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Sydney Lofton serves as the Senior Program Specialist, Audit Oversight, for the National Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Center. She is a highly experienced professional, with over 20 years of expertise in the fields of juvenile service and criminal justice. Over the course of her career, she has specialized in program evaluation; organizational analysis; and continuous quality improvement in auditing.

One of Sydney’s notable accomplishments is her ability to bring about positive changes in confinement conditions specifically related to the Civil Rights for Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA). She has played a crucial role in enhancing safety and security (to include sexual safety) in confined settings for the states of Georgia and Maryland, successfully eliminating the ongoing need for Department of Justice (DOJ) oversight. In Maryland specifically, Sydney was a part of a three-member leadership team whose responsibility included establishing and implementing the Quality Assurance and Accountability Department, Quality Review Team — a mandatory requirement of the Memorandum of Agreement between the DOJ and Maryland’s Department of Juvenile Services, which aimed to address violations of CRIPA. Within this role, Sydney contributed to the development, training, and implementation of Quality Assurance Standards. She also provided supervision to the Quality Review Auditors; and assisted in the overall oversight for the implementation of CRIPA measures.

These collective efforts led to significant transformations and improvements in confined conditions, ultimately resulting in the removal of DOJ oversight. Sydney’s experience also includes being a Grant Peer Reviewer for the Office of Justice Programs, BJA and Youth Collaboratory on a contractual basis. Additionally, Sydney holds a dual certification from DOJ as a Certified PREA Auditor (for juvenile and adult facilities). Beyond her professional commitments, Sydney has also provided valuable consultancy services to renowned civic and non-profit organizations that serve system-involved people and marginalized communities. Sydney earned a Bachelor of Science in criminology from Florida State University, a Master of Science in management with a concentration in justice administration from Saint Thomas University, and a graduate re-specialization in applied behavior analysis from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.