Project TEAM Personnel
Judge Korey Wahwassuck was a founding member of the joint jurisdiction courts in Cass and Itasca County, Minnesota. She served as a tribal court judge for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Tribal Court from 2006 until 2013 when she was appointed by Governor Mark Dayton to serve as a Minnesota District Court Judge for the Ninth Judicial District. Previously Judge Wahwassuck served as a Kansas Supreme Court Certified Mediator (Core, Domestic, and Parent/Adolescent), and practiced law for 15 years, specializing in Indian law, child welfare, and juvenile delinquency. Judge Wahwassuck earned her bachelor's degree and JD from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She has taught courses on Native American Spirituality and Sovereignty, Treaty Rights and Tribal Sovereignty, Tribal Court-State Issues, and Juvenile Delinquency Guidelines at Penn Valley Community College in Kansas City, Missouri, Leech Lake Tribal College, and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. Judge Wahwassuck serves on the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges' Tribal Leadership Forum, and previously served on the NCJFCJ's Tribal Court Committee and as an Advisory Member of NCJFCJ Diversity Committee. Judge Wahwassuck served as a member of the Minnesota Supreme Court's Drug Court Initiative Advisory Committee and Minnesota Supreme Court's Racial Fairness Committees, and currently serves on the Safe Harbor Statewide Model Protocol Judges Work Group. Judge Wahwassuck served as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals. She authored "The New Face of Justice: Joint Tribal-State Jurisdiction" for the Washburn Law Journal and "Building a Legacy of Hope: Perspectives on Joint Tribal-State Jurisdiction" for the William Mitchell Law Review. Judge Wahwassuck is an alumna of the National Judicial College and joined its faculty in 2008.
Judge John P. Smith was also a founder of the joint jurisdiction Cass County/Leech Lake Wellness Court while he served as District Court Judge for the Ninth District in Cass County from 1991 to 2012. Judge Smith currently sits on the Minnesota Court of Appeals. He formerly served as Chief Judge of the Ninth Judicial District of Minnesota and as vice chair of the Minnesota Judicial Council, and is currently co-chair of the Minnesota State/Tribal Court Forum. He sits on the faculty of the National Judicial College and William Mitchell College of Law, and served as president of the Minnesota District Judges Association. Judge Smith speaks frequently about his experiences with the Wellness Court and the benefits of joint tribal/state collaborations. Judge Smith began his legal career in 1976 as an attorney with the firm of Smith and Hunter, P.A. He received his B.A. degree from Concordia College in 1971, his J.D. degree from the William Mitchell College of Law in 1975, and his LL.M. degree in litigation from Emory University in 1987. In 2013, he received his master's degree in judicial studies from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Jennifer A. Fahey, JD, MPA has worked in law and policy for the past twenty years, primarily in government and non-profit agencies. She is a practicing attorney and criminal justice consultant, providing training and technical assistance to local, state, and tribal jurisdictions nationwide.Ms. Fahey previously served as an elected county attorney and while in office she helped develop an innovative, alternative "sentencing circle" program in coordination with the judiciary, the Minnesota Department of Corrections, the Mille Lacs Band of Indians, and the community. Ms. Fahey also served as Deputy Director of the Crime and Justice Institute where she worked to create and implement responsible criminal justice and social policy grounded in evidence-based principles. Some of her projects included working with the BJA in determining how minority culture may play a role in effective assessment of offender risk and need; serving on the National Working Group on Using Risk and Needs Assessment Information at Sentencing, led by the National Center for State Courts; working with the State of Alabama in implementing a continuum of community alternatives to incarceration; and authoring the white paper Using Research to Promote Public Safety: A Prosecutor’s Primer on Evidence-Based Practice. Ms. Fahey holds a law degree from Hamline University School of Law and an MPA from Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government.
Allison Leof, PhD, is a senior policy analyst at the Center and will act as director for the TEAM project. Ms Leof will serve as liaison between clients and TEAM staff and will coordinate all site visits and program supports. Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Leof taught American politics and policy and worked in a number of policy and advocacy positions concerned with juvenile justice, health care and education reform. Most recently, Ms. Leof worked with the National Indian Child Welfare Association on fundraising and program development. Ms. Leof received her PhD in political science from the University of California at Berkeley.
This project was supported by Grant No. 2012-IC-BX-K003 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.