Ruth Tamara Shefner



Ruth Shefner is a doctoral student in Sociomedical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health, on the sociology track. She is focused broadly on criminal legal systems, with interests in policing, court based interventions, and collateral consequences of mass incarceration. Prior to coming to Columbia, Ruth was the Director of the Goldring Reentry Initiative, a program housed at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice that supports individuals pre- and post-release from Philadelphia’s county jail system while training Master of Social Work students to work in the field of criminal justice. In this role, Ruth provided direct therapeutic case management services, as well as oversaw all program operations, including client selection, collaboration of community and legal partners, clinical supervision of social work students, and program evaluation. She completed her Master of Social Work and Master of Public Health at the University of Pennsylvania, where she conducted research related to opioid overdose and criminal justice contact, and supported the evaluation of Philadelphia’s prearrest diversion program pilot initiative. She graduated from Brown University in 2013 with a Bachelors of Arts in Public Health.