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Venita Embry

Violence and Criminal Justice Researcher


PhD, Health Behavior, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
MPH, Behavior Science and Health Education, Emory University
BA, Psychology, Northwestern University


Venita Embry is a Violence and Criminal Justice Researcher at RTI International within the Center for Courts and Correction. Dr. Embry’s research expertise spans public health and criminal justice areas to include violence prevention and intervention strategies, child maltreatment, behavioral health services, pretrial decision-making, collateral consequences of justice involvement, and court system and programs. She employs both quantitative and qualitative methods in her research and is a highly skilled qualitative interviewer. She currently directs multiple projects that provide technical assistance to public defense counsel and evaluates prosecutor-led diversion programming. In addition, Dr. Embry serves as qualitative interviewer, site liaison, and implementation evaluation lead for a variety of projects evaluating court system and community reentry programs. She also has expertise managing large datasets, as well as conducting structural equation modeling and research with marginalized populations and criminal justice stakeholders.

Dr. Embry has disseminated her findings in a variety of settings through numerous technical reports, peer-reviewed articles, and national conferences. Since joining RTI in 2012, Dr. Embry has worked on several projects for the National Institute of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration as well as a variety of local government agencies and foundations.

As a doctoral student, Dr. Embry was an Injury and Violence Prevention Fellow at the University of North Carolina’s Injury Prevention Research Center (2018-2021). She is currently Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Health Behavior at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

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