Jennifer Merkle J.D.

College of Professional Studies - Department of Public Service

Jennifer M. Merkle graduated cum laude with a Juris Doctor degree from American University, Washington College of Law, in Washington, DC.  Her primary areas of interest involved criminal law and international human rights and she served as an articles editor for the Human Rights Newsletter/ Brief.   Jennifer matriculated with highest honors earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. 

Jennifer was selected as an Honors Attorney, through the U.S. Department of Justice’s Honors Attorney Program in 1997.   She had a brief break in service during which time she served as an Assistant State Attorney, Office of the State Attorney for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit in Broward County, Florida.   She has received numerous sustained superior performance awards during her Bureau of Prisons career.  Jennifer has held collateral duties as Alternate Federal Women’s Program Manager and Diversity Instructor. Jennifer served as a criminal Special Assistant United States Attorney (SAUSA) for the Office of the United States Attorney in the District of Hawaii and served as a civil SAUSA for the Office of the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Florida from September 2004 until August of 2008. 

Jennifer has always had a passion for teaching and leading training sessions.  She accepted her first position as an adjunct instructor with Colorado Technical University Online.  She joined the team at Hawaii Pacific University in 2008 and in August of 2021 was selected as an Assistant Professor.

Jennifer’s research interests cover a broad spectrum of areas including improving offender and loved one’s preparation for incarceration, enhancing re-entry opportunities, incorporating emotional intelligence principles to corrections and law enforcement personnel training, preventing youth violence and entry into the juvenile justice system, community policing, enhancing evidence-based risk assessment tool, moving corrections forward, and applied quantitative methods and measurements.

Jennifer runs a virtual law firm dedicated primarily to consulting on legal issues involving the Federal Bureau of Prisons.  Her law firm can be found at  Jennifer has a strong desire to help bring greater transparency to the operation of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. 

Jennifer Merkle

Assistant Professor

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  (808) 356-5297
  900 Fort Street Mall,  PL 10-5

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 Curriculum Vitae (PDF)