NEW LEADERSHIP FOR A STRONGER, SAFER COMMUNITY
Monique was born in Brooklyn, New York. A first-generation American, the youngest child and only daughter of her hard-working immigrant parents, who came to this country in search of a better life. Growing up between New York and Orlando, she was determined to become a Criminal Justice Reform advocate from a very young age, based on the injustices that she saw in her communities. Monique took pre-law classes in high school and studied criminal justice and psychology as an undergraduate.
Monique made Central Florida her home in 1996. After receiving her law degree from the University of Florida in 1999, she began her career as a Public Defender in Orange County, Florida. She then went on to private practice where she continued to focus on Criminal Justice.
Monique later became a clinical law professor at the University of Florida College of Law, where she trained law students who aspired to practice criminal law. Because of her passion for keeping youth out of the criminal justice system, Monique developed and implemented the Your Future, Your Choice program to teach youth their rights and responsibilities as citizens.
Monique became a founding director of the University’s Criminal Justice Center and developed a rigorous program that has produced many criminal law practitioners across the state of Florida.
Monique left the University of Florida to become the founding director of the Conviction Integrity Unit in the State Attorney’s Office in Orange County, Florida, where she led the investigation of claims for wrongful conviction. It was that experience that made her realize that change in the criminal legal system was critical and must come from within.
Monique is an accomplished criminal justice attorney, with experience as a leader, advocate, teacher, and administrator. She most recently served as Chief Legal Officer at the REFORM Alliance a non-profit organization focused on criminal justice reform.
Monique and her husband LeVere live in Winter Garden, with their three sons. Monique believes that the criminal legal system is fundamentally flawed and needs reform-minded individuals in order to achieve equity and a plan to move our system towards justice.