Jennifer Lerch

Jennifer Lerch

Jennifer Lerch


Organizational change, Reentry, Correctional interventions, Substance use

Jennifer Lerch is a Research Associate for the Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence! in the Criminology, Law and Society Department at George Mason University. Her research focuses on correctional interventions, substance use, reentry, and organizational change. She has extensive experience conducting research that produces products, including training curricula, technical reports, and peer-reviewed publications. Ms. Lerch has worked with corrections agencies on strategic planning and implementation on such initiatives as the Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) Simulation Tool. As part of these efforts, she has led training and provided technical assistance to corrections agencies. Furthermore, Ms. Lerch serves as Project Manager and Data Manager for the MAPIT study, a multi-site, randomized trial examining the effect of a computerized motivational interviewing tool on treatment initiation and substance use. She has led data collection efforts for projects such as Evidence-Based Practices in Corrections (DPSCS), a study focused on communication skills among correctional staff, and What Works in Residential Reentry, an examination of the effect of federal reentry programs on recidivism, all of which include multiple data collection methods. Jennifer holds a master’s degree in Justice, Law & Crime Policy from George Mason University, and has published in the following peer-reviewed journals: Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, and Contemporary Clinical Trials.

Current Research

Hidalgo County Emerging Adult Strategy 

Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) Simulation Tool

Motivational Assistance Program to Initiate Treatment (MAPIT) 

BJA Innovation Suite


Selected Publications

Lerch, J., Walters, S.T., Tang, L., & Taxman, F.S. (2017). Effectiveness of a computerized motivational intervention on treatment initiation and substance use: Results from a randomized trial. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 80, 59-66.

Viglione, J., Lerch, J., Danielle S. Rudes, & Faye S. Taxman (2017). Big stick management: Tickets as discipline within a correctional reentry facility. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 44(2), 163-183. doi: 10.1177/0093854816668917

Taxman, F.S., Walters, S.T., Sloas, L.B., Lerch, J., & Rodriguez, M. (2015). Motivational tools to improve probationer treatment outcomes. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 43, 120-128.

Reingle, J.M., Walters, S.T., Lerch, J. & Taxman, F.S. (2015). The relationship between drug use, drug-related arrests, and chronic pain among adults on probation. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 53, 33-38.

Rudes, D.S., Viglione, J., Lerch, J., Porter, C., & Taxman, F.S. (2014). Build to sustain: collaborative partnerships between university researchers and criminal justice practitioners. Criminal Justice Studies: A Critical Journal of Crime, Law and Society, 27(3), 249-263.

Walters, S.T., Ondersma, S.J., Ingersoll, K., Rodriguez, M., Lerch, J., Rossheim, M.E., & Taxman, F.S. (2013). MAPIT: Development of a Web-Based Intervention Targeting Substance Abuse Treatment in the Criminal Justice System. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 46(1), 60- 65.

Expanded Publication List

Book Chapters

Sloas, L.B., Lerch, J., & Taxman, F.S. (2015). Community Supervision and Diversion in the United States. In J.D. Wright (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (2ND ed.). Elsevier.

Rudes, D.S., Lerch, J., Viglione, J., & Taxman, F.S. (2013). Cultural challenges: Implementing reentry reform at a correctional facility. In Matthew S. Crow & John Ortiz Smykla (Eds.), Offender Reentry: Rethinking Criminology and Criminal Justice (pp. 29-49). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Caudy, M.S., Tang, L., Maass, S.A., Lerch, J., & Taxman, F.S. (2013). Reducing Recidivism Through Correctional Programming: Using Meta-Analysis to Inform the RNR Simulation Tool. In Faye S. Taxman & April Pattavina (Eds.). Simulation Strategies to Reduce Recidivism (pp. 167-191). New York, NY: Springer.

Taxman, F.S. , Henderson, C. & Lerch, J. (2010). The Sociopolitical Context of Reforms in Probation Agencies: Impact on Adoption of Evidence-based Practices. In F. McNeill, P. Raynor, & C. Trotter (eds). Offender Supervision: New Directions in Theory, Research and Practice. Willian Publications.

Translational Work & Technical Reports

 Murphy, A., Lerch, J., Kiss, M., Toronjo, H., Souza, K., & Taxman, F.S. (2016). Case Study: Using the RNR Simulation Tool in the Offender Reentry Program (ORP) Grant. Unpublished report.

Lerch, J. & Maass, S.A. (Winter 2013). Examining Burnout: Next Steps in Probation and Parole. Perspectives, 37(1), 30-37.

Ainsworth, S.A. & Lerch, J. (Summer 2012). Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Higher Risk Offenders. Perspectives, 36(3), 32-36.

Lerch, J., Viglione, J., & Taxman, F.S. (2011). Improving the Operations of a Pre-Release Unit. Unpublished report.

Lerch, J., Taxman, F.S., & Mericle, A. (2010). Report 6: Technical Violation Rates and Rearrest Rates on Federal Probation after Release from a RRC. What Works in Residential Reentry Centers Monographs.

Taxman, F.S. & Lerch, J. (2008). Organizational Readiness: Pre-Release Centers. Unpublished report.

Lerch, J. & Mastrofski, S. (2008). The Effect of Police Practices on Residents’ Fear of Crime in Trinidad and Tobago. Prepared for the Ministry of National Security, Trinidad and Tobago.


M.A., Justice, Law, and Crime Policy, George Mason University (2009)

B.S., Political Science/Sociology, Shepherd University (2005)