Profiles in Justice: Researcher Alexa Cinque
Alexa Cinque, a research assistant in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO) District Attorney’s Transparency Analytics (DATA) Lab, is working from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I started at the office in January of this year, and have now been working remotely for two months, which is about half as long as I’ve been employed at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office — so that’s wild,” Alexa says. “Generally, my responsibilities at the DATA Lab include supporting external research partnerships with the DAO and associated projects. The goal is to further the field of criminal justice while providing useful knowledge for the DAO that can contribute to internal data collection, analysis, and policy making. Now, I’m still doing that, but I’m also working on three initiatives to make sure the office is working efficiently and doing all we can right now to push criminal justice reform forward.”
Her first project is to analyze data on the Philadelphia Police Assisted Diversion (PAD) Program to inform how it aligns with DAO priorities and reform efforts. Diversion is an important tool that is used to connect people with services they need to stay out of prison, and it’s especially important during an infectious disease pandemic. PAD keeps first-time, low-level offenders out of jail or prison and diverts them to social services, which can help keep the corrections population safer during the public health crisis.
Alexa is also creating a data collection tool and a qualitative analysis plan for the DAO Community Engagement Unit so the office can better understand and support community needs and concerns — before, during, and after the pandemic.
Lastly, Alexa is coordinating the DATA Lab’s summer internship program and has developed a plan to supervise interns remotely. She is excited to provide undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to inform criminal justice reforms in Philly, especially during this period of educational uncertainty.
“I love this work and my fellow DATA Lab team members. Sure, I miss seeing them every day, but we’ll be back together soon. So in the meantime, we’ll all keep working and staying connected remotely,” Alexa adds.