Derrick Franke

Senior Researcher

Derrick Franke is a senior researcher with AIR. He is a practicing restorative justice facilitator and certified trainer with the International Institute for Restorative Practices. He assists criminal justice agencies, school districts, and community organizations with the development, implementation, and evaluation for restorative justice practices. For example, Franke serves as the project director for a National Institute of Justice randomized controlled trial (RCT) examining the effectiveness of family group conferencing to improve reentry outcomes for men and women suffering from addiction as they leave jails and prisons in Detroit, MI.

Franke also serves as a lead TA coach for the Corrections and Community Engagement Technical Assistance Center, supporting Department of Justice funded nonprofits improve reentry services for adults returning from incarceration. He provides one-on-one coaching and facilitates communities of practice, helping Second Chance Act community-based grantees across the country achieve their grant objectives. In his TA role, Franke works closely with project officers and policy advisors at the Bureau of Justice Assistance.   

Prior to his time at AIR, Franke spent 15 years creating access to restorative processes for justice-impacted adults and juveniles, crime survivors, and at-risk students. He worked with international experts in London, England on the world’s largest RCT of prison-based restorative justice. His victim-offender dialogue work in Indiana’s correctional system was featured on CNN’s original series The Redemption Project. While a specialist at Michigan State University’s (MSU) School of Criminal Justice, he was a subject matter expert for the National Center for School Safety, led Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program courses, and was the faculty advisor for MSU’s first student organization and faculty learning community focused on restorative justice. He works closely with policy makers to build more restorative legal and correctional systems and his research on alternatives to incarceration is published in leading criminology journals.

Derrick Franke headshot

M.A., Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Maryland, College Park; B.A., Sociology, Psychology, University of California, Davis