Jim SaintGermain is the driving force behind the creation of PLOT. Jim has an Associate degree in Human Services from the Borough of Manhattan Community College and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Jim works with juvenile justice involved youth and their families in New York City. He is on the Board of the National Juvenile Defender Center and was recently appointed to the White House Task Force on Twenty First Century Policing. Previously, Jim was a youth care worker at a juvenile facility where he was once a resident. Additionally, Jim was a youth advocate for young people living with mental illness at the Mental Health Association, Inc and a member of New York State’s Division of Criminal Justice Services Youth Advisory Council. Jim is a compelling motivational speaker and adviser to several governmental and non-governmental entities working with at risk youth, including the Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, SAMSHA and the Children’s Defense Fund–NY. He interned with New York State Assemblyman Karim Camara and continues to work with Assemblyman Camara on important community matters, including reducing gun violence. Jim is a member of the Vera’s Institute of Justice Juvenile Justice Board and the NYPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton’s Reengineering Team, which focuses on collaborative efforts between the NYPD and other city agencies to reduce juvenile crime. Jim has worked with countless local, state and federal officials advising on matters related to juvenile justice, mentoring, mental health, substance abuse, and educational issues. In addition to those mentioned above, some notables Jim has worked with include former New York City Mayor/Billionaire philanthropist Michael Bloomberg, Congressman Bobby Scott of Virginia, and former Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, to name a few. Jim has overcome many obstacles in his young life. His passion for public service comes from his life experiences and his sense of personal responsibility to his community. He speaks three languages, English, French and his native language, Creole. Most importantly, Jim is a dedicated father to his young son.
Nicole Brown, MD, MPH, MHS, is a general pediatrician and health services researcher at Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Brown’s research and professional interests center expanding mental health services in the pediatric primary care setting and exploring the impact of childhood trauma on health outcomes.
Suzette Brown, MD, MPH, is a general pediatrician and health services researcher at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. Dr. Brown’s research and professional interests center on understanding how community-based supports can improve the lives of vulnerable children and families. Her work has examined the impact of parental supports on mental health outcomes for children involved in the child welfare system, and she is involved in efforts to integrate community-based organizations that serve high risk families into pediatric primary care.
Christine Bella, Esq., is a Staff Attorney with The Legal Aid Society’s (LAS) Juvenile Rights Practice (JRP) Special Litigation and Law Reform Unit where she represents young people involved in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems in federal and state individual and class civil rights litigation. Christine has worked for The Legal Aid Society in all three of its practice areas – Civil, Juvenile and Criminal.
Hon. Susan S. Danoff
Hon. Susan S. Danoff is a Judicial Hearing Officer (JHO) in Bronx and Kings County Family Courts, where she presides over the Youth Transition Part, which addresses issues affecting youth aging out of foster care. Prior to being a JHO, she spent twenty-two (22) years working in Kings County Family Court. While on the bench, among other matters, she presided over abuse and neglect cases, as well as the Family Treatment Court until her mandatory retirement in January, 2013. Before serving as a Family Court Judge, she worked as a Court Attorney Referee, and prior to that as a Court Attorney to the Hon. Paula J. Hepner.
Martin Feinman, MSW, JD, has spent his entire career working with low income children and adults in crisis. Upon receiving his MSW, he worked as a Psychiatric Social Worker and Program Director at the Adolescent Unit of a large state psychiatric facility in Central New York, working with adolescents and their families and specializing in family therapy. After changing direction and attending law school, he has worked with The Legal Aid Society’s (LAS) Juvenile Rights Practice (JRP) as a Staff Attorney, representing children in both child protective and juvenile delinquency proceedings and later for the LAS Criminal Defense Division as a litigator. Presently, he serves as the Attorney-in-Charge of the JRP’s Brooklyn office, where he supervises a staff of nearly one hundred (100) attorneys, social workers, paralegals and support staff representing children in Family Court.
Francesca is dedicated to working on criminal justice issues, particularly focusing on providing rehabilitation and re-entry services to those who are incarcerated. She received her undergraduate degree in Sociology from Bates College, and her Master’s degree from The London School of Economics and Political Science, in Social Psychology. Francesca has worked in a prison in London, UK co-facilitating two courses, has been a mentor to at risk youth in London. She has additionally worked at The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime in Nairobi, Kenya creating prison rehabilitation programs. Currently, Francesca works as a Case Manager at The Osborne Association.