Lionel Smith, PhD

Research Associate II, Vera Institute of Justice

Baltimore, MD, USA
Cohort: Campaign for Black Male Achievement, Greensboro, 2019
Connect on Twitter: @LionelRSmith

Dr. Lionel Smith is a Research Associate II within the Center on Sentencing and Corrections at the Vera Institute of Justice. Lionel has over ten years of experience working in the nonprofit sector. He received his Ph.D. in Criminology from the University of Delaware. In addition, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Services Administration from Cleveland State University and a Master of Arts in Social Sciences (concentration in Demographic & Social Analysis) from the University of California, Irvine. At Vera, Lionel’s work focuses on advancing criminal justice reform by conducting phenomenological research on the lived experiences of criminal justice system stakeholders. Lionel has led research efforts toward developing strategies for reducing the use of solitary confinement in correctional facilities, expanding access to public housing and educational opportunities for formerly incarcerated people and assisting government agencies with reforming their organizational policies and practices. Also, in a service capacity, he served on the committee that supervised the development of the organization’s internal strategy for advancing racial equity and inclusion. Lionel is passionate about utilizing qualitative research to facilitate justice reform as well as the organizational behavior and culture of nonprofits, particularly related to conflict and dispute resolution.