Pretrial Justice Institute Names New Board Members


For Immediate Release: September 20, 2017

Contact: Fiona Druge,, (646) 755-6126


Additions Enhance Expertise in Law Enforcement, Prosecution, and Best Practice in Evidence-Based Pretrial Justice

Washington, DC—Cherise Fanno Burdeen, CEO, and Chris Rodgers, Board Chair of Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI) are pleased to announce the appointment of three new members to the organization’s board of directors:

  • Leslie C. Cooper, director of the Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia
  • Hassan Aden, former chief of police in Greenville, NC, former Director of Research and Programs for the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and Steering Committee member at Law Enforcement Leaders
  • Adam J. Foss, former assistant district attorney in Boston, MA, and co-founder of Prosecutor Impact, a nonprofit working to reframe the role of prosecutors in the criminal justice system

Cooper, Aden, and Foss will serve 3-year terms beginning November 1st.

"Since becoming PJI's board chair last year, one of my top priorities has been ensuring that we continue to have access to the kind of unparalleled expertise and policy experience that has made PJI the nation’s leading pretrial justice resource," said Chris Rodgers. "Leslie Cooper, Hassan Aden, and Adam Foss don’t just assure this continuity, they build upon it, bringing a new generation of wisdom and insight that reflects the diversity that is America."

"Our nation is reaching a critical juncture, with more and more states and localities beginning the serious work of moving away from long-standing unsafe and unfair pretrial practices like money bail. Change leaders—from system stakeholders to community activists—look to PJI for thoughtful, committed leadership on ways to reduce unnecessary pretrial detention, which promises to finally open the door to addressing the problem of mass incarceration. Adam, Aden, and Leslie have the experience, intensity, and stamina needed to help us create a new national standard of pretrial justice by reducing unnecessary arrests, replacing money bail, restricting preventive detention, and reducing disparity within the criminal justice system," said PJI CEO Cherise Fanno Burdeen.

New Board Member Profiles (extended profiles are available on our website):

Hassan Aden is the former chief of police of the Greenville Police Department in Greenville, NC. He is the chief operations officer at the Police Assessment Resource Center (PARC) and serves on the Steering Committee of Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration.

Aden served for 26 years at the Alexandria Police Department in Alexandria, VA, before retiring in 2012 with the rank of deputy chief before moving to Greenville to serve as chief for two years. After retiring from active duty, he was director of the Research and Programs Directorate of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) where he oversaw the day-to-day management of operational programs and research projects aimed at advancing professional police services. Among other credentials, Aden holds a masters of public administration from the American University in Washington, DC.

Leslie C. Cooper is director of the Pretrial Services Agency (PSA) for the District of Columbia, providing oversight for one of the nation’s premier pretrial organizations. PSA is at the forefront of evidence-based and data-driven pretrial justice and a national and international model for the use of non-financial pretrial release. Cooper joined PSA in 2011 as associate director for operations and was selected to serve as the deputy director/chief operating officer in 2012 prior to assuming the directorship in 2017.

She brings experience and expertise in pretrial justice program leadership, policy development and implementation, and community relations.

Adam J. Foss is a former assistant district attorney in the Juvenile Division of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office (SCDAO) in Boston, MA, and a fierce advocate for criminal justice reform, emphasizing the importance of the role of the prosecutor in ending mass incarceration. Foss is co-founder of Prosecutor Impact, a non-profit organization that develops training and curricula for prosecutors to reframe their role in the criminal justice system. He has received numerous accolades for his work and his 2016 TED Talk, "A prosecutor’s vision for a better justice system," has been viewed more than 1.6 million times.

Facts about pretrial justice in America:

  • Most people in American jails—more than 6 in 10—have not yet been to trial; the vast majority are there because they can’t afford cash bail.
  • More than 80% of criminal defendants qualify for indigent defense based on poverty.
  • Even three days in jail can result in loss of wages, jobs, housing, and family connections, leaving some defendants 40% more likely to commit future crime.
  • Nearly half of high-risk defendants exploit the money bail system and use bail bondsmen to get out.
  • The tools exist to replace the outdated money bail system with a risk-based system that is safe, fair, and effective, and many jurisdictions have demonstrated it is possible.

The Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI) is a national organization working to advance safe, fair, and effective pretrial justice that honors and protects all people. To learn more about PJI or their 3DaysCount campaign, which will support commonsense solutions to longstanding pretrial justice challenges in 20 states, visit

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