Senior Project Manager for the Children with Incarcerated Parents Initiative
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.