What We Do
Allen Consulting & Research, LLC is a
Michigan based firm offering technical assistance to organizations
working to improve the lives of justice-involved men and women.
Led by Dr. Denise Smith Allen, a researcher with over 30 years experience as a criminal justice professional, we provide governmental agencies, faith-based groups, school, and other non-profit organizations with quality research as well as organizational assessments, analysis, and strategic planning solutions.
Guided by a belief that society is at its best when all citizens have the opportunity to build a productive life and make meaningful contributions to their family and community our goal is to work with organizations to create meaningful changes in the criminal justice system through effective partnerships and collaboration.
A unique specialty of Allen Consulting & Research is working on issues related to justice-involved women. As women are the fastest growing segment of the criminal justice population, our experience and expertise in this area can assist organizations seeking to find solutions for problems facing the growing number of incarcerated women.
Advocacy for Returning Female Citizens –
Often justice-involved women return to their communities faced with multiple stressors. Many need housing, financial support, and assistance with family reunification efforts. Using a collaborative approach our advocacy efforts include reducing stress and educating women about services available in their area.
Conduct Quantitative and Qualitative Research –
We work with criminal justice organizations, faith based groups, and public and private sector programs that seek to obtain empirical data that will enhance their ability to create positive outcomes for justice-involved men and women. Through focus groups and individual interviews, data analysis, and recommendations, we will work with your organization to obtain the information needed to write successful grant proposals and reports.
Public Policy Initiatives –
We will work with your organization to formulate and implement criminal justice policies that reduce barriers for justice-involved men and women and provide solutions that will minimize disruption to families.
Public Speaker and Conference Presenter –
We provide speakers and presenters for academic, governmental, and community forums, seminar and conferences on a range of subjects within the criminal justice field.
Denise Smith Allen, PhD
Shari Merlano, PhD
Shelley R. Spivack, J.D., M.A.
Sarah Branch, BS in Criminal Justice
About Allen Consultants
Dr. Allen received her Bachelor of Art in Criminal Justice
Administration from Alvernia University and a Master in
Public Administration with a Specialization in Criminal
Justice from the University of Michigan-Flint. She completed
her Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration with a
Concentration in Criminal Justice, at Walden University,
graduating Magna Cum laude. Her published dissertation
entitled, "Keeping the Children: Nonviolent Women Offenders
in Two Michigan Residential Programs," is a study of community
programming for women in Saginaw, Michigan.
With over 30 years experience as a Parole/Probation Agent with the State of Michigan, Dr. Allen has extensive firsthand knowledge of working with a challenging population. Her performance evaluations have been exemplary, indicative of dedication and commitment to her work. Using her expertise in the field of criminal justice, investigative report writing, supervision, along with established professional relationships with judges, attorneys, law enforcement and supportive programs, Dr. Allen realized that being able to help others and positively impact her community is her life's mission.