Dr. Jones continues to research the school-to-prison pipeline, using qualitative methods to understand the emotional and social effects of the pipeline on children, families, and educators from Pre-Kindergarten through high school. During her doctoral studies, Dr. Jones had the opportunity to work on a variety of research projects within the university and the Philadelphia community. She was a research consultant and program evaluator with Sankofa, a sponsored mentorship program from the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color that supports the academic and social needs of Black and Brown male students in Philadelphia high schools. Dr. Jones was also a research assistant with Shape Up! Barbers Building Better Brothers Project, assisting in the development of role-play scenarios designed to address Black men’s responses to conflict, specifically with romantic partners.
In 2012, she was a fellow with Education Pioneers, where she developed a plan to promote parental engagement in schools with Houston A+ Challenge, a non-profit organization based in Texas. For four years, Dr. Jones managed Dr. Howard Stevenson’s Preventing Long-term Anger and Aggression in Youth (PLAAY) project, which uses psycho-educational sessions and physical activity to help Black and Brown youth identify and address racial stress. As the project manager, she facilitated psycho-educational group sessions and started a girls’ group for the traditionally male-focused program, helping to create new curricula for both boys and girls participating in PLAAY.
Dr. Jones’ dissertation, Never Been: An Exploration of the Influence of Dis/ability, Giftedness, and Incarceration on Adolescents in Adult Correctional Facilities, provides new perspectives on the lives of incarcerated youth, as well as a deeper understanding of dis/ability and the socially-constructed identities with which a student interacts, placing the school-to-prison pipeline in conversation with systemic racism, the power of ecological systems, and theories of critical praxis. Specifically, the work reveals the lack of consideration for adolescent development. Never Been also offers a space for thinking about the development of critical theories and best practices for researchers who understand the importance of creating frames for the narratives and needs of those willing to share their stories.