Tracy Velázquez, executive director of the Washington-based justice reform advocate Justice Policy Institute, has been fired by the board of directors after four years at the helm of the nonprofit.
“I was informed by my board today that my employment at JPI has been terminated as a result of management differences,” Velázquez said in an e-mail sent late Thursday evening.
Velázquez stepped in during the winter of 2009, taking over for Sheila Bedi, a litigator that lasted only one year with JPI. Bedi followed Jason Ziedenberg, who co-founded JPI with current New York City probation commissioner Vincent Schiraldi.
“I am proud of JPI’s achievements under my leadership over the past four years,” said Velázquez in the e-mail. “The work we did over the past few months to push back on increasing cops in schools in response to the Newtown tragedy was especially rewarding.”
Before JPI, Velázquez served as the senior program associate at the Center on Sentencing and Corrections, a division of the New York-based Vera Institute of Justice. Her career roots are in Montana, where she was executive director of the Montana Mental Health Association and vice chairwoman of the Montana Democratic Party.
Velázquez said in the email that she remains “deeply committed to justice reform and will be looking for opportunities to continue to do this critically important work.”