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Sandra Pavelka, Ph.D. - Florida Gulf Coast University. Fort Myers, FL, US

Sandra Pavelka, Ph.D. Sandra Pavelka, Ph.D.

Expert in political science and justice | Florida Gulf Coast University

Fort Myers, FL, UNITED STATES

Sandra Pavelka is an expert in elections, law and public policy, and juvenile and restorative justice.

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Biography

Sandra Pavelka, Ph.D., is a professor of political science and public administration and founding director of the Institute for Youth and Justice Studies at Florida Gulf Coast University. She is an internationally recognized restorative justice expert and regularly serves as a political analyst for television, print and web-based media.

Pavelka studies the justice system with a focus on law and policy. She also conducts international assessments of restorative justice. In addition, her research areas include restorative justice in educational settings and gender-specific programming. She is actively involved in service in the community with the PACE Center for Girls, Coalition for a Drug-Free Southwest Florida, Impact Initiative of Southwest Florida and other organizations.

Areas of Expertise (10)

Campaigns

Elections

Public Policy

Restorative Justice

Voting

Political Science

U.S. Politics

Florida Politics

Juvenile Justice

Criminal Justice

Accomplishments (4)

National Points of Light Foundation (professional)

2016 "The George H.W. Bush Points of Light Awards honors individuals who demonstrate the transformative power of service, and who are driving significant and sustained impact through their everyday actions and words that light the path for other points of light." Learn more about Dr. Pavelka's service to the Foundation at https://www.pointsoflight.org/awards/youth-leader-spearheads-town-halls-for-kids-and-teens-to-discuss-substance-abuse.

Leadership and Service Award (professional)

2017 Presented by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.

Distinguished Service Award (professional)

2021 Presented by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.

Leadership and Service Award (professional)

2021 Presented by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.

Education (4)

Florida Atlantic University: Ph.D., Public Administration 2000

Concentration: Justice Policy

Florida International University: M.P.A., Public Policy 1989

University of Florida: B.A., Political Science 1985

American University: Washington Semester, National Government and Politics 1985

Affiliations (4)

  • National Association of Community and Restorative Justice : Chair, Law and Policy Committee; Member, Advisory Council
  • Twentieth Judicial Circuit of the State of Florida : Chair, Juvenile Justice Advisory Board
  • U.S. Congressional Crime Survivors and Justice Caucus : Member, Advisory Committee
  • American Correctional Association : Member, Restorative Justice Committee

Selected Media Appearances (19)

Your voice silenced: How lawmakers often undercut what you said you want

ABC7  tv

2022-05-13

Sandra Pavelka discusses ballot initiatives.

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Florida’s ‘election police force’ puzzles SWFL officials

NBC2  tv

2022-04-27

Sandra Pavelka discusses the state of Florida's idea of an election police force.

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Project Safe Neighborhoods: new initiative looks to prevent crime in SWFL

Fox 4  tv

2021-05-13

Sandra Pavelka discusses the initiative, Project Safe Neighborhoods.

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Thousands of people 50+ to receive first doses in Lee County today

ABC7  tv

2021-03-24

Sandra Pavelka discusses the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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SWFL speaks: What did you think of President Trump?

ABC7  

2021-01-21

Sandra Pavelka discusses President Donald Trump's time in office.

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Byron Donalds fighting to overturn election results, FL senators remain tight-lipped

NBC2  tv

2021-01-06

Sandra Pavelka discusses the Electoral College and republicans wanting to overturn the election results.

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Here’s why Democrats didn’t win any big races in Florida

NBC2  tv

2020-11-06

Sandra Pavelka discusses how national politics can impact local races.

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Senator Rick Scott says the country hasn’t beat COVID despite Trump’s claims

NBC2  tv

2020-11-03

Sandra Pavelka discusses COVID-19 and the election.

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Breaking down your ballot: Amendment 4

NBC2  tv

2020-10-16

Sandra Pavelka discusses Amendment 4.

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First presidential debate leaves voters feeling anxious

NBC2  tv

2020-10-01

Sandra Pavelka discusses the first presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

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Iowa Caucus app mishap raises questions about Florida’s election system security

NBC2  tv

2020-02-05

Sandra Pavelka discusses the Iowa Caucus app mishap and if it could happen in Florida.

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Despite low fundraising, Congressman Rooney will run for office again

NBC2  tv

2019-10-17

Sandra Pavelka discusses Congressman Francis Rooney's possible run for reelection.

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Florida taxpayers won’t have to foot the bill for any new gun laws this fall

NBC2  tv

2019-08-26

Sandra Pavelka discusses the impact of the Parkland shooting on students.

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Climate change expected to be main focus of first Democratic Debate

NBC2  tv

2019-06-24

Sandra Pavelka discusses how the topic of climate change will impact the election.

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George H.W. Bush inspired Southwest Floridians to live life of service

ABC 7  

2018-12-05

Sandra Pavelka talks about her Point of Light award, where she was named in President Bush's honor.

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A $1 million DOJ grant could help lower the recidivism rate in Fort Myers

News - Press  

2018-11-05

Sandra Pavelka discusses her work on a study with the Fort Myers Police Department that is meant to help felons re-enter society.

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Why you should start election day homework if you haven't already

ABC 7  

2018-10-24

Sandra Pavelka discusses the variety of issues on ballots in 2018.

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Breaking down President Trump's State of the Union address

ABC 7  

2018-01-31

Sandra Pavelka, talks about four major points in President Donald Trump's State of the Union address.

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Youth leader spearheads town halls for kids and teens to discuss substance abuse

Points of Light  

2016-08-30

Sandra Pavelka is honored by Points of Light.

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Selected Event Appearances (3)

Restorative Justice Public Policy and Law: An International Assessment and Future Perspectives

RJ World E-Conference  Virtual

2022-04-23

Guiding Principles for Restorative Justice and Victims and Survivors

National Center for Victims of Crime National Conference  Atlanta, Georgia

2021-10-07

Keynote: Advocating for All: The Intersection of Domestic Violence and Incarceration

National Center for Victims of Crime National Conference  Atlanta, Georgia

2021-10-06

Selected Research Grants (1)

Fort Myers Reentry Initiative

U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance $182,412

The Fort Myers Police Department in collaboration with Florida Gulf Coast University, was awarded a 3-year $1 million grant, funded by the Office of Justice Programs, US Department of Justice, entitled Ft. Myers Reentry Initiative. Dr. Pavelka serves as the Principal Evaluator on the grant. The goal of project is to implement the Innovations in Reentry Initiative model by developing and implementing a comprehensive and collaborative reentry process designed to reduce recidivism among reentering offenders who are at medium to high risk for recidivating and to improve public safety.

Selected Articles (4)

The Evolution of Balanced and Restorative Justice

Juvenile and Family Court Journal

Thomas, D. and S. Pavelka

2019 Maloney, Armstrong, and Romig presented a portrait of “Joey,” who was the exemplar of what was wrong with the juvenile justice system, in 1988 when they published The Balanced Approach in this Journal. In response, they reimagined a juvenile justice system predicated on balancing three fundamental goals—protection of community, accountability to victims, and development of competencies to prepare juvenile court-involved youth for productive roles in their communities. The authors examine the evolution of balanced and restorative justice and re-imagine how Joey's life may have been different at critical junctures of his juvenile court involvement.

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Restorative Justice in the States: An Analysis of Statutory Legislation and Policy

Pavelka, S.

Justice Policy Journal

2016 Two distinct models have guided justice systems in recent decades–individual treatment/rehabilitation and retributive justice. The organizational mission and goals of the justice system have become internally inconsistent as these systems attempt to satisfy competing goals, such as punishment, rehabilitation and community safety. As such, lawmakers and justice system administrators seek to clarify the aims of justice management and policy, while exploring possibilities for the future of the justice system.

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Performance Measurement in Juvenile Justice: Developing and Implementing Model Reporting Systems

Perspectives

Pavelka, S. and D. Thomas

2016 To accomplish the desired outcomes, jurisdictions are responding to the need for transparency and accountability by developing measures for performance. This article identifies six steps for developing and implementing performance measures for juvenile justice systems. These measures, successfully applied in several jurisdictions nationally, are essential in furthering dialogue and expanding these methods for implementation in current and future justice systems, thus creating more efficient and effective internal systems.

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Practices and Policies for Implementing Restorative Justice Within Schools

The Prevention Researcher

Pavelka, S.

2013 School administrators and teachers are faced with resolving disputes and misconduct in an expeditious and peaceful manner, while at the same time, addressing the needs of youth. Restorative justice is transforming the way that these decision makers are thinking about and responding to wrongful occurrences. This approach seeks to balance the needs of the victim and the school community with consequences and accountability for the wrongdoer. Restorative justice models provide schools with the opportunity to improve school culture by addressing disciplinary standards and creating a forum for peaceful resolution of conflict and misbehavior. These models seek to determine the impact of the incident and establish a mutual, prescriptive agreement for resolving and repairing the harm caused by the wrongdoing (Pavelka, 2011). This article will first discuss the core principles of restorative justice and its applications in educational settings. Then it will examine necessary support systems for successful implementation and the potential challenges that schools face.

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