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Staff Members


Executive Director

Joe Welsh is a Founder and Executive Director of the Lehigh Valley Justice Institute.  He has spent the last 15 years as a civil rights attorney litigating police misconduct and prison condition cases, most recently for Lauer Law Offices in Easton.  One case involved ending the rampant sexual abuse of female inmates at Lackawanna County Jail.  For the past six years, Mr. Welsh has served on the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania ACLU.  In 2012, he received the prestigious ACLU-PA Torchbearer Award for his work fighting voter suppression efforts.  

Mr. Welsh has spent decades managing political and social justice campaigns in several states. He has also served as a consultant to state and local governments. In July, 2019, he served as an international election observer for the Ukraine Parliamentary elections. In addition to ACLU, Joe’s work has earned him awards from the U.S. Department of Justice and the local media. He looks forward to leading the Institute as we work to craft real solutions for our dysfunctional
criminal justice system.

Joe holds a B.A. in Government, Summa cum Laude, from Lehigh University and a
Juris Doctor from the Northwestern University School of Law.




Administrative Coordinator

Ms. Levy is a graduate of Anthropology from Hunter College in New York City. She has worked extensively in the behavioral and mental health fields, as well as working towards changing the disparity in disadvantaged communities. She is an avid researcher and committed to garnering information that promotes structural change in the criminal justice system. She is passionate about working in a field that contributes to equity and justice for historically disenfranchised communities.



Data Scientist

Ms. Wrigley received her Bachelors of Science in mathematics with Honors from Muhlenberg College in 2018 and her Masters of Science in statistics from Lehigh University in 2021. She is enthusiastic in making lasting, positive change by applying her analytical prowess to assist marginalized communities in the Lehigh Valley, which she has always called home. 



Economic Data Consultant

Ms. Bookwala is working towards her PhD in Economics at the University of California Irvine. She is assisting LVJI on a part time basis focusing on the economic costs of incarceration in the Lehigh Valley and its impact on the community.

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