juvenile justice systems. Finally, the board establishes plans for criminal justice systems, juvenile justice systems, and victim services, and makes recommendations concerning their implementation. The board composition is determined by Indiana Code.
Members currently serving on the board include:
- AmyMarie Travis - Judge, Jackson County Superior Court
- Andrea Trevino - Judge, Allen Superior Court
- Bernice Corley - Executive Director, Indiana Public Defender Council
- Chris Naylor - Executive Director, Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council
- Cory Martin - Executive Director, Indiana State Police Alliance
- Darrin Dolehanty - Judge, Wayne Superior Court
- Doug Carter - Superintendent, Indiana State Police
- Jeffrey Balon - Chief of Police, Valparaiso Police Department
- John Boyd - LaPorte County Sheriff
- Justin Forkner - Chief Administrative Officer of the Indiana Supreme Court
- Mark Stuaan - Partner, Barnes & Thornburg LLP
- Rebecca Humphrey - Tippecanoe County Youth Services
- Rob Carter - Commissioner, Indiana Department of Correction
- Jane Jankowski - Office of Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb
- Amy Karozos - State Public Defender
- Lori Torres - Office of Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita
- Wendy McNamara - Indiana State Representative* (nonvoting advisor)
- Jack Sandlin - Indiana State Senator* (nonvoting advisor)
The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute Board of Trustees holds quarterly meetings in March, June, September and December every year. The next Board meeting is scheduled for Friday, December 2, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. (ET) in the Indiana State Government Center South building. Click here to view the agenda. For those unable to attend in person, the meeting will be also available via WebEx or by phone.
Read the ICJI Board of Trustees electronic meeting policy here.