Jillian Stein is passionate about building evidence to advance equity, empower people, and improve public well-being. Since joining Mathematica in 2006, Stein has worked on projects in various areas, including workforce development, juvenile and criminal justice, early childhood, and education. The majority of her work focuses on evaluating programs and policies that affect people who have been involved in the juvenile and criminal justice systems.
From an early age, Stein recognized how systemic inequality unfairly shaped the lives of people and communities. Her desire to disrupt systemic inequity through policy led her to pursue a master's degree in social work. During her time at Mathematica, Stein returned to school and completed a Ph.D. from Rutgers University. Her doctoral research focused on how the quality of employment relates to the avoidance of repeat contact with the justice system.
Currently, she is the deputy project director for a study assessing the implementation and impacts of the Pathway Home grants, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. The Pathway Home program provides linked, employment-focused reentry services to people returning to the community after incarceration. This project builds on a prior evaluation of the Linking to Employment Activities Pre-Release Program (LEAP). One of Stein's favorite aspects of the Pathway Home project is the participation of an advisory group of people with lived experience in the justice system, whose deep insights are helping shape the study's design and execution.