March Criminal Justice Series: Women in the Criminal Justice System

| 05:30 PM - 06:30 PM
Cost/fee: Free
Women in the Criminal Justice System

In Bradwell v. The State of Illinois (1872), the United States Supreme Court upheld a ruling that Myra Bradwell—and by extension, women in the United States—could be forbidden to practice law on the basis of their sex. Indeed, the Court ruled that it was important to maintain “the respective spheres of man and woman,” with women acting as mothers and wives consistent with the “law of the Creator.” This ruling was not surprising, as women who worked in the criminal justice system during this time were typically secretaries to male attorneys or police “matrons” who worked with women and children.

In the middle of the 19th century, women increasingly worked in roles of active law enforcement, lawyers, and judges. In 1968, the first women went on patrol duty in Indiana, and by the early 1990s half of law school students were females. Legally, many barriers women faced in employment in the criminal justice field have been removed. However, challenges remain—women are substantially under-represented in leadership roles in law enforcement and other criminal justice fields. In some professions, particularly in smaller geographic areas, there are few female applicants and few to no female employees. Women also face hurdles as employees in criminal justice professions.

Our March 2021 CJ Series Event is a panel of women employed in law enforcement, forensics, law, and a tangential but well-connected field, child development; two of these women were the first females to work in their positions. This panel looks at gender issues in employment within the criminal justice system, specifically examining the progress that has been made and the barriers that remain.

This event will be recorded for anyone unable to attend.


Laurel C. Feilmeier
Attorney at Law
Carrier Law Office

Laurel C. Feilmeier earned her Juris Doctor from the University of New Mexico in 2001, after completing her Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and her Master of Public Administration. She was the managing editor of the UNM Law Review from 2000-2001, and clerked for the United States Attorney’s Office in the District of Albuquerque in the summer of 2000. Ms. Feilmeier has been a sole practitioner for the last 18 years, primarily in the area of criminal defense. In 2008, Ms. Feilmeier assisted the Thirteenth Judicial District Court in New Mexico secure funding to plan and implement the state’s first mental health court in Sandoval County. She continued as the program director for the specialty court until 2019, when she and her husband relocated to the State of Mississippi.
In addition to the practice of law, Ms. Feilmeier has taught undergraduate courses at the University of Mississippi in criminal law, criminal procedure, corrections, and community justice. She is currently teaching an online course in corrections for the University of Colorado Denver.

Kelly Hume
Criminal Intelligence Analyst
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

Kelly earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Criminology from the University of South Florida in 2013 and her Master of Criminal Justice from the University of Colorado in 2018. She has worked in the criminal justice system in a variety of positions, with exposure to the judicial system, criminal justice policy, offender treatment, and homeland security. She worked as a probation officer in Colorado's 1st Judicial District, as a statistical analyst for the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice's Office of Domestic Violence and Sex Offender Management, as an intelligence analyst for the Colorado Information Analysis Center, and currently as a Criminal Intelligence Analyst for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office in Florida.

Laurie Halaba
Public Safety Bureau, Patrol Services
Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office

Captain Laurie Halaba is a Colorado native who started her career with the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office in 1999. Captain Halaba started as a deputy and worked in detentions- patrol, as a school resource officer, and on a drug task force team before being promoted to sergeant in 2009. She then took a position in the Office of Professional Standards before being promoted to lieutenant in 2012. Captain Halaba broke the glass ceiling by becoming the first female in the agency to be promoted to the rank of Captain in2014.

Captain Halaba earned her bachelor’s degree from Metropolitan State University and a master’s degree from Colorado State University. She is a graduate of the School of Police Staff and Command at Northwestern University and Denver University's Public Safety Leadership Program. She completed the Southern Police Institute Chief Executive Leadership Program, the International Association of Chiefs of Police Executive Women in Leadership Program, and the Police Executive Research Forum's Senior Management Institute for Police.

Elizabeth Groginsky
Cabinet Secretary
New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department


Casey Evans
University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs
Vice President of the Criminal Justice Honor Society


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