Meet the Research Staff

Staff of the Judicial Council/AOC Research Office has changed a bit since the beginning of the year.  Audrey Udemba, Communications Intern, took a few moments to speak with the Research Office's members recently.

The Research Office strives to provide evidence-based research and subject matter expertise to the Judicial Council of Georgia, the Georgia Courts, the AOC and to other stakeholders to improve the administration of justice. For more on their activities, go here.

 

Carla Hardnett

Carla HardnettWhat is your educational background?  I completed undergraduate studies at Clark Atlanta University in Criminal Justice (BA) and graduate studies at Georgia State University in Public Administration (MPA)

 

How long have you been with the JC/AOC? Six months.

What is your work experience prior to coming to the JC/AOC?  

Prior to becoming the Research & Data Analysis Manager at the AOC, I was an Executive Officer at DeKalb Juvenile Court serving both as the Citizen Panel Review Administrator and later as the Chief Probation Officer.  Before that, I worked for the Department of Juvenile Justice managing restorative programs for youth offenders.

 

What is your assignment within Research?  Research and Data Analysis Manager.

What assignment/experience has been the most rewarding or interesting? Annual case count reporting and the related judicial workload assessments.

How do you spend your weekends? Most of it is spent on Interstate 85 or cooking but I can also be found at Lake McIntosh.

What is a fun fact about you or something people wouldn’t know about you? I enjoy rowing.

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Aycock

Robert AycockWhat is your educational background? Bachelors of Political Science at Georgia College & State University; Masters of Public Administration at Georgia State University.

How long have you been with the JC/AOC? One year.

What is your work experience prior to coming to the JC/AOC? I worked for a social research firm called NORC. Prior to that I worked in various positions within state government and politics.

What is your assignment within Research?  I generally take the lead with caseload and survey research projects.

What assignment/experience has been the most rewarding or interesting?  Revising the probate reporting caseload form.

How do you spend your weekends? Relaxing with my friends and my fiancé.

What is a fun fact about you or something people wouldn’t know about you? I have read Lord of the Rings more times than I care to admit.

 

 

 

 

 

Jeffrey Thorpe

Jeffrey ThorpeWhat is your educational background? I received my Masters of Public Administration (MPA) with a focus on Public Management.  Also, I received my Bachelors of Art in Political Science and International Studies with minor in Spanish Language. I focused on Government Operations as well as War and Peace with area emphasis in Latin America and Southeast Asia.  Both were received from the fantastic Georgia Southern University in Statesboro.

How long have you been with the JC/AOC? I have been with the AOC since Feb 1st 2016. And lovin’ it!

What is your work experience prior to coming to the JC/AOC? Before coming to the AOC, I worked at a transportation spend management (TSM) company called Veraction as a Cost Allocation Specialist. Before Veraction, I interned with the Brunswick Circuit Defenders Office while I was working on my Masters. I also worked in Georgia Southern’s Office of Student Activities as a graduate assistant that focused on Programming.

What is your assignment within Research? Currently, my main focus has been ADR Caseload Data Collection. I also assist with other research requests and other projects as needed.

What assignment/experience has been the most rewarding or interesting?  It has definitely been the ADR caseload. It’s one of the biggest projects I have been assigned. It has its challenges but definitely provides me with tons of knowledge and experience as well as travel opportunities.

How do you spend your weekends?  Usually with friends, concerts, sporting events, theatre productions, and doing research on various international affairs topics.

What is a fun fact about you or something people wouldn’t know about you?   I am a pretty open book, but I have had an opportunity to do two speeches at the United Nations General Assembly. Unfortunately, it was to students and not to actual UN representatives, but the experience of being on stage where other world leaders do their speeches and being projected on the UN screens was an amazing experience. Plus I got to see the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon speak.

 

 

Danita Chiles

Danita ChilesWhat is your educational background? Master of Arts degree in Criminology. I received my Bachelor degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Georgia.

How long have you been with the JC/AOC? 5 months.

What is your work experience prior to coming to the JC/AOC?  Various criminal justice internships within state and federal government.

What is your assignment within Research?  To support the AOC, Georgia courts and stakeholders with evidence-based research.

What assignment/experience has been the most rewarding or interesting?  Creating the agency’s most recent Judicial boundary map.

How do you spend your weekends? Concerts, coffee shops, and the gym.

What is a fun fact about you or something people wouldn’t know about you? I am an expert in making a traditional Caribbean drink called Sorrel. It’s the perfect beverage to have on a hot sunny day!

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