Taylor Reed

Taylor Reed was born in New York but raised in Dallas, Texas which gave her mixed perspective as to both the social and political aspect of how one’s race impacted their life experiences. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Global Public Health and Sociology with a minor in Chemistry from New York University. As a Black first-generation American woman, Taylor learned the many ways in which systems operate against the success of not only women, but specifically Black women. Prior to attending UCLA, she worked on projects that examined violence throughout major cities in the United States and the impact of incarceration and community violence on Black people. Taylor also serves as a graduate assistant at UCLA’s BRITE Center conducting research and preparing manuscripts for publication centered around the life hardships that result from the policing of Black men as well as the psychological consequences for Black men. 

Taylor is currently a first-year PhD student in Social Welfare at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. She is interested in designing studies from a life-course perspective to analyze the effect of life transitions, age, and social interactions on the life trajectory of minority people. This includes studying minority youth in urban neighborhoods and how exposure to violence (both frequency and type) affect their incarceration rates. Taylor hopes that her work will allow for policy makers and stakeholders to comprehensively understand what occurs in these neighborhoods and identify vulnerable areas that can serve as intervention points to help protect these at-risk youth. Additionally, she would like to determine how to design and scale up effective programs to the challenges of re-entry to equip those in communities of color the necessary tools to avoid recidivism. 

D. Michael Applegarth

Michael Applegarth is a third-year PhD student. He graduated with his bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) from Brigham Young University-Idaho and with his master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) from Brigham Young University. Michael’s primary area of interest within the correctional system involves the reentry process and the various challenges that accompany this process. Some of the specific factors of interest include examining how young adults with mental illness and substance use challenges navigate reintegrating into society; as well as, how individuals’ social networks, programing and treatment during incarceration, and system-level factors mitigate successful outcomes during the reentry process. Furthermore, he is interested in how correctional environments and conditions create barriers for individuals to engage in desistance.

Michael’s primary skill set includes quantitative data analysis, but he has also had some experience in qualitative interviewing. Michael worked as a research assistant with Professor Abrams from 2018-2020 on projects addressing MSW students’ responses to racial issues, interviewing individuals who were sentences to life without parole as juveniles, analyzing youths’ detention assessments, and evaluating reentry services of young adults exiting Los Angeles County Jail. Michael is currently serving in an assistantship with the National Institute of Justice as a research assistant contractor for this academic year. Michael has been listed as an author in articles published in the Marquette Law Review, Children and Youth Services Review, Journal of Military Medicine, Military Behavioral Health, and Armed Forces and Society.