||Our team brings a wide range of professional experience
to our clients:
Together, the principal consultants Katie Kramer and Barry Zack have over 35 years of experience serving and working with individuals, families and community agencies, who have been affected by incarceration. We bring reality-based experience to our work to provide thoughtful answers to difficult questions.
In addition to the principal consultants, The Bridging Group works with a team of affiliated consultants who represent some of the country's leading experts in correctional management, corrections-based research, program development and training and overall, thinkers and practitioners in the field.
"Barry Zack and Katie Kramer's work in the research and application of best practice models for 'continuity of care between correctional settings and the community' has outlined a framework of essential services that supports incarcerated individuals prepare for re-entry into the community and that sets a standard for the nation! I applaud them for continuing this important work with The Bridging Group, LLC."
|John Miles, MPA (ret.)
Special Assistant for Corrections and Substance Abuse Activities,
National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention,
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Katie Kramer, MSW/MPH
CEO, Corrections, Communities and Families
Katie Kramer has been designing and providing social services since 1990. For the past 15 years, she has focused on the development, implementation, and evaluation of social services and health programs that serve individuals, families and communities affected by incarceration. She is an experienced agency manager with comprehensive knowledge in program oversight, agency policy development, grant writing, and staff supervision. She has experience as a clinical social worker providing direct service for clients and clinical supervision for direct-line staff.
Ms. Kramer currently serves as an international consultant and CEO for Communities, Families and Corrections for The Bridging Group. She provides training, evaluation and research, technical assistance and capacity building for community organizations, government agencies and grant makers working in correctional settings. Previously, Ms. Kramer served as the Associate Director for Centerforce, a community organization providing support, education and advocacy for those impacted by incarceration. In this capacity, Ms. Kramer was responsible for the coordination of all Centerforce program divisions including children and family services, prison services, and transitional services.
Prior to her work with incarcerated individuals and their families, Ms. Kramer provided services for children and their families at various community organizations in Chicago, IL and Oakland, CA including child welfare case management, adolescent substance abuse prevention, and group work with youth and parents in the community as well as in adult and juvenile correctional facilities.
Ms. Kramer currently serves as an appointed member on the Subcommittee on Families, Victims and Communities for the San Francisco County Re-entry Council, Co-Chair of the Evaluation and Data Committee for the San Francisco Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership, Criminal Justice Expert for the National Working Group and Planning Committee for the U.S. Women and Girls Gender Forum for the Office on Women’s Health, US Dept of Health and Human Services, and Program Committee Chairperson for the Board of Trustees for Broadway Children's School in Oakland, CA. She has also served as a member of the Community Advisory Board for the University of California, San Francisco - Center for AIDS Prevention Studies and the Chairperson for the Board of Directors for Peace Creations ARK, an organization providing mentoring and support for children of incarcerated parents.
Barry Zack, MPH
CEO, Corrections and Health
Barry Zack is a national (U.S.) expert and international consultant in the field of correctional and community health. He has been conducting research and directing behavioral interventions with a focus on infectious diseases (HIV/STDs/TB and hepatitis), substance use and mental illness in prison and jail settings. With over 25 years’ experience identifying critical gaps in the field of correctional health; he has, most importantly, developed evidence-based and collaborative responses to meet these needs. Since 1986, Mr. Zack has engaged at every level of public health programming and research in the prison and jail setting, including his work as a Jail Outreach Worker, a Health Educator, and a Director of Correctional Health Programs. Mr. Zack served as the Executive & Research Director of Centerforce, in San Quentin, California through July, 2007. He has also served as the Principal Investigator of multiple national research studies.
Mr. Zack is an innovative researcher with extensive experience in the development, implementation and evaluation of complex collaborative correctional, academic and community research projects. He has been an executive manager with comprehensive experience in program planning, agency management and fund development of over 18 million dollars in the past 5 years. Mr. Zack is a demonstrated leader with strengths in the cross-cultural dynamics between corrections, public health, academia and non-governmental/community-based organizations. He is an insightful grant reviewer with critical thinking and strategic planning experience. Mr. Zack is also an experienced educator and presenter of multiple topics concerning community health and corrections.
Previously, Mr. Zack served as an external consultant for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's "Prevention and Control of Infections with Hepatitis Viruses in Correctional Settings" as well as the Surgeon General's "Call to Action on Corrections and Community Health." He also served as a committee member of the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, "Ethical Considerations for Revisions to the DHHS Regulations for Protection of Prisoners Involved in Research."
Currently, Mr. Zack is an international consultant and CEO for Health
Corrections for The Bridging Group, LLC. He has worked with many governments, non-governmental organizations and research/academic institutions throughout the United States and globally with projects in Australia, England, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Taiwan, Thailand, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. Mr. Zack is also currently an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California, San Francisco, in the Department of Community Health Systems and serves on the Editorial Boards of Infectious Diseases in Corrections Report and the Journal of Correctional Health Care.
Program Manager-Keeping it Safe
Each One, Reach One, South San Francisco, CA
Harold Atkins currently acts as the Program Manager of "Keeping It Safe" (KIS)
a prevention program for youth focusing on healthy and respectful personal
relationships. He previously served as a youth program coordinator for the AIDS Resources Information and Services (ARIS) of Santa Clara County, as a case manager for Homeless youth at the Emergency Housing Consortium, as the health education coordinator at the AIDS Community Research Consortium (ACRC) in San Mateo County, and as the Director of the Community Health Outreach Program at Free At Last, a substance abuse treatment program in East Palo Alto CA. Harold has a strong history of working collaboratively with a variety of organizations including; The City of San Jose’s Gang intervention Program (STAND), Clean Slate Tattoo removal program, De Anza College Human Sexuality Department, L.I.F.E. Youth Mentoring Program, as well as the Bill Wilson Drop-in Center in San Jose CA. A former client of the Centerforce HIV Peer Education Program while incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison, Harold has now been on the Board of Directors of Centerforce for the past 10 years where he served as the board presedent from 2004 - 2006. With all that Harold has contributed to the community, his pride and joy is being a head coach for youth football, and most of all, he's the proud father of 4 wonderful sons.
Founder and Chief Operations Officer, Communities-N-Concert, LLC Oakland, CA
Mick Gardner has worked for 22 years in the fields of corrections, substance abuse, and public health. He has developed and facilitated multiple individual and community-level interventions including prevention case management, violence prevention, incarcerated/community forums, and family reunification programs. Mr. Gardner has implemented multi-million dollar projects that require working in collaboration with federal entities including: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health Resources Services Administration, Department of Justice and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. In addition, Mr. Gardner has partnered on several projects with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the City of Oakland. Since 2003, Mr. Gardner has served as an independent consultant providing technical assistance, grant writing, and organizational development. He currently serves as the Chief Operations Officer for Communities-N-Concert. Prior to his work with Communities-N-Concert, Mr. Gardner served as the Re-entry Services Manager for the City of Oakland, California, supervising a nationally recognized project he helped implement in 2002. Mr. Gardner has served as a member of several prisoner and community advisory groups and is the former Board Secretary for Re-Entry Solutions, a prisoner re-entry organization. Mr. Gardner is also one of the founders of No More Tears, an ongoing forum of concerned incarcerated individuals at San Quentin State Prison and community leaders, focused on exploring the roots of violence and crime and developing ongoing solutions for local Bay Area communities.
Olga Grinstead Reznick, Ph.D., MPH
Emeritus Professor of Medicine, Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS), University of California, San Francisco, CA
Olga Grinstead Reznick conducted a series of studies from 1990-2008 to develop, implement and evaluate behavioral HIV, STI and hepatitis prevention programs for incarcerated men and their female partners. She was the recipient of multiple federal research awards and conducted this program of research in collaboration with various community-based agencies including Centerforce, Inc., the Center for Health Justice and the Forensic AIDS Project. From 2000-2008, Dr. Grinstead Reznick directed CAPS' Technology and Information Exchange (TIE) Core which is responsible for 1) disseminating CAPS' scientific findings to other researchers, community service providers, policy makers, funders and the general public; 2) providing technical assistance services for program development and evaluation to researchers and community service providers; and 3) promoting community collaborative research and conducting research on the process and best practices of community collaborative research in HIV prevention. From 2006-2008, Dr. Grinstead Reznick directed the Collaborative HIV Prevention Research in Minority Communities Program, a NIH-funded training program with the goals of: 1) increasing the number of minority scientists receiving federal funding; and 2) increasing the amount of HIV prevention research being conducted in communities of color. Her duties included supervising program staff and faculty, curriculum development and teaching the summer in-residence program, and mentoring individual participants. As Emeritus Professor Dr. Grinstead Reznick serves as a mentor and consultant to CAPS, working with the Collaborative HIV Prevention Research in Minority Communities Program and on several ongoing research projects involving the development of HIV prevention interventions for incarcerated individuals and their families.
Administrative Services Coordinator,
Kaiser Permanente, Walnut Creek, CA
Yolanda Najera has worked in the public health sector since 1995 providing a wide range of services including community health outreach, psychosocial case management, corrections-based peer health education, and currently as an Administrative Services Coordinator for Kaiser Permanente in Walnut Creek, CA. From 2000-2008, Ms. Najera provided both direct service and program management for multiple educational and social service programs at San Quentin State Prison and the California Medical Facility as the Prisoner Services Program Manager for Centerforce. Ms. Najera translated all of the Centerforce peer education materials into Spanish and was the first to provide a peer education training to the mono-lingual Spanish speaking community at San Quentin State Prison. Ms. Najera is also a Master Trainer for the Reach One Teach One Prison Peer Health Education Training Program and has conducted trainings throughout the country in both English and Spanish for many Departments of Corrections, Departments of Health, and community services organizations. Ms. Najera is currently a Board Member for the Latino Advisory Board-State Office of AIDS and for the National Hepatitis in Prisons Advisory Board.
Bruce G. Trigg, MD
Medical Director, Public Health Program, Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center; Medical Director, Sexually Transmitted Disease Program (STD), Regions 1 and 3, New Mexico Department of Health; Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Associate Professor of Nursing, College of Nursing, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center
Dr. Trigg is a board certified pediatrician who has worked for 20 years at the New Mexico Department of Health in Albuquerque. Dr. Trigg has been an advocate, locally and nationally, for increased collaboration between public health and correctional health systems. He is particularly interested in innovative harm reduction techniques and in 2004 he started a public health program, including a publicly funded methadone maintenance program, at the Bernalillo County Jail. In addition, Dr. Trigg has been a policy advocate and a provider in the New Mexico state funded and administered harm reduction program that exchanges more than 2 million syringes each year, teaches overdose prevention, and provides naloxone to opiate users. Dr. Trigg also wrote a chapter on "Opioid Replacement Therapy and Other Harm Reduction Interventions in Jails and Prisons" in Clinical Practice in Correctional Medicine, [2nd Edition, Puisis M (ed.), C.V. Mosby, Philadelphia, PA, 2006]. Since November 2008, he has been director of a low-threshold buprenorphine induction program at the Department of Health that actively recruits persons released from jail and prison. Dr. Trigg also represents the Department of Health on the recently convened NM Corrections Reentry Council Executive Committee. Prior to his working with the NM Department of Health, Dr. Trigg served three years in US Public Health Service, Indian Health Service in Native American communities in New Mexico and Arizona. In 2000-2001 he taught public health and clinical medicine at the Kasturba Medical College in Karnataka, Manipal, India as a Fulbright Senior Scholar. As well, he previously served as a board member of the National Coalition of STD Directors.
Student, School of Social Work, California State University, Sacramento
Angela Vela-Broaddus has worked with at-risk adolescents, both in the foster care system and youth of incarcerated parents for the past 12 years. She began her work with youth of incarcerated parents in 1998 as a group leader for the L.I.F.E. (Leaders in Future Environments) Project. There, she shared her personal experiences with participants about growing up as the child of an incarcerated father and she facilitated small group discussions. From 2003 to 2006, Ms. Vela-Broaddus served as the youngest member of the Centerforce Board of Directors, where she acted as a voice for children impacted by parental incarceration. During this time Ms. Vela-Broaddus also spoke across the State of California at various community meetings, conferences, and public hearings to advocate for the rights of children of incarcerated parents. In 2003, she helped to create the Bill of Rights for Children of Incarcerated Parents through the San Francisco Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership. In 2007 Ms. Vela-Broaddus was the recipient of the Theresa Azochar Family Award at the Centerforce 7th Annual Inside Outside Summit in honor of her ongoing dedication and honorable work as a family member of an incarcerated father. Ms. Vela-Broaddus currently works with foster youth through the Sacramento City Unified School District’s Foster Youth Services Department. In this capacity, she works with high school seniors involved in the foster youth system to help strengthen their independent living skills, college readiness, and overall preparation for emancipation from the foster youth system. Ms. Vela-Broaddus is also currently working toward her Master’s degree in Social Work at California State University, Sacramento.
Jeanne S. Woodford
Retired Chief of Adult Probation, City and County of San Francisco, Former Undersecretary and Director of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Former Warden of San Quentin State Prison
Jeanne Woodford retired as the Chief of the San Francisco Adult Probation Department on May 30, 2008 completing 30 years of work at the state and county level of government in the field of criminal justice. Ms. Woodford has extensive experience in Corrections and Rehabilitation. She began her career at San Quentin State Prison in 1978 following graduation from Sonoma State University with a Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice. Ms. Woodford promoted through the ranks and was appointed Warden of San Quentin State Prison by Governor Davis in 1999. She remained Warden of San Quentin until called upon by Governor Schwarzenegger in 2004 to serve as the Director of the California Department of Corrections. Her mission was to bring reform and rehabilitation to the California Department of Corrections. She was appointed to the position of Undersecretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the largest correctional system in the United States, in July of 2005. Ms. Woodford is considered a national expert on Prison Management and Administration. She is also recognized for her leadership skills and ability to lead staff toward a shared vision. She brought mission-based management and data-driven decision making to the California Department of Corrections. She is an expert in community corrections having implemented new and innovative programs to improve community outcomes and public safety. Ms. Woodford has been featured in many newspapers and magazines including the New York Times Magazine in an article titled, The Good Jailer, published in March of 2004.