Yamanda Wright is a developmental psychologist specializing in evaluating criminal legal system policies, practices, and outcomes for people across their lifespan. She has led mixed-methods assessments for four legislatures and six state agencies, using data to inform process improvement at the local and state levels, examining such topics as statutory caps on juvenile incarceration and administrative responses to adult violations of probation and parole.
Based in RTI's Waltham, Massachusetts, office, Dr. Wright leads inclusive, community-centered research on criminal legal system reform efforts across the county with a particular interest in how policymakers and other professional stakeholders share decision-making power with communities of color, those in the criminal legal system, and other historically marginalized groups. She has experience in 50-state policy analyses, legislative drafting, program evaluation, evaluability assessments, technical assistance for state and local agencies, and youth justice advocacy. Her technical skills include statistical analysis and coding in R, Stata, and SPSS.
Before joining RTI in 2020, Dr. Wright served as Director of Research at Texas Appleseed, a Senior Data & Policy Specialist at the Crime and Justice Institute, and as a non-profit lobbyist. She is a National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) Youth Justice Fellow. Her notable publications include Reading, writing, arithmetic, and racism? Risks and benefits to teaching children about intergroup biases; and Should stereotype consciousness be taught to children? A discussion informed by Bogan and Slaughter-Defoe’s Through the Eyes of a Child.