Melissa Rodriguez is a senior program associate at Impact Justice, working primarily with the Field Training Program.
Melissa worked in the Corrections field for 29 years, starting her career with the State Prison system before transitioning to the County Jail system. She has worked in male and female prisons and jails that house juvenile prisoners. Melissa has worked with the implementation of Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) standards since 2013 and has been a certified PREA Auditor since 2016.
Prior to Impact Justice, Melissa oversaw compliance with PREA standards for adult jails, American Correctional Association (ACA) standards, as well as state jail standards, local ordinances, and policies and procedures. She has supervised personnel charged with conducting internal audits and data collection associated with PREA incidents, developing action plans and providing supplemental training when necessary. She also served as the department’s PREA Coordinator where she assisted in gaining compliance with PREA standards, developing PREA related policies and procedures, facilitated PREA trainings, and spearheaded PREA compliance efforts. Melissa has worked with the Marshall Project to discuss and describe the fight against rape in local jails and provided technical assistance to agencies throughout the country with the implementation of the PREA standards. She spent six years at the Basic Training Academy as the curriculum coordinator and holds active instructor certifications in general instruction and high liability topics. Melissa has trained hundreds of new employees between her time at the academy and years of instruction.
Melissa holds a Bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership and is pursuing a Master’s Degree in education leadership. She continues to drive her passion of training in other areas such as compliance with PREA standards, assessing data and the story it tells, officer safety practices, maintaining mental wellness and mentoring employees as they grow in their profession.