Joanna is the co-founder and co-director of the Fines and Fees Justice Center, a national center for advocacy, information and collaboration to end the unjust and harmful imposition and enforcement of fines and fees. Prior to her work at FFJC, Joanna was the Director of Criminal Justice at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, where she created and managed the Foundation’s fines and fees portfolio, garnering millions of dollars of support for research, litigation and technical assistance projects to address the negative impacts of fines and fees in the justice system. She helped develop projects to measure the scope and impacts of both adult and juvenile fines and fees across the country, to assess the fiscal impacts of fines and fees collection practices, and to study the use of alternatives to fines and fees. Joanna also worked with litigators to create a community of practice where litigation strategies, successes and failures could be shared, and broader strategies developed. She served on the National Task Force on Fines and Fees and serves on the ABA’s working group to address fines and fees. She has spoken extensively at meetings and conferences to educate policymakers, advocates and communities on the problem and potential solutions to fines and fees.
Prior to her work at the Foundation, Joanna had a varied career in New York City government, where she held legal, operational and policy positions. Joanna worked in the Office of the Criminal Justice Coordinator in the Mayor’s Office improving efficiency, transparency and fairness in administrative courts. She helped develop and implement a code of ethical conduct for the city’s administrative judges to ensure fairness in the courts and to implement protections and improved access to justice for self-represented litigants. Joanna began her career in the New York City Law Department and served as a senior counsel representing the city in 9/11-related litigation and policy decisions.
Joanna holds a J.D. from the George Washington University Law School, an M.A. from the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs, and a B.A. in political science from Bryn Mawr College.