Paul Elam

Chief Strategy Officer, MPHI

Areas of Expertise

  • Crossover youth
  • Disproportionate minority contact
  • Racial and ethnic discrimination
  • Juvenile justice
  • Prisoner reentry
  • Child welfare

Key Findings

  • Juvenile justice and youth professionals have limited knowledge and awareness of research evidence, though familiar with evidence-based programming. MORE
  • Using valid and methodologically-sound criminal justice data is essential to see if criminology interventions are successful in reducing crime. MORE
  • Ways to bridge the research-practice gap include: improving the quality of research, making research more accessible (wider dissemination and less jargon), and presenting their work at conferences. MORE


Paul Elam, Chief Strategy Officer at MPHI, is an expert in racial and ethnic discrimination, juvenile justice, prisoner reentry, and child welfare.

Elam works with the U.S. Department of Justice Swift and Certain Sanctions initiatives; the Governor’s Committee on Juvenile Justice and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services; the Annie E. Casey Foundation Expanding the Bench Initiative and the Michigan Department of Education African-American Young Men of Promise Initiative. Previously, Elam consulted with the Michigan Coalition for Race Equity in Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice, the Michigan Child Welfare Improvement Task Force and the Michigan Prisoner Reentry Initiative.

He has published numerous reports on topics ranging from racial imbalances in child welfare and juvenile justice to prisoner reentry.

Elam received his Ph.D., M.A. and B.A. in Criminology, Family and Child Ecology, Criminal Justice and Urban Studies from Michigan State University.

Follow Paul on Twitter: @PaulElam