internship at Brown University Warren Alpert Medical School. She currently serves on the New York City Bar Association’s Juvenile Justice Committee.

Dr. Haney-Caron is a licensed psychologist in New York and a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania. She has worked with Juvenile Law Center, Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Federal Community Defender Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Capital Habeas Unit. Additionally, she has done clinical work within a secure residential juvenile justice facility and in a family court clinic as well as a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings.


Emily Haney-Caron is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Dr. Haney-Caron's research focuses on the alignment between adolescents' capacities to make legal decisions and the expectations placed upon them by the juvenile legal system. She has published research or scholarship on juvenile false confession, juvenile Miranda comprehension, fines and fees in the juvenile legal system, the school-to-prison pipeline, developmental immaturity, psychopathology among justice-involved youth, and applications of the Risk-Needs-Responsivity model to juvenile justice. Dr. Haney-Caron's scholarship has been profiled by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian, and MSNBC, and has been cited in U.S. Supreme Court amicus briefs and a U.S. Department of Justice Advisory.

Dr. Haney-Caron teaches doctoral courses on forensic assessment, the law of forensic psychology, juvenile justice, and psychopathology, as well as Master's and undergraduate classes at the intersection of psychology and law. Before joining the faculty at John Jay she completed a pre-doctoral clinical



Doctoral Student


Sydney Baker is a third-year Clinical Psychology doctoral student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She graduated from The University of Maryland, College Park with degrees in Psychology and Criminology/Criminal Justice. Then, she worked as a Social/Clinical Research Assistant at the Biobehavioral Research on Addiction and Emotion Lab at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where her main duties were coordinating an NIH-funded study examining the effectiveness of technology-enhanced behavioral activation treatment for substance use. Now, at John Jay, Sydney is interested in conducting translational research that has direct implications for public policy reform. In the Youth Law & Psychology Lab, she works on a variety of projects, including a study of case law related to youth Miranda waivers and a study examining judges’ perceptions of the juvenile plea process.


Doctoral Student

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Lili Ramos is a first-year Clinical Psychology doctoral student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She graduated from Bowdoin College in 2018, with a major in Psychology and a minor in Hispanic Studies. Before starting at John Jay, Lili spent two years as a Clinical Research Coordinator in the Juvenile Justice Behavioral Health Lab at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she worked on multiple studies aimed at improving behavioral health outcomes for justice-involved youth, with a specific focus on evaluating novel, trauma-informed and gender-responsive behavioral health interventions. At John Jay, Lili is interested in conducting research that examines the impact of childhood trauma on justice-involved adolescents’ legal and behavioral health outcomes, and has the potential to inform practices and policies within the juvenile justice system.


Master's Student

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Charise Peters is a first year Master’s student in the Forensic Psychology M.A. program at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She earned her Bachelor’s at Temple University, where she majored in Psychology and minored in Criminal Justice. During her time at Temple, she served as a research assistant for the Child and Adolescent Development of Emotion, Personality, and Psychopathology Lab, where she completed an independent research project that focused on experiences of childhood maltreatment and their effect on approach and avoidance learning for both monetary and social learning. While at John Jay, Charise is interested in researching the relationship between developmental and psychopathological factors, such as experiences of childhood maltreatment and personality traits, and their effect on both adult and juvenile legal decision making and offending behavior.


Undergraduate Research Assistant


Alijah Sepulveda is a second year undergraduate student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She is a student under the Macaulay Honors College, and a scholar in the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program. She is conducting research exploring differences between African American and White parents' perceptions and advice concerning plea bargains for their children. After graduation, Alijah intends to pursue her doctoral degree in Forensic Psychology.



Doctoral Student


Johanna Hellgren is a fifth-year doctoral student in the Psychology and Law program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Originally from Sweden, she graduated from University of Stockholm before coming to New York and John Jay to pursue her master’s in forensic psychology. Now in the doctoral program, Johanna’s research broadly concerns ensuring the rights of defendants, both juvenile and adults, in the plea-bargaining process, both for adults and juveniles. She is also interested in investigating how different forms of evidence influences attorney’s and defendant’s plea decisions. Johanna has published research on the influence of interrogation of suspect behavior in collaboration with Dr. Saul Kassin.
Johanna is also an adjunct lecturer at John Jay, where she teaches classes like Intro to Psychology, Social Psychology, and Research Methods. 
In the Youth Law & Psychology Lab, Johanna works on the plea legal landscape project which examines US states’ statues and rules regarding juvenile plea bargaining.


Master's Student


Aliya Birnbaum is a second-year master’s student in the Forensic Mental Health Counseling M.A. program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She earned her bachelor’s degree in both Psychology and Criminology at the University of South Florida. Her clinical and research interests in forensic psychology are juvenile justice policy reform, the relationship between race and the legal system, and severe mental illness in the justice system. She co-authored a paper that explores how childhood trauma translates into internalized and externalized behavior. Aliya was awarded the Pinkerton Fellowship and completed an externship at the Bronx Defenders. She is currently working on her thesis, examining the intersection between attorney race and the juvenile plea bargain process. She also works on policy work for the lab. After graduation, Aliya plans to get her Ph.D. in Forensic Clinical Psychology and work with youth in the justice system.


Legal Research and Policy Intern


Jessica Middleton is a 2L at the Drexel Kline School of Law. In the Youth Law & Psychology lab, she works on the Plea Bargaining Project, helping to research plea bargains as pertains to juvenile justice. Jessica hopes to work in the field of Family Law upon graduation from law school.


Legal Research and Policy Intern

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Diana Damewood is a 3L at the Drexel University Kline School of Law. In the Youth Law & Psychology lab, she is working on researching case law regarding juvenile Miranda rights. After graduation Diana hopes to work in juvenile justice and other community based legal aid services.


Master's Student


Denieka Ellis graduated from John Jay in summer 2020 with an MA in Forensic Psychology. She is now a first year at NOVA Southeastern University, where she is pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology. Her clinical and research interests include juror and legal decision making, racial and gender disparity in the criminal justice system, juvenile justice policy and reform and behavioral and mental health evaluation and assessment. In the Youth Law & Psychology lab, she worked on a plea bargaining project examining juvenile plea bargaining cases and codes throughout the United States. She also completed a thesis, which examined youth demographic factors that impact juror perception and subsequent verdict. 


Undergraduate Research Assistant


Kamar Tazi graduated from John Jay College with a Bachelor's degree in Forensic Psychology. She is now a first-year Clinical Psychology doctoral student at the University of North Texas. While working in the Youth Law and Psychology lab, Kamar contributed to various projects. Most recently she worked on the Miranda case law project and assisted with training legal interns on adolescent development.  


Master's Student


Erika Diaz Ortiz graduated from John Jay College with an MA in Forensic Psychology in 2020 and from Williams College with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and English in 2017. Erika is intent on pursuing a career at the intersection between psychological and legal research, working to advocate for the reform of existing policies that contribute to the unfair treatment of individuals in the criminal justice system. In the Youth Law & Psychology Lab, she contributed to research on juvenile Miranda rights and guilty pleas, the ultimate goal of which is to promote policy change that will better serve and protect at-risk justice-involved youth. Erika's independent research shares this goal, as she examined social stigmatization experienced by adolescents as an unforeseen consequence of justice involvement.


Undergraduate Research Assistant


Aliza Klingenstein graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology. Her research interests are juvenile and adult forensic psychology, especially pertaining to judgment and decision making. Aliza plans to pursue a graduate degree in Psychology in continuation of her study of the intersection of Psychology and Law.