Team Members

Ashleigh Dowden

Project Coordinator

Ashleigh began her career in reentry and paralegal services as a project coordinator for Reentry Benefiting Families in January 2016. She brings a diverse set of experiences and educational credentials to Parole Project and is well suited to take on the wide variety of duties associated with her position. Beyond administrative oversight, she provides support for intern supervision, community outreach, volunteer relations, and donor campaigns. Ashleigh is also certified to facilitate Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT) groups.

An advocate of restorative justice initiatives for victims and offenders, as well as non-carceral solutions to crime, Ashleigh is committed to defending the rights of the formerly incarcerated and providing support, encouragement, and opportunity to those transitioning back into society after prison.

Ashleigh is invested in supporting special populations of the formerly incarcerated in Louisiana including women, members of the LGBTQ+ community, registered citizens, and others who face unique challenges after release. She is exceptionally knowledgeable about the laws surrounding Louisiana’s offender registry and the negative impact the ineffective post-conviction registration scheme has on successful reentry.

She earned a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre from Western Illinois University which led to positions as program director and education coordinator for a performing arts company. There she gained extensive experience in the nonprofit sector. She also has a bachelor’s degree in social work and experience as a drug and alcohol counselor and an intake specialist in a mental health hospital. After her first round of graduate school, Ashleigh began a seven-year stint as a Ph.D. student and adjunct instructor at LSU while simultaneously earning her teaching certificate and working as an educator in both public and private schools.

However, it is Ashleigh’s life experience that led her to a career in reentry services. She not only understands what it means to have your entire life put into the hands of the criminal justice system, but she also knows the power and grace of a second chance.

A Baton Rouge native who lives with her husband and daughter in Mid City, Ashleigh joined the Parole Project staff in January 2018.