Who We Are and What We Do
           



Board Members

dan smith
Daniel Smith
Vice-President
Daniel Smith has completed 33 years of service with the Department of Probation and Court Services, DuPage County. His first 16 years were spent as a Juvenile Detention Officer and a Senior Detention Officer at the DuPage County Detention Center. For the past 17 years, Daniel has been as a Senior Probation Officer coordinating Restorative Justice Programs. The main programs are Victim Offender Conferencing and the Victim Impact Circle Programs. He has significantly developed and enhanced these program by writing protocols and championing healing communication between victims and offenders, thus motivating offenders to make significant amounts of restitution to victims. In 2003, Daniel received the Department Recognition Award for his dedication and skill in Victim Services and in 2014, Daniel received the Department Recognition Award for his work in Community Partnerships. In 2017 Daniel was awarded the "Youth Worker of the Year" by the DuPage Juvenile Officers Association. Daniel works in all aspects of Victim Services within the Department of Probation and Court Services. Daniel is an Ex-officio member for the Foundation for C.H.A.N.G.E. and the Vice President of the Illinois Balanced and Restorative Justice Project (both are 501c3s). Daniel is a founding member of ReStore DuPage and RESTORE: Carol Stream Peacemakers, these groups work in the community and schools for the advancement of Restorative Practices.
Jill Johnson
Jill Johnson
Treasurer
Jill Mathews-Johnson is currently an Administrator with the A.C.T.I.O.N.S program at Champaign Unit 4 schools. Previously she was an assistant principal at Garden Hills Elementary School in Champaign for three years where they implemented restorative practices. Jill is a trained Circle keeper and Restorative Practices trainer. In her twenty plus years in education, she has also worked as an early childhood, special education and elementary school social worker, a Technical Assistance Coordinator for the Illinois Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports network and an adjunct lecturer at the University of Illinois, teaching in the School of Social Work and the School of Special Education.
Keyria
Keyria Rodgers
Secretary
Keyria Rodgers is the special projects director for the state’s attorney’s office in Macon County. As special projects director for the office, Rodgers serves as Teen Court administrator, Truancy Court administrator, Juvenile Redeploy program manager, Adult Redeploy Illinois Grant administrator, and as assistant chair for the Macon County Juvenile Justice Council. She also serves on the advisory board for the Illinois Association of Juvenile Justice Councils, the Criminal Justice Advisory boards for Heartland Technical Academy and Richland Community College, and the Old King’s Orchard Community Center Board. She is also an adjunct professor of criminal justice and sociology at Millikin University.
Nancy Michaels
Nancy Michaels
Nancy Michaels is the Associate Director at the Mansfield Institute for Social Justice and Transformation at Roosevelt University. She has a BA in Social Justice Studies and an MA in Sociology from Roosevelt University. Her graduate research, involving the white response to black integration on the Southwest and West sides of Chicago, has to do with how segregation affects racial identity and the social construction of whiteness. Other areas of interest and activism lie in juvenile justice, mass incarceration, restorative justice and more broadly, in raising awareness around the societal structures, policy and institutions that lead to the marginalization and criminalization of whole communities in urban environments. Nancy is a highly collaborative and driven change agent with a passion and focus for moving social justice initiatives forward by building relationships and raising consciousness through research, thought provoking programming and community engagement. Specific to her restorative justice background, Nancy is a restorative justice practitioner and trainer, has developed and provides programming in two Chicago schools, leads the "Embrace Restorative Justice in Schools Collaborative," and works on a number of initiatives with the goal of shifting the paradigm for how we "do justice" in the Illinois criminal justice system.
Nancy Michaels
Vanessa Westley
She has served in various positions within the Department's Patrol Division and other units. She began her service in community policing in 2004 under now retired First Deputy Dana V. Starks. as project manager in the Department's CAPS Project Office.

She later served as project manager for the Mayors Office Faith Based and Community Partnerships. Currently she is the program manager for the Chicago Police Department's and the Metro YMCA's Bridging The Divide program. She is the special projects coordinator for the CAPS Revitalization effort launched by Mayor Emanuel and Superintendent McCarthy in January 2013. She leads the community engagement training program for the Department through Depaul University Center for Urban Education.
Ellyn Ahmer
Ellyn Ahmer
My earliest experiences with conflict were growing up in an ordinary, middle class, white family of five children. I unconsciously learned about the power structure very early. Adults are in charge. Kids do what they do to get what they need. When their needs are not met, they resort to many different behaviors to survive. The variety & intensity of needs within a group of seven people caused much conflict, most of it unspoken & unresolved.

As a 50-something adult, I became fascinated with tension & conflict & how it plays out in human relationships. Reflecting on years in school & business, I wanted to learn how to resolve brewing or erupting tensions to keep friends & business partners from disconnecting. I quickly discovered the most crucial conflict to resolve was that within myself. Most of the last 10 years has been dedicated to studying & learning ways of being through various methods, processes & activities to enter conflict & facilitate connections, thereby bringing more peace into the world.
Justin Stern
Justin Stern
Justin Stern is the Associate Director for Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution at Illinois State University; he has worked in Student Affairs for Higher Education for almost 10 years. In addition to overseeing the conflict resolution program at Illinois State University, Justin was the founder of Redbirds Resolving Conflict and now serves as its advisor; Redbirds Resolving Conflict is a registered student organization at Illinois State University dedicated to conflict resolution and restorative justice. In addition to being a restorative justice trainer and a certified mediator, Justin also teaches both mediation and restorative justice in the Criminal Justice Sciences Department at Illinois State University. Justin is also working on his Ph.D. in Higher Education at Illinois State University.