Sarah Picard
MDRC Center for Criminal Justice Research

Sarah Picard joined MDRC in September 2021 as the Director of the Center for Criminal Justice Research. Her work focuses on policy-level reform in the adult criminal justice context and how research evidence can best be translated into practice. Picard brings more than fifteen years of applied research experience in justice system research and reform and is currently playing a leadership role on MDRC’s Pretrial Justice Collaborative and acting as a senior advisor on the Los Angeles County Reentry Integrated Services Project. Before joining MDRC, Picard was the Director of Research-Practice Strategies at the Center for Court Innovation. She has extensive experience studying the use of actuarial risk assessment tools in court settings and has recently completed a study modeling the potential impact of risk assessment on pretrial racial disparities in New York City. Other past research includes mixed-methods evaluations of problem-solving initiatives ranging from pretrial reform initiatives to community-based gun violence prevention and problem-solving courts. She received her Ph.D. in criminal justice from the Graduate Center at the City University of New York.