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Founding, Mission, & Vision

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CPLI was established in 2013 to reform laws, policies and practices that contribute to the criminalization of children in Indiana. It is one of 60 organizations in 43 states that belong to the National Youth Justice Network (NYJN). The NYJN leads a movement of state-based advocacy groups working toward a fairer youth justice system.

​Mission Statement: CPLI advocates for systemic changes for children so that programs, policies, and practices are developmentally appropriate, equitable, administered and fair, and provide the necessary support for a child’s successful transition to adulthood.


Affiliate of the National Youth Justice Network

National Youth Justice Network leads a membership community of 60 state-based organizations and numerous individuals across 42 states and D.C. We all seek to shrink our youth justice systems and transform the remainder into systems that treat youth and families with dignity and humanity. 

Program Staff 

Board Executive


JauNae Hanger, JD

President and Executive Director


Damica Marshall

President and Executive Director


Sandy Runkle

President and Executive Director

Christy Gauss (Chair)

Owner, School Community Partnerships (SCP) Consultants 

Gwendolyn Kelley, Ph.D. (Vice-Chair)

Senior Executive Consultant

Lori Chambers (Treasurer)
Central District Vice President, United Women in Faith 

Ashley Hogue (Secretary)
Purpose for Life Ministries; Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis 


Calvin Roberson, Jr.

(Member at-large) 
Director of Operations, Office of Community Outreach and Engagement, IU Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center 


Board Members

Teresa Baker
Former Educator, Indianapolis Public Schools 

Jarell Blakeley
Director of Government, Community, Racial and Social Justice, Indiana State Teachers Association 

Amy Karozos
Indiana State Public Defender 

Jan Nichols
President, Parents Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) Indianapolis

Dr. Shannon Thompson
Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine 


The work of Children’s Policy and Law Initiative of Indiana (CPLI)  would not be possible without the hard work of our interns, who are instrumental to the success of our organization. CPLI has had the pleasure of working with undergraduate and graduate students at the following universities:

  • Butler University

  • Indiana University

  • Indiana University Bloomington

  • Ball State University

  • Marian University


Here are the CPLI 2023-24 interns:

  • Kristen Lee, Psychology Major | LAS Neuroscience Minor | Computer Science Minor

  • Kayla Miller, Secondary Education and History Major

  • Selena Garcia, Indiana University - Indianapolis ‘23, BSW ‘23

  • Dayanara Carvajal Estrada, International Studies Major and Political Science Minor

  • Damica Marshall, Psychology and Criminology Major

  • Chase Cooper, Political Science Major and Minor in Criminal Justice

  • Carissa Seying, Master of Public Affairs

  • Jazman Moore, Double Major in Social Work and Public Health

  • Nikolas Weidner, Law and Public Policy Major and Political Science Minor


If you or any other student is interested in a CPLI internship, please complete "Intership Application" and a member of our team will contact you.

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