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). As Project Manager, Ms. Keays works closely with leaders of Connecticut’s criminal justice agencies, community members, not-for-profits, advocates and legislators to promote effective public policy through research, consultation, project management and program evaluation.
Since 2008, Ms. Keays has managed the Institute’s Children with Incarcerated Parents Initiative, overseeing several projects related to parental incarceration. This includes supervising the delivery of services to children and families dealing with parental incarceration, as well as the evaluation of these services to determine their effectiveness in alleviating any negative consequences of parental incarceration while enhancing the youths’ and families’ positive attributes. In addition, since 2008 Ms. Keays has provided technical 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 Masters 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 developmentally disabled adults and another for mentally ill adults. She also worked as 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.
In spite of Ms. Keays’s extensive involvement working on behalf of, and with those affected by incarceration, she found herself completely unprepared for dealing with the effects of having a loved one incarcerated when it encroached into her life. The experience will forever impact her work for, and with, those affected by incarceration.