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Founding, Mission, & Vision

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CPLI was established in 2012 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 policies, practices, and programs are developmentally-appropriate, equitably-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 unites advocates and organizations at the state and national level to create a transformational shift away from policing and prisons toward a world that prioritizes community-based, trauma-informed and healing-centered responses to youth needs. 


Executive Director

Board Executive



Meisha Wide

Program Staff


Damica Marshall

Outreach and Strategic Partnerships Associate

Program Staff


Sandy Runkle

Program Associate

Program Staff

Christy Gauss


School Community Partnerships (SCP) Consultants 

Gwendolyn Kelley, Ph.D.


Senior Executive Consultant

Lori Chambers  

United Women in Faith 

Michelle Boyden


Delta Wealth Advisors

Ashley Hogue  

(Member at-large)
Purpose for Life Ministries; Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis 


Calvin Roberson, Jr.

(Member at-large) 
IU Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center 


Teresa Baker
Former Educator, TAB (Tenacity-Ability-Brilliance) Consultants

Jarell Blakeley
Indiana State Teachers Association 

Amy Karozos
Indiana State Public Defender 

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

Founder and Former President 


JauNae Hanger, JD

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 Bloomington, Indiana University Indianapolis, University of Indianapolis, Purdue University Indianapolis, Ball State University, and Marian University.


If you are interested in a CPLI internship, please complete this Internship Application and a member of our team will contact you.

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