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Hickman, Ph.D.

Criminal Justice Principal Associate

Shelby Hickman is a mixed methods research and evaluation professional with 14 years of experience in program evaluation, training and technical assistance, and analysis of criminal and juvenile justice administrative data. Dr. Hickman has expertise in overseeing studies funded by the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services. She has experience in causal inference methods for both random assignment and quasi-experimental designs. Additionally, she is proficient in qualitative methodologies, such as semi-structured interviews, focus groups, cognitive interviews, and observations. Hickman is also an expert in forced labor and human trafficking.

She currently is playing a critical role in a number of projects. She is project director for a randomized control trial of Veterans Treatment Court programs. She is the project director for two quasi-experimental evaluations of violence intervention programs. Hickman is the evaluation and continuous quality improvement lead for the Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Use Program training and technical assistance center,  focused on research and evaluation. She also is leading a study to develop recommendations for human trafficking prevalence estimation for the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Hickman has led implementation evaluations for more than five teen pregnancy prevention programs, including one focused on justice-involved young men. She has also conducted survey development for the federal government, including developing measures for quality of early childhood care providers in English and Spanish. She received a Fulbright award to carry out research on forced labor in Brazil and co-authored a textbook on human trafficking. Hickman has worked with over 70 law enforcement agencies as a training and technical assistance provider and consent decree monitor. She has also led five quasi-experimental evaluations of justice system interventions, including two evaluations of reentry programs.


  • juvenile justice
  • human trafficking
  • program evaluation
  • administrative data analysis

Key Projects:


  • Hickman, S., Masters, C., and Reddy, N. (2024) Reincarceration among Roca participants in Massachusetts (Report). Rockville, MD: Abt Global
Shelby Hickman, Ph.D.