German Partners

Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Wolf

Honorary Professor of Criminal Sciences (University of Tübingen)

Rüdiger Wulf was born in 1951. He studied law and criminology at the University of Tübingen. In 1978, he completed his doctorate there with an empirical doctoral thesis on the criminal careers of 141 prisoners serving life sentences. In 1979, he entered the higher judicial service of the state of Baden-Württemberg. He was a criminal judge at the Stuttgart Regional Court and a (juvenile) public prosecutor in Stuttgart. In 1983, he became a clerk, and later counsellor at the Ministry of Justice of Baden-Württemberg. There he was responsible for the supervision of prisons in Baden-Württemberg, for legislative procedures in the penal system and for reform projects in the penal system. He retired in 2017. Since 1985, he has been a lecturer at the Faculty of Law in Tübingen, where he has been an honorary professor of criminal sciences since 2008. He is also a member of the Gambling Research Centre at the University of Hohenheim and 22 the Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Tübingen.

Dr. Niels Weidtmann

Director, College of Fellows Center for Interdisciplinary and Intercultural Studies University of Tübingen

The College of Fellows (CoF) was officially inaugurated in April 2022 as a central institution of the University of Tübingen within the framework of the Excellence Strategy of the German federal and state governments. With the CoF, the University of Tübingen is establishing a university-based Institute for Advanced Studies, which is aimed at all international guest researchers. In doing so, the University is developing the Center for Interdisciplinary and Intercultural Studies further. In addition to the centrally nominated fellows, the CoF is open to all research fellows invited to the faculties and financed by third-party funds.

Dr. Weidtmann is also a member of the Connecticut/Baden-Württemberg Human Rights Research Consortium and Co-Chair of the Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights working group. His research areas include: Phenomenology and Hermeneutics, Intercultural Philosophy, African Philosophy, Structural Philosophy, Philosophical Anthropology, and Philosophy of Science. He studied at the University of Würzburg and Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

German Travel Team

Andrew Clark

Director | Institute of Municipal and Regional Policy, UCONN

Mr. Clark works to facilitate efficient and effective solutions to critical issues facing Connecticut policymakers. The IMRP brings together a dedicated team of UConn faculty, staff, and students with state and national experts to provide immediate and long-range policy solutions.

Brittany LaMarr

Project Manager | Tow Youth Justice Institute (Juvenile Justice Policy and Oversight Committee)

Brittany is a tireless advocate for human rights, youth justice, and legal policy reforms across state, national, and international levels. With a B.A. in Political Science from UConn, where she is also an MPP & J.D. Candidate. Brittany personifies the power of education as an alum of Yale Law School’s Access to Law Fellowship and a Frederic Bastiat Fellow of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. She brings her unique blend of lived experience and scholarship to her many leadership roles, serving as: Assistant Director of the National Prison Debate League, Project Manager of the Juvenile Justice Policy and Oversight Committee with the Tow Youth Justice Institute, Smart Justice Leader with the ACLU of Connecticut, Justice Advisor with Connecticut Justice Alliance, and a member of the New England Commission on the Future of Higher Education in Prison.

TaShun Bowden-Lewis

Chief Public Defender, Connecticut (Member of the CT Sentencing Commission)

TaShun Bowden-Lewis is a criminal defense attorney and was appointed as the State of Connecticut’s first Black Chief Public Defender in 2022. A graduate of the Quinnipiac University School of Law, she has worked for the Division of Public Defender Services for 26 years. She is a 2023 James W. Cooper Fellow. TaShun is also an Associate Professor at Post University in Waterbury, where she developed a Black History course. TaShun has chaired a local, grassroots organization focused on racial equality in her community. She has served on an advisory board for a local Connecticut high school and has also worked on several boards to ensure that troubled youth and their families receive services that address the mind, body, and spirit. TaShun facilitates workshops and seminars for at-risk youth and young women throughout Fairfield County. She is also a mentor and commits countless hours volunteering with youth and young adults.

Alex Tsarkov

Executive Director of the Connecticut State Sentencing Commission

Alex Tsarkov is Executive Director of the Connecticut Sentencing Commission. Mr. Tsarkov joined the Commission as its first full-time Executive Director in November 2015. 15 As Director, he assists the Commission in its mission to review pre-trial and sentencing policies and make policy recommendations to the General Assembly and the Governor. Prior to joining the Commission, Alex worked for the Judicial Branch Court Support Services Division (JB-CSSD). Prior to JB-CSSD, he worked at the Connecticut General Assembly from 2007 to 2013. Alex worked on numerous issues affecting the state’s criminal justice system including diversionary programs, eyewitness identification, juvenile sentencing and pretrial justice. Alex is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Connecticut School of Public Policy and the University of Connecticut School of Law. He holds a Master of Public Policy degree from Trinity College and is a graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Law.

Patrick J. Griffin

Chief State’s Attorney, Connecticut (Member of the CT Sentencing Commission)

Patrick J. Griffin was appointed Chief State’s Attorney by the Criminal Justice Commission on May 12, 2022. As Chief State’s Attorney, Attorney Griffin is the administrative head of the Division of Criminal Justice, the independent agency of the executive branch of state government that is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of all criminal matters in the State of Connecticut.

Attorney Griffin has been a prosecuting attorney with the Division of Criminal Justice for more than 25 years. Prior to his appointment to Chief State’s Attorney, Attorney Griffin was the State’s Attorney for the New Haven Judicial District. Before serving in New Haven, Attorney Griffin worked at the Waterbury State’s Attorney’s Office from 1996 through 2011, the last approximately eight years of which he spent in the Part A court where he successfully tried numerous felony cases to verdict.

In 2013, Attorney Griffin was promoted to Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney in charge of the Cold Case & Shooting Task Force Bureau at the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney. As the supervising prosecutor, he directed a combined staff of prosecutors, inspectors, federal agents, municipal police detectives and Connecticut Department of Correction personnel who were responsible for the investigation and prosecution of unsolved violent crimes throughout the State of Connecticut as well as staffing local shooting task forces in Hartford and New Haven.

In 2014, Attorney Griffin was designated as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut and tasked with the investigation and prosecution of cold case homicides in federal court.

In 2015, Attorney Griffin received the Oliver Ellsworth Connecticut Prosecutor of the Year award.

Attorney Griffin earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Bonaventure University in New York and his law degree from Creighton University School of Law in Nebraska.

James Jeter

Full Citizen’s Coalition | Civic Allyship @Dwight Hall, Yale University

James Jeter recently worked as the Tow Foundation Fellow with the Yale Prison Education Initiative. He is a New Haven native who spent 20 years incarcerated at Cheshire Correctional Institution, where he completed 20 credited college courses with Wesleyan’s Center for Prison Education. James is currently enrolled at Trinity College and is the co-director of the Full Citizen’s Coalition to Unlock the Vote.

Gary Roberge

Executive Director, Court Support Services Division, CT Judicial Branch

Gary A. Roberge is the Executive Director of the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch, Court Support Services Division (JB-CSSD). He directs and manages over 1,200 employees involved with Adult and Juvenile Probation, Family Services (criminal and civil), Juvenile Detention, Alternative Sanctions and Pretrial Release (Bail). He guides the planning, coordination and implementation of the Division’s diverse programs and functions, including the supervision of over 30,000 adult probation cases, 15,466 pretrial and family relations cases, and over 1,500 juvenile probation and detention cases daily.

He is also responsible for the administration of the Division’s $120 million annual budget and oversight of the following business functions: Facilities and Materials Management, Human Resources, Information Technology, Programs and Services, Fiscal Administration, Research and Training.

JB-CSSD manages over 150 community-centered contracts that provide evidence-based client services in each Geographical Area/Judicial District Court. These services are designed to enhance judicial decision making, reduce prison/jail overcrowding, lower recidivism rates, and increase offender chances of successful reintegration. This network serves more than 7,400 adult and 250 juvenile clients daily through a continuum of interventions that 19 include residential, substance abuse treatment, behavioral health, individual and group interventions, community services, educational, clinical and vocational support.

In addition, Mr. Roberge represents the Branch and Division on the following Commission and Committees: Connecticut Sentencing Commission, Criminal Justice Policy and Advisory Commission, Juvenile Justice Policy & Oversight committee, Governor’s Non-profit Cabinet on Health and Human Services and the Alcohol and Drug Policy Council. Mr. Roberge also serves as the Interstate Compact Commissioner for the State of Connecticut, and he is Chair of the Finance Committee.

Mr. Roberge received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Eastern State University. He holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Hartford where he also received the Public Administration Management and Theory Award. Mr. Roberge is also an adjunct professor in the Central Connecticut State University Criminology Department.

Hannah Bauer

Research and Policy Specialist IMRP

Hannah is passionate about public interest law and human rights advocacy. She is a law student at the University of Freiburg, Germany majoring in German, European, and International Public Law. As part of a dual degree program, she studied at the University of Connecticut and graduated with an LL.M. in U.S. Legal Studies with specializations in Human Rights, Corporate and Regulatory Compliance and Environmental Law in May 2023. After graduating she will return to the University of Freiburg, Germany to finish her German law degree.

Hannah is dedicated to making a positive impact on the world and has worked on a diverse range of public interest and human rights law issues. As a Counsel for the Refugee Law Clinic in Freiburg, Hannah provides critical legal assistance to refugees and asylum-seekers. Her dedication to promoting social justice and advocating for marginalized communities is evident in her work. She has gained valuable research experience in international criminal law and constitutional law as a research assistant to Prof. Paulina Starski. As an Extern in the Environment Section at the Connecticut Office of the Attorney General, Hannah worked on environmental protection issues in Connecticut. At the IMRP Hannah has assisted the preparation for the trip to Germany.