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Leo Beletsky, JD, MPH

Faculty Director


Leo Beletsky is Professor of Law and Health Sciences at Northeastern University. He is also on faculty of the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine. 


Leo is an interdisciplinary social epidemiologist who explores the role of law and law enforcement as structural determinants of health. His intervention design and implementation science research focuses on the use of policy interventions to improve population health and equity.


Cullen Bober

Project Lead & Quantitative Analyst 

Carceral Research Index

Cullen is a student at Northeastern University pursuing a B.S. in Health Science with a minor in Law & Public Policy, and hopes to earn a Master of Public Health degree in the future. He currently leads the Carceral Resource Index (CRI) project, analyzing city spending priorities as it relates to the carceral system. He is passionate about public health policy, reproductive justice, and LGBTQ+ health.

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Belinda Bonnen

Lead Organizer

Belinda Bonnen is an activist whose work focuses on racial justice, civic engagement, and alternative transportation. She brings over 15 years of experience in project management, coalition-building, and community organizing through the arts to her work with the Lab.   


Claire Buxton

Project Lead

Involuntary Commitment and Carceral Resource Index

Claire Buxton is a student at Northeastern University pursuing a B.S. in Cell & Molecular Biology and will be matriculating to medical school this fall. Her focus at the Lab has included drug-induced homicide, the carceral resource index, and involuntary commitment for substance use. Her primary interest centers on health disparities in substance use disorders and treatment. In the future, she plans to enter the field of addiction medicine to promote health equity through clinical care, policy research, and advocacy.


Amelia Caramadre

Graduate Legal Researcher

Involuntary Commitment and Drug Induced Homicide

Amelia is a 2021 JD and MPH dual-degree graduate from Northeastern University School of Law and Tufts University School of Medicine. She focuses on the public health impact of the carceral system and alternative sentencing measures to enhance successful criminal defense practice. 

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Morgan Godvin

Research Associate

Morgan Godvin is a drug and justice policy advocate and freelance writer. She is formerly incarcerated for drug-induced homicide and now strives to see a public health approach to substance use implemented nationally. While still an undergraduate student at the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health, she was appointed to the Oregon Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission. Her focus at the Lab is drug-induced homicide, the US-Mexico border, and using justice policy reform as a way to increase civic engagement within marginalized communities.   

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Jeremiah Goulka, JD ​

Senior Fellow and Director of Justice Policy

Jeremiah Goulka is a criminal justice expert whose passion is in translating research into policy and practice. He leads the Lab's SHIELD police training initiative, which connects law enforcement and public health agencies to improve both police and community health and safety during the overdose and coronavirus crises. Previously, he led justice and security research projects for several federal and local agencies at the RAND Corporation, where he was a member of the RAND Center for Quality Policing and a professor of criminal justice policy in the Pardee RAND Graduate School. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, he served as executive director and co-creator (with the U.S. Attorney and a Coast Guard admiral) of a joint local-state-federal task force that facilitated rebuilding the New Orleans region’s criminal justice systems. He began his career clerking for the Hon. W. Eugene Davis on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and as an attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice. Jeremiah has law degrees from the University of Chicago Law School and the University of Edinburgh Law School and is a member of the District of Columbia bar. 


Janelle Hales

Web Designer

Janelle Hales is a multidisciplinary graphic designer who uses visual storytelling to highlight the importance of social justice and equality. As a designer, she works to share the stories of people who are oftentimes left in the margins as a result of ever changing societies. Janelle is hopeful that her design processes will help change the narrative and raise awareness surrounding these issues and bring about social change. 


Cate Henning

Research Associate 

Involuntary Commitment and Drug Induced Homicide

Cate Henning is a second-year student at Northeastern University pursuing a B.S. in Health Science with a minor in Environmental Studies. She works with the lab on researching national data on drug-induced homicide cases to contribute to better understanding of these charges and their impact. Outside of the lab, Cate is involved with community organizing aiming to address issues at the intersection of public health and the climate crisis.

Sunyou Kang

Research Administrator

Sunyou Kang is a student at the University of Southern California pursuing a B.S. in Health Promotion & Disease Prevention. Her past and present research experiences center around identifying and rectifying the missteps and misinformation surrounding substance use disorders with the intention of guiding efficient and effective policy change on every level.
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Jaime Arredondo Sánchez Lira, PhD, MS

Training & Policy Fellow

Jaime Arredondo Sánchez Lira completed his PhD in Global Public Health at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and San Diego State University (SDSU). He studied political science and economics at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de Mexico (ITAM). He worked four years as Chief of Staff for the Ministry of Public Security in the State Government of Quintana Roo, where he gained extensive experience in coordinating federal programs and establishing partnerships with universities. His research focuses on adapting and implementing interventions based on empirical evidence, in order to modify the effects of police practices and the judicial system as risk factors in the spread of diseases (HIV, HCV), particularly among injecting drug users in the border region Mexico - USA. Currently, he is a professor of Drug Policy at CIDE in Mexico. His research seeks to transform the public debate by viewing drug use as a public health issue rather than a public safety issue.

David Lucas, MSW 

Clinical Advisor

David Lucas is a therapist and social work educator committed to reducing the harms of the criminal legal and substance use treatment systems. David specializes in the areas of addiction counseling, drug policy, and problem-solving justice. As a Clinical Advisor at the Center for Court Innovation, he consults nationally with judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement on overdose prevention, health equity, and person-centered care. Previously, David was an addiction therapist and drug court clinical lead at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), providing support for formerly-incarcerated and unstably-housed patients. During those years, he also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto, course director at York University’s School of Social Work, and presented internationally on drug policy and best practices for addiction care in legal settings. Before relocating to New York in 2018, he spent his last years in Toronto moonlighting at the Moss Park Overdose Prevention Site. 


Allison McBride, MPH

Director of Strategic Operations


Allison McBride is a community-informed activist and researcher. She holds an MPH from Boston University School of Public Health. Allison strategizes project operations within the Lab through forecasting timelines, maintaining sprint adherence, and implementing consistent quality assurance. Prior to joining the Lab, Allison acted as a harm reduction specialist and a community organizer within the Greater Boston Area. While in Louisiana, she coordinated efforts to examine the effects of natural disaster-related trauma on memory and well-being among individuals directly impacted. Her interests center on implementation science, process improvement, and informing locally-based solutions for the underserved and marginalized.


Katie McCreedy

Research Lead & Contributing Writer

Harm Reduction and Involuntary Commitment 

Katie McCreedy is pursuing an accelerated B.S. in Health Science & Master’s in Public Health at Northeastern University and is applying to medical school. At the Lab, she led Changing the Narrative quantitative media analysis projects and conducts literature reviews. She specializes in translating research into engaging advocacy tools. She is clinically experienced as a patient care technician, medical assistant, and health science journalist. She serves on the leadership council for Northeastern’s Peer Health Exchange and was a youth education researcher for the MDPH. Her interests include harm reduction policies and reducing the stigma surrounding the overdose crisis.


Sebastian Mendez

Project Lead 

Carceral Resource Index

Sebastian Mendez is a medical student at Stony Brook University, where he presently sits on the executive board of his school’s Addiction Advocacy Group. Within our lab, he is currently co-supervising the Carceral Resource Index (CRI) Project. Having also founded Suffolk County’s first student-led advocacy chapter in support of Medicare for All, his record of research reflects a dedication for supporting vulnerable and under-represented communities. 


Louis Miyara

Graduate Legal Researcher

Involuntary Commitment and Drug Induced Homicide

Louis Miyara is a law student and advocate with a focus in criminal justice and drug policy reform. Since joining the lab in 2018, Louis has worked on legal research surrounding drug-induced homicide charges and prescription drug monitoring programs, as well as some of the early research that helped develop our Carceral Resource Index (CRI). He is currently working on data research and aggregation concerning involuntary commitment for substance use disorders. His interests include criminal defense, civil litigation, drug policy, and chess.

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Jess Silverman

Social Media Manager

Jess Silverman is a second-year student at Northeastern University pursuing a B.A. in political science with a minor in journalism. She runs the @healthinjustice Instagram account and is looking forward to making research and policy more accessible.

Sarah Seymour 

Director of Employee Culture & Experience
Sarah Seymour is a public health and policy researcher. She draws on her background as a community activist and artist to develop innovative research and outreach strategies. Sarah’s focus at the lab is to create an active and engaging learning environment for student researchers while also leveraging institutional resources to support and empower communities.
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Zachary Siegel, MS

Health in Justice Journalism Fellow


Zachary Siegel is a freelance journalist and writer based in Chicago. His writing focuses on the intersection of public health and criminal justice in the context of drugs. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Slate, WIRED, New York Magazine, The Daily Beast, VICE, and other outlets. He is also the 2018 Guggenheim Justice Reporting Fellow at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York and co-host of Narcotica, a new podcast about drugs, informed by science, policy, and the lives of real drug users that navigates complicated debates. 

Rafik Nader Wahbi, MPH

Graduate Research Associate

Drug Induced Homicide

Rafik Nader Wahbi is a first-year PhD student at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. He is interested in the ways the carceral system and drug policy are used to create and recreate racial hierarchies. Currently, Rafik works on projects related to Drug Induced Homicides and Civil Commitment.


Sarah Yates

Project Lead 

Drug Induced Homicide

Sarah is a graduating senior at Northeastern University, with a degree in Health Sciences and International Affairs, and a minor in History. She has experience working with nonprofits in the health care sector, labor organizing, and drug policy research. She has been with the Health in Justice Action Lab since 2017, where she began as an intern.



Kim Aquino, MHS 

Candidate for Juris Doctorate at

Brooklyn Law School , 2021

Maggie Callahan 

Candidate for Juris Doctorate at

University of North Carolina , 2023

Jaaz Catterall

Candidate for Juris Doctorate at

University of North Carolina , 2022

Mackenzie Darling

Candidate for Juris Doctor, 2022

Hannah Marion

Candidate for Juris Doctor and

Master of Social Work at

University of North Carolina, 2023

 Wynter Wolff

Candidate for Juris Doctorate at University of North Carolina, 2023



Tori Cowger

Candidate for PhD in Social Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health, 2021

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