Paul Elam

Chief Strategy Officer, MPHI

Areas of Expertise

  • Gun Violence
  • Juvenile justice
  • Disproportionate minorities
  • Racial, ethnic discrimination
  • Prisoner reentry
  • Dual ward youth

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 cyclical and retaliatory gun violence, racial and ethnic discrimination, juvenile justice, prisoner reentry, and dual wards.

Elam currently works with Advance Peace as a Program Manager leading strategy to seek out and connect with individuals most likely to be perpetrators or victims of gun violence. Elam’s work is funded by the Department of Justice and the Administration for Children and Families. Elam also consults with the Governor’s Committee on Juvenile Justice and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Previously, Elam consulted with the U.S. Department of Justice Swift and Certain Sanctions initiatives, 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 gun violence reduction, racial imbalances in child welfare and juvenile justice to prisoner reentry.

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