Elizabeth A. Henneke is the third generation in her family to demonstrate a commitment to criminal justice issues; she follows in the footsteps of her grandfather and father, both of whom retired from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, and her grandmother who was a Walker County Sheriff’s Deputy. Elizabeth graduated from Yale University where she earned a B.A. in History with a concentration on race relations in the American South. At Yale, Elizabeth worked for four years in the Jerome Frank Legal Services Organization, volunteered with the Southern Center for Human Rights, and taught biology to students in the Summer Bridge program in Atlanta. She then worked as a paralegal for Mayer Brown, where she helped prepare several death penalty appeals before attending law school at the University of Texas School of Law. During law school, Elizabeth worked with the Texas Defender Service, investigating and preparing federal habeas petitions for individuals on Texas’ death row. She then represented Guantanamo detainees as a clinical instructor for the University of Texas' National Security & Human Rights Clinic, where she received the 2007 Frederick Douglass Human Rights Award. After graduation, Elizabeth served as a law clerk for the South Africa Constitutional Court and for Judge Edward C. Prado on the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit. She joined Williams & Connolly in Washington, D.C, where she engaged in high-stakes litigation. Elizabeth was the inaugural Audrey Irmas Clinical Teaching Fellow at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. There, Elizabeth supervised students in the Post-Conviction Justice Project, the Immigration Clinic, and the International Human Rights Clinic, successfully receiving legal status for over 35 individuals and obtaining new sentencing hearings for more than 10 individuals facing life without parole sentences for crimes they committed while juveniles. She also taught first-year criminal law and a seminar on the death penalty at USC Law. Most recently, Elizabeth served as a Policy Attorney for the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition with the Solutions for Youth Justice project.
Elizabeth is on the Juvenile Council for the State Bar of Texas, is an Advisory Member of the Juvenile Justice Committee for the Texas Judicial Council, and serves on the Collaborative Council of the Judicial Commission on Mental Health. Elizabeth is also on the Board of Directors for the Campaign for Youth Justice. In May 2017, Elizabeth received the Travis County Women Lawyers' Association Attorney Award for her work in the Public Interest.
Director of Policy & Planning,
Alycia Welch completed her graduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin, earning a Master’s of Public Affairs with specializations in Social and Economic Policy and Nonprofit Studies and a Master’s of Science in Social Work with a concentration in Community and Administrative Leadership. She received her BA Degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, majoring in Political Science and Women’s Studies. Alycia’s policy experience includes her work in the Offices of Former Texas State Representative Elliott Naishtat, Vice Chair of the Committee on Public Health during the 84th legislative session, and Texas State Representative Donna Howard, Vice Chair of the Committee on Calendars during the 85th session, analyzing criminal and juvenile justice, public health, and human services legislation and advancing bills that proposed reforms to the mental health and criminal justice systems, including several that were signed into law by the governor. The recipient of two policy research awards, Alycia has authored several reports on the need for reforming the criminal and juvenile justice systems in Texas and has presented her findings to elected officials, state- and county-level agency leaders, and other key stakeholders. Alycia’s experience implementing reforms to the state and county criminal justice systems spans the course of her work with organizations such as Angela House, New Leaders Council-Houston, Texas Civil Rights Project, Prison Creative Arts Project, Michigan Women’s Justice & Clemency Project, Michigan Prisoner Re-entry Initiative, and Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers, and several justice and public health coalitions.