Erika Nowakowski, has a Master’s degree from the University of CT School of Social Work with a focus on Policy and Planning. She is currently the Director of Juvenile Justice Initiatives with the Tow Youth Justice Institute (TYJI) at the University of New Haven. In her current role is working with the CT Juvenile Justice Policy Oversight Committee in fostering and sustaining youth justice reform efforts. Prior to arriving at TYJI she worked for 8 ½ years for the State of CT Judicial Branch Court Support Services Division as a project manager for several statewide initiatives, Quality Assurance, implementation and ongoing adherence to Gender Responsive Services, contract compliance, and training coordination. She also worked for 4 years with the Council on Accreditation in New York City and provided Technical Assistance to private nonprofit and state agencies seeking accreditation. She also worked with Wheeler Clinic for 3 years in various roles from case manager with the Emergency Mobile Psychiatric services, managing and coordinating system of care community efforts, and developing and implementing foster care best practices for recruitment of foster parents.