Staff

Naomi Smoot Evans, J.D.
Executive Director
evans@juvjustice.org

Naomi oversees member relations and development, fundraising and grant management, and CJJ's initiatives in government relations, leadership development, juvenile justice reform, communications, and training and technical assistance. During her tenure at CJJ Naomi has spearheaded the organization's federal policy work and served as co-chair of the Act4JJ Coalition. She has assisted State Advisory Groups in their pursuit to build their capacity as change agents, and worked with youth members in an attempt to improve relationships between law enforcement and the communities in which they work. Prior to CJJ, Naomi represented young people in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the District of Columbia in juvenile court proceedings and special education matters. Before attending law school Naomi worked as a print journalist for nearly a decade, amassing nearly a dozen awards for her news coverage. She received her J.D. from the University of the District of Columbia, David A. Clarke School of Law, and her B.S. from Christopher Newport University. 

Lisa Pilnik
Senior Advisor

Lisa is a consultant to CJJ, helping lead reform efforts around homeless youth involved in the juvenile justice system, status offenses, and other juvenile justice issues. She has authored dozens of publications on child and family issues, and was one of the lead drafters of CJJ's “National Standards for the Care of Youth Charged with Status Offenses.” She is also the co-founder of Child & Family Policy Associates, a small consulting firm focused on juvenile justice, child and adolescent health, and child welfare issues. Previously she worked for the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law and Arent Fox LLP. Lisa received her J.D. and M.S. from the University of Pennsylvania and her B.A. from George Washington University.

Ridha Kapoor
Policy and Field Relations Associate
kapoor@juvjustice.org

Ridha has spent four years working with youth inside a juvenile correctional facility in Southern California, where she aided in completing middle and high school coursework, as well as led workshops in creative writing, music, and more. Ridha’s areas of expertise focus on dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline through race and ethnic studies, public policy, education work, and community organizing. Ridha’s participation in grassroots and community organizing efforts led her to tackle many issues and their intersections, with racial justice and youth being the root focus. Ridha currently serves as the Coalition for Juvenile Justice’s Policy and Field Relations Associate. With Ridha’s work having taken place throughout San Bernardino County, working with CJJ allows her to gain different perspectives and link juvenile justice work to federal policy in D.C. itself. Ridha hopes to use this work to reform and create spaces where marginalized youth not only feel safe, but empowered.

Kristen Powell
Training & Youth Partnership Associate
powell@juvjustice.org 

Kristen served as the Prosperity Coach at the Center for Combating Human Trafficking (CCHT) from May 2016 to September 2020. While at CCHT, Kristen worked to create survivor informed, survivor led services and was integral in developing programming that focused on holistic healing for victims and survivors of human trafficking. Kristen Currently serves as the Coalition for Juvenile Justice’s (CJJ’s) Training and Youth Partnership Assistant. Kristen is a Full-time student at Wichita State University and is working to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Kristen plans on focusing her career walking alongside and advocating for young people who have been incarcerated, experienced various forms of trauma, and or have entered different systems of care.  Kristen’s passion comes from personal life experience as well as her love and heart for people who have diverse backgrounds. Kristen served as a member of the Emerging Leaders Committee (ELC) with the Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ) in the 2020 term. She also currently serves on the Crossover Youth Practice Model (CYPM) State Policy Team for the state of Kansas. This team focuses on policy change for Cross-over youth who have been served by multiple systems such as the Juvenile Justice system and the Foster care (CINC). Kristen is appointed to serve on the Kansas Advisory Group (KAG) on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP), with the KAG she take’s part in advising on, and advocating for, juvenile justice matters for the state of Kansas. Kristen serves as the Youth Chair for the KAG and is working to develop a Youth Committee that will include youth who are incarcerated or have lived experiences and also with youth who simply have a passion for juvenile justice reform in the state of Kansas.

Jasmine (Jazz) Murray
Communications and Administrative Assistant
murray@juvjustice.org

Jasmine (Jazz) Murray hails from the Bronx, New York but currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts. Coming from a background in non-profit work, Jazz enjoys creating positive impacts in under-resourced communities. In her previous work, she supported youth development through physical education. Her interests lie in digital media and the arts. She is excited to be a part of the CJJ team!