Aileen Keays, M.S., is a Project Manager at the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy (IMRP) at UConn. Since 2007, Ms. Keays has worked closely with leaders of Connecticut’s criminal justice agencies, community members and families, not-for-profits, advocates, and legislators to promote effective public policy and practice through research, consultation, training, project management, and program evaluation.
Since 2008, Ms. Keays has directed the Institute’s Children with Incarcerated Parents (CIP) Initiative. This includes strategic planning; project management, implementation, and oversight; managing the budget; developing strategic partnership; providing training, consultation, and technical assistance to providers and state agencies; producing educational materials for families and providers; creating evaluation measures; supervising the delivery of services to children and families; and the evaluation of services. Since 2022, Ms. Keays has been a member of the Connecticut Fatherhood Council and co-chair of the Connecticut Fatherhood Initiative’s Domain 4 Committee “Men involved in the criminal justice system supported in being responsible fathers”.
Since 2008, Ms. Keays has also provided staffing assistance to the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparity in the Criminal Justice System which, through statutory charge, is “dedicated to eliminating racial and ethnic disparity in the criminal justice system.” Furthermore, during 2011 to 2013, Ms. Keays was a member of the Connecticut Judicial Branch Access to Justice Commission that seeks to support and pursue the Judicial Branch’s goal of providing equal access to justice in Connecticut’s criminal justice system.
Previous to her employment with the IMRP, Ms. Keays worked at the University of New Haven’s Crime Victim Study Center while earning her Master’s degree in Forensic Science with a concentration in Advanced Investigation. Prior to attending graduate school, Ms. Keays worked in the social services field in various capacities, including managing a group home for adults with developmental diagnoses and another for adults with mental health diagnoses. She also worked as a Foster Care Social Worker in Detroit, Michigan as well as Youth Services Officer at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School. Ms. Keays completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice at the University of Connecticut.
Despite Ms. Keays’s extensive involvement working on behalf of and with those affected by incarceration, she found herself completely unprepared for the effects of having a loved one incarcerated when it encroached on her life. The experience will forever impact her work for, and with, those affected by incarceration.
Irvine Peck’s-Agaya, is the Program Administrator for the Children with Incarcerated Parents (CIP) Initiative at the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy (IMRP). She plans, organizes, and coordinates the daily operations of the department.
Ms. Peck’s-Agaya’s commitment to advance equitable, inclusive public policies and restorative justice practices have largely been influenced by her experience with an incarcerated loved one at a young age. She co-founded Transforming, Reinventing, And Prospering (T.R.AP.) House, a business incubator seeking to help former incarcerated individuals establish legal ventures in Hartford, CT as an undergraduate student at Wesleyan University. At T.R.A.P. House, Ms. Peck’s-Agaya utilized social entrepreneurship and teaching as forms of progressive, humane, and research-based solution to recidivism. Her Bachelor’s degree is from Wesleyan University and she has a Master’s in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of Connecticut. While in graduate school, Ms. Peck’s-Agaya served on several committees including Anti-Racism Professional Development Committee and facilitated Race and Equity dialogues within the Office for Diversity and Inclusion.
Ms. Peck’s-Agaya is from Limoges, France, but finds her roots in Gabon and Haiti. Fluent in French and Haitian Creole, she was educated in Boynton Beach, Fl and currently resides in Hartford.
Andrew Clark is the Director of the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy (IMRP) at Central Connecticut State University. Mr. Clark is currently head of the IMRP project team administering competitive grants that aim to provide positive interventions for children of incarcerated parents. In addition, Mr. Clark is Acting Executive Director of the Connecticut Sentencing Commission, which seeks to review current and proposed legislation to promote effective, balanced, and responsible criminal sentencing policies. He is also Project Director for a grant from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration that is being utilized to implement the state’s Alvin W. Penn Racial Profiling Law. This project has been titled the Racial Profiling Prohibition Project. Mr. Clark is also assisting in the implementation of the Results First Initiative in CT.
Prior to coming to CCSU, Mr. Clark worked at the Connecticut General Assembly from 1999-2005. He served as clerk of the Appropriations and Transportation Committees, and deputy clerk of the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee.
Amjad Khan is a Financial Analyst at the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy (IMRP) at Central Connecticut State University. Mr. Khan assists with the financial administration of IMRP grants, contracts and legislative appropriations. Additionally, Mr. Khan oversees data management and entry for the Children with Incarcerated Parents Initiative.
Mr. Khan is originally from Tanzania, East Africa and came to the United States for university. Before graduating from CCSU in 2005, Mr. Khan worked as a Student Worker at CCSU’s Grants Office, which maintains revenue and expenditure records for federal, state and local grants and prepares financial reports and statements for all external grant awards. After completing his Bachelors degree, Mr. Khan went on to work for a Manufacturing Company in Istanbul, Turkey and returned to the United States as a permanent resident in October 2008.
James M. Conway, PhD, is a professor of Psychological Science at Central Connecticut State University. He has been head of the evaluation team for the IMRP’s Children with Incarcerated Parents Initiative since 2008, evaluating a variety of interventions for CIP. His research is also focused on children of incarcerated parents, e.g., on community-level factors affecting children and families.
Dr. Conway has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from SUNY Binghamton and received his PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Connecticut. He has been on the faculty at CCSU since 1998, and prior to that was on the Psychology faculty at Seton Hall University for six years.
Erica Escobar serves as a University Research Specialist, channeling her dedication into two essential endeavors: the Children with Incarcerated Parents (CIP) Initiative and the Connecticut Racial Profiling Prohibition Project (CTRP3). These vital projects are housed within the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy (IMRP). Erica’s educational journey commenced with the attainment of an associate degree in media communications from Capital Community College (CCC). Continuing her pursuit of knowledge, she achieved a bachelor’s degree from Central Connecticut State University (CCSU), majoring in Strategic Communications and minoring in Writing & Publishing.
During her time at CCSU, Erica had the opportunity to explore and develop her aptitude for the art of writing and editing. Her engagement as Co-Editor for the esteemed college literary magazine, Blue Muse, allowed her to truly embrace her passion for literary expression. In addition to this, she had the privilege of contributing her skills to The Helix Magazine, CCSU’s literary journal, as a member of a proficient proofreading team.
As a first-generation Mexican American, Erica’s unwavering commitment to instigating positive transformations is deeply ingrained within her. Her aspirations converge around the noble causes of advocating for human rights and women’s rights, a true reflection of her resolute passion. Erica’s professional journey is a tapestry of diverse experiences, including her role as Supervisor for New Britain’s Park & Rec. afterschool Program. In this capacity, she not only skillfully oversaw program activities but also played a pivotal role in mentoring high school students, imparting invaluable lessons in leadership and program coordination. These manifold experiences have enriched Erica’s outlook, fortifying her determination to make substantial contributions to her chosen fields.