Maya Szilak is a resident fellow on the Criminal Justice and Civil Liberties team. She researches and writes policy papers on criminal justice issues, including alternatives to arrest, diversion programs, bail reform and juvenile justice.

Prior to R Street, Maya worked as a Prison Monitor and Research and Policy Counsel for the John Howard Association of Illinois where she monitored and wrote reports on conditions in Illinois’ adult and juvenile prisons and juvenile detention facilities. She was also an Assistant Appellate Defender at the Office of the State Appellate Defender of Illinois, First District. There she represented indigent adult and juvenile clients in criminal appeals and clemency proceedings.

Maya received her Bachelors in English and History from Tulane University, New Orleans. She also received her J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Maya lives in Chicago with her husband, Jason, and two cats, Squeaky and Dolly.