The Foundation for Improvement of Justice, Inc.
March 10, 2020
The Foundation for Improvement of Justice is a private not-for-profit institution founded in 1984 for the purpose
of improving local, state, and federal systems of justice within the United States of America. Each year, the
Foundation accepts nominations for the Paul H. Chapman Award to recognize and reward individuals or
organizations whose innovative programs and work have made improvements in the various systems of justice.
Over $2,600,000 in cash awards have been distributed since 1986. The Foundation is pleased to announce the
2018 Paul H. Chapman Award winners:
Ayuda’s Project Eradicating Notario Deceit, (Project END), Washington, DC – is recognized for its pioneering
Project END which combats notario fraud in immigrant populations. Since its start in 2013 this program has
represented over two-hundred victims of notario fraud by writing demand letters, provided victim accompaniment at
criminal trials, liaised with law enforcement to collect evidence and prepare victims to testify, and sought restitution
for victims. Project END “Sneaky Snake” character and memes share warning signs of notario fraud in short
videos that have been distributed to service providers and media outlets. Since the project’s inception they have
helped launch four other projects in other states and successfully drafted a state notario fraud statue which passed
Summer Chappell, Bartlett, TN – is recognized for developing curriculum and conducting training for both the
Memphis and Shelby County Police Departments. The training provides understanding about deaf culture,
resources in the community, how to use a sign language interpreter, and how to communicate using American Sign
Language. Drawing upon her personal experience of having deaf family members, while completing her Master’s
of Psychology degree she began to develop curriculum and peruse training for local law enforcement personnel.
Several years and proposals later, the first training session was conducted in January 2017 and to date, over 600
officers have participated. She also developed a “visor card” which provides a quick and efficient means of
communicating with the hearing impaired.
Max Kenner, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY – is recognized for his innovative program which brought access to
higher education and effective solutions to the criminal justice system. In 1999, at age twenty while attending Bard
College, Max Kenner founded the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) and serves as executive director. He brought the
same rigorous standards of study as on campus of the liberal arts program to prison students. BPI currently enrolls
more than 300 students across six prisons in NY state, has awarded approximately 400 Bard College degrees and
has a recidivism rate of less than 2% which is significantly lower than national averages. Partnering with major
universities/colleges in fifteen states, BPI is a national model for college-in-prison initiatives.
Richard Pompelio, Starta, NJ – is recognized for his extensive work in crime victim’s rights advocacy. After
building a successful law practice for a number of years, in 1989 his world was shattered when his 17-year old son
was murdered when he came to the aid af a young woman who was being attacked. In the aftermath of this
tragedy, Richard Pompelio became actively involved in victims’ rights and in 1991 he assisted in drafting New
Jersey’s Victim’s Rights Constitutional Amendment. The following year he closed his law practice and founded the
New jersey Crime Victim Law Center, the first such center in the US dedicated to pro bono representation of victims
of violent crime. To date, he has provided pro bono services to over 20,000 victims of violence, drafted much of the
victims’ rights legislation including 25 passed and several pending bills, and has served as the inspiration for
numerous other victim’s rights centers across the nation.
Amanda Thomashow, East Lansing, MI – is recognized for her courage, perseverance, and subsequent
advocacy for victims of sexual assault. In 2014, while attending graduate school, she was sexually assaulted by
the university’s well-known, and then internationally highly revered, medical professional. She worked up the
courage and reported the assault. Her report prompted the first Title IX investigation, which cleared him, and the
first university police criminal investigation, where prosecutors declined to charge him. Unbeknownst to her, she
was neither his first victim nor was she the only one to report him. Amanda Thomashow is one of the hundreds of
“sister survivors” abused by this doctor. In the past year an investigative exposé, child pornography charges, and a
federal lawsuit by other victims were filed and this doctor was tried and convicted. Since giving her victim impact
statement at the doctor’s January 2018 sentencing, she has dedicated herself to helping survivors by joining with
others to advocate for societal change to give voice to those who report abuse, rather than protect or enable those
who commit sexual assault.