Chief of Staff
Mass Department of Youth Services
Nokuthula (Thula) Sibanda, PhD, is the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) State Coordinator through the department of youth services. In this role she is responsible for the oversight and implementation of the JDAI initiative in Massachusetts, that seeks to improve or reimagine a juvenile justice system that is antiracist and developmentally appropriate to ensure that the right youth is in the right place for the right reasons. In her previous role she served as the Deputy Division Director of Adolescent Services for Community Teamwork. In this role she was tasked with developing alternative programming for at risk youth. Through her work with YouthBuild USA, she provided technical assistance to non-profit organizations to ensure quality youth centered programming. Dr. Sibanda describes her most important contribution to social change as her research work that focused on neighborhood risks and resources for youth returning home from detention centers in Massachusetts.
When she isn’t trying to impact social change, Dr. Sibanda enjoys spending time with family, friends and most importantly engaging in activities with her six god kids.
Dr. Sibanda received her PhD in Public Policy and Administration from Walden University, and a Master’s in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.