WHO WE ARE
Supporting Heroes in Mental Health Foundational Training (SHIFT) was developed by The Innocent Justice Foundation (a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization) with funding from the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). With a team made up of globally recognized mental health professionals and Internet Crimes Against Children Commanders, SHIFT aims to help exposed individuals and supporting mental health professionals work together to mitigate the negative effects of viewing child abuse images.
Educate individuals and improves their ability to prevent and mitigate negative effects associated with exposure to child sexual exploitation and abuse materials
To train mental health professionals on child sexual exploitation and abuse, its effects, vicarious trauma (VT) and proven effective treatment methods
To train mental health professionals and law enforcement trainers to conduct regional and local SHIFT training
Conduct training of advanced topics for exposed individuals live at conferences and via web based education
The Innocent Justice Foundation is 501(c)(3) charitable organization that leverages offers training and resources to support justice and other professionals that can help rescue millions of sexually abused American children and prevent future abuse. We take requests from law enforcement agencies nationwide battling on the front lines to protect innocents, give justice to abused children, take predators off the streets, and make our neighborhoods safe again.
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) provides national leadership, coordination, and resources to prevent and respond to juvenile delinquency and victimization. OJJDP supports states and communities in their efforts to develop and implement effective and coordinated prevention and intervention programs and to improve the juvenile justice system so that it protects public safety, holds offenders accountable, and provides treatment and rehabilitative services tailored to the needs of juveniles and their families. OJJDP administers the Internet Crimes Against Children task force program nationwide.
Beth A. Medina is the CEO of The Innocent Justice Foundation and Program Director of SHIFT. She began as a volunteer with TIJF in 2009 helping to assist with community events. She continued to assist TIJF in strategic planning and Board development and in 2014, Ms. Medina transitioned into the role of CEO, continuing to spread the message and mission of The Innocent Justice Foundation in the wider community.
Her background includes her more than 20 years of experience in non-profit, education and mental health fields, including extensive experience developing and launching new programs and designing curriculum for community based organizations.
Beth holds a BA from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, a Paralegal degree from Roosevelt University, a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the California Graduate Institute and completed her Doctoral work in Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
Ms. Elizabeth Tow serves as the Program Manager at The Innocent Justice Foundation (TIJF) where she works in collaboration with the CEO/Program Director to oversee the SHIFT program which entails needs assessment, program design and delivery, developing presentations and resource material, trainer and consultant supervision, and managing day to day operations of the SHIFT program. She began working in the Criminal Justice profession in 2005 as a Public Safety Dispatcher, in California and Montana, and then worked as a High-Tech Crime Training Specialist at SEARCH from 2010 - 2015. Ms. Tow is a repeat speaker at over 25 conferences held all across the United States and managed over 100 nation-wide trainings while at TIJF. Ms. Tow has a Master's Degree in Forensic Psychology and a B.A. in Criminal Justice Management.
Ms. Elizabeth Tow serves as the Program Manager at The Innocent Justice Foundation (TIJF) where she works in collaboration with the CEO/Program Director to oversee the SHIFT program which entails needs assessment, program design and delivery, developing presentations and resource material, trainer and consultant supervision, and managing day to day operations of the SHIFT program. In her current role, she has managed over 100 nation-wide trainings and continues to speak at conferences across the country.
Before joining TIJF in 2015, Ms. Tow spent five years as a High-Tech Crime Training Specialist in the High-Tech Crime Training Services department of SEARCH, The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics, where she coordinated and provided training on high-tech crime investigations and forensics to local, state and federal justice and public safety agencies. She provided technical assistance to law enforcement agencies in active cases, prepares training curricula, taught SEARCH investigative courses and spoke at conferences throughout the United States. Ms. Tow also spent five years in local law enforcement in two states, as a Public Safety Dispatcher for the Grass Valley (California) and Helena (Montana) Police Departments. She gained experience in curriculum development and training and Internet Crimes Against Children peer-to-peer investigations.
Jill serves as Lead Program Coordinator at The Innocent Justice Foundation (TIJF). She works with travel arrangements, and compiling training materials and data for post training reports. She also maintains QuickBooks, monthly budget updates and financial reports.
Prior to working at TIJF, Jill worked for a stock brokerage firm in San Francisco as a software trainer. She instructed employees on Microsoft Office and line-of-business applications, both in a classroom setting and one-on-one. She also created course manuals and quick reference guides. A few buyouts and mergers later she found herself managing software trainers across the country for Bank of America. Fourteen years later Jill left Bank of America to start a family. Between then and now they moved to Denver, San Diego, Australia and back to San Diego with Jill doing part time bookkeeping along the way.
Now at The Innocent Justice Foundation, Jill enjoys being able to use all of her skills towards such an important cause.
Kevin J. Albanese was a certified and commissioned law enforcement officer in the State of Connecticut for over 22 years. Prior to his retirement in 2016, he was the supervising Sergeant for the Connecticut State Police Computer Crimes Investigations Unit, and the Commander of the Connecticut Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. As a result of his commitment, over the past four years the Connecticut ICAC Task Force has had a significant increase in investigations and prosecutions on both the state and federal level. For his efforts and steadfast commitment, Kevin was the recipient of several citations from the Connecticut State Police for his work in ICAC.
Kevin currently owns a network security consulting business that concentrates in the pharmaceutical software area. Kevin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Justice and Law Administration for Western Connecticut State University. Kevin joined SHIFT as a training consultant in 2015.
Carol S. Brusca is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and National Trainer. She is also a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. Carol is the Office of the New Mexico Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Mental Health Provider (MHP). As MHP, she supports staff through trainings, resources, check-ins and brief therapy sessions. Carol enjoys teaching others about the benefits of wellness and the simple steps that can be taken to reduce stress and increase happiness and peace of mind. She trains law enforcement, probation and parole, advocates, therapists, across the country on vicarious trauma, resilience, wellness and stress management. Carol has extensive experience teaching at the college level to both Bachelor’s level and Graduate level students in both the Human Services and Counseling areas. She is the Clinical Consultant for Albuquerque Street Connect, a street outreach team serving mentally ill adults living on the streets.
In December 2015 Andrew retired from the South Burlington (VT) Police Department after over 20 years of service, retiring as a sergeant. During his tenure with the South Burlington Police Department Andrew served as a detective for over 11 years. In December 2015 he joined the Vermont Attorney General’s Office assigned full time to the Vermont Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Andrew has been a member of the VT-ICAC for 14 years.
Andrew has also spearheaded the development of a mental health policy for all personnel of the Vermont ICAC. This policy trains all Vermont ICAC members to be cognizant of the effects of chronic exposure to child pornography as well as exposure to other forms of child sexual exploitation. The policy also allows training for the spouses/significant others of Vermont ICAC members to educate them in the hazards of investigating child sexual exploitation and signs and symptoms of exposure to these types of investigations. This policy allows for personnel to change assignment due to over exposure of harmful material with no fear of reprimand. This policy came as a result of his experiences with child exploitation investigations.
He was an instructor with the National Criminal Justice Training Center, ICAC Training where he trained investigators and prosecutors on how to conduct proactive undercover Internet facilitated child sexual exploitation investigations. He has also instructed at Champlain College in Burlington, VT and at the Vermont Police Academy.
Anthony M. Maez is a certified/commissioned Special Agent in Charge with the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office, and the Commander of the Internet Crimes Against Children, and Human Trafficking Task Forces. Anthony is a National trainer on Sex Crimes, Domestic Violence, Technology Stalking, and Human Trafficking investigations. He is Lead Faculty Area Chair for the College of Criminal Justice and Security, and faculty in the School of Business at the University of Phoenix, Albuquerque campus. Anthony has a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Wayland Baptist University, and a Master of Arts in Business and Organizational Security Management from Webster University.
Ms. Jean McAllister is an independent consultant and trainer with her own business, JGM Consulting LLC, and has more than 30 years of experience working to address trauma and interpersonal violence. Her work has focused on sexual assault, child abuse and sexual abuse, domestic violence, trauma and victimization, offender dynamics, secondary trauma intervention, stress management, organizational development and policy development. She serves as an expert witness and provides case consultation regarding sexual assault, child abuse and sexual abuse, domestic violence, victim trauma reactions and offender management.
Michael Sullivan: Michael Sullivan is a thirty-six-year veteran of law enforcement, who served as the Deputy Chief of the Investigations Division for the Illinois Attorney General’s Office as the ICAC Task Force Commander. He has been a member of the ICAC Advisory Board, and the Co-Chair of the ICAC Emerging Technology Group. Deputy Chief Sullivan has also been a member of the teaching faculty at North East Multi-Regional Training, the College of DuPage, the Suburban Law Enforcement Academy, and the Fox Valley Technical College/OJJDP
Dr. Stacy McKenzie, CMHC, NCC is the Clinical Director of Clearview Counseling & Assessment, Inc., a clinical mental health center that focuses on the resolution of trauma in all individuals. Over the past 15 years, she has had the opportunity to work with adults, children, and families in many different areas. These areas include working with substance abuse, health management and promotion, crisis intervention and in evaluation and treatment of juvenile offenders. Her varied experiences have provided her with unique insight into the difficult situations faced by first responders (police officers and firefighters).
Currently, Dr. McKenzie has had the privilege of working with the Utah Attorney General’s ICAC task force in the development of their Officer Wellness Program. She has been trained in Trauma-Focused Treatment/Therapy and is certified as an EMDR therapist/practitioner. Dr. McKenzie is a member of the International Association of Trauma Professionals (IATP); a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and a member of the American Counseling Association(ACA)/Utah Mental Health Counselor Association (UMHCA).
Lt. Matthew Kail is the Commander of the Maryland State Police Technical Investigation Section. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Studies from the University of Maryland University College with a minor in Criminal Justice. He has been a Maryland State Trooper for 20 years and Commander of the Technical Investigation Section since 2014. Prior to this current assignment, he was the barrack commander of the Maryland State Police Barrack "D" Bel Air. As a criminal investigator, Lt. Kail spent a majority of his career assigned to the FBI Baltimore Field Office investigating cyber-crime with an emphasis on child exploitation investigations.
Supervisory Special Agent Jessica Farnsworth has been a special agent with the Utah Attorney General’s Office since 1999 and currently serves as the Section Chief for the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC).
SSA Farnsworth began working as a counselor for abused children in 1990. From 1995 to 1998 she worked with the Utah Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) assigned to investigate child sexual abuse cases. She was hired by the Utah Attorney General’s office in 1998 as a forensic investigator to handle DCFS conflict of interest cases, including foster homes, group homes and DCFS employees. She became certified as a peace officer in 1999. She investigated primarily criminal cases involving children but also had the opportunity to investigate a variety of other crimes, including crimes against persons, child abductions, child homicides, child sexual exploitation, internet crimes, identity theft, white collar crime and closed society groups (polygamous sects). In 2007, SSA Farnsworth was tasked with creating, implementing and commanding a statewide Child Abduction Response Team (CART).
SSA Farnsworth has provided assistance, training and consultation to various law enforcement agencies throughout the United States in child abuse investigations and is a frequent speaker on various child endangerment subjects. She has assisted various state and federal agencies on major task force operations, including undercover work on interstate drug trafficking, hate groups, internet crimes and identity theft.
SSA Farnsworth was recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2008 as the AMBER Alert Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. She has also been recognized as the Utah State Employee of the Year and the Utah Attorney General’s Office Employee of the Year.
SSA Farnsworth received a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and has done post-graduate work at Brigham Young University and the University of Utah.