University News

Dr. Quintana Honored by BPI for Juvenile Justice Reform 05.07.15
Dr. Quintana Honored by BPI for Juvenile Justice Reform

Elena Quintana, Ph.D., Executive Director of Adler University’s Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice, has been named a 2015 Champion of the Public Interest by Business and Professional People for the Public Interest (BPI), a Chicago-based public interest law and policy center addressing issues of social justice and quality of life.

BPI presented Quintana with the award on May 7, at a ceremony at which it also honored chancellor of City Colleges of Chicago, Cheryl Hyman, author and producer Alex Kotlowitz, and president of The Anti-Recidivism Coalition, Scott Budnick. Each were recognized for significant contributions to juvenile justice reform.

Quintana focuses on research and programs that reclaim human potential and promote socially just solutions to public safety concerns. She was recently appointed by Gov. Bruce Rauner to serve on the newly created Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform, which will identify ways to reduce the rate of imprisonment in Illinois.

Grace Hou, president of the Woods Fund of Chicago and an Adler University trustee, presented Quintana with her award, saying, “Every day she stands at the fault lines of violence and trauma, with her exceptional professionalism, inspired leadership, deepest empathy for people who suffer, and, most importantly, her unwavering commitment to making their lives better.”

In her address, Quintana delivered a call to action: “The truth of the matter is that we need to start re-investing in our communities to be able to care for the needs of youth that are traumatized, and that need assistance, meaningful support and intervention to be able to build successful mainstream lives.

“Currently in the US more than 2,500 people, who were sentenced for crimes they committed as young as 11 years of age, will die in prison. Because we are the only country that allows that children be sentenced to life without parole.

“We need to remind ourselves that the policies that result in these outcomes are made and enforced by the public. And we are the ones who can and should change them.”

About Adler University

Adler University educates students to engage the world and create a more just society. Established in 1952, it enrolls more than 1,400 students in master’s and doctoral programs for social change through its campuses in downtown Chicago and Vancouver, as well as an Online Campus. Adler University’s mission is to continue the pioneering work of Alfred Adler, the first community psychologist, by graduating socially responsible practitioners, engaging communities and advancing social justice.