Shelley R. Jackson

Shelley Jackson has more than 30 years of experience protecting the civil rights of youth, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable populations. Her work includes policy development and review, litigation and settlement enforcement, and training and technical assistance. Prior to her retirement from federal service in 2020, Shelley worked for three federal civil rights agencies as an attorney, policy analyst, and supervisor, including nearly 10 years as a Deputy Section Chief in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). At DOJ, Shelley worked primarily on matters involving the administration of juvenile justice (including interactions between youth and law enforcement, juvenile courts, and juvenile probation), and matters addressing conditions in juvenile and adult correctional facilities. Shelley’s policy-related experience includes a key role in promulgating non-regulatory civil rights guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and at DOJ, reviewing and approving policies developed by jurisdictions to effectuate settlement agreements in civil rights litigation. She is knowledgeable about a wide range of substantive legal protections, including constitutional rights, disability discrimination statutes, special education law, and child welfare requirements. She also has extensive experience conducting training, serving as an internal resource on complex and novel issues, and engaging in public outreach.

Before Shelley entered government service, she worked for non-profit legal advocacy organizations, including the Center for Law and Education in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Judge David L. Bazelon Center in Washington, D.C. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University, and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.

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