My name is Mary Ellen Mastrorilli and my areas of expertise are studying the female offender, prison organizations as well as offender re-entry. Prior to coming to Boston University I worked in the prison system for 24 years. I retired as the Superintendent of Community Corrections for the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department which is based in Boston. And it was a field that I didn’t choose; I would say the field chose me.
My passion in terms of my areas of expertise, I would have to say is the female offender. The female offender is really quite an interesting individual to study, in the sense that she is as much victim as she is perpetrator in some ways. Often in criminal justice whether you’re a police officer, or correction office, or parole officer, or probation officer, you are faced with situations that aren’t always guided by policy. And to make good decisions when you are faced with discretion requires good judgement and a strong moral compass.
I think the thing that is so fascinating about the field of corrections is the fact that it’s a people business. It’s about how well you relate to your community, it’s about how well you relate to offenders. And those are the skills that you need to hone in order to become a very effective criminal justice leader.