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Photo by Toa Heftiba

About Us

Our principal consultants are subject matter experts in program development, implementation, evaluation and research studies focused on 1) prison & jail health programs; 2) practices to support children and families with incarcerated loved ones; and 3) community services supporting reentry efforts.
Together, principal consultants Katie Kramer and Barry Zack have over 50 years of experience serving and working with individuals, families and community agencies affected by incarceration. The Bridging Group brings reality-based experience to provide thoughtful solutions to difficult questions.
Explore our biographies, community involvement, and fields of expertise.
Katie Kramer, DSW, MSW, MPH

For the past 25 years, Dr. Kramer has focused on the development, implementation, and evaluation of social service and health programs that serve individuals, families and communities affected by incarceration.

Dr. Kramer is an experienced researcher and evaluator with extensive practice in conducting community-based research and evaluation in the fields of correctional health and social service research. She is a skilled technical assistance consultant with expertise in helping community-based organizations, local and state social service and health departments, local and state criminal justice agencies and federal governmental partners to increase their capacity in strategic planning, program and policy development, and evaluation and monitoring. Dr. Kramer is also an experienced senior agency manager with comprehensive knowledge in program oversight, agency policy development, grant writing and staff supervision. She has experience as a clinical social worker providing direct service for clients and clinical supervision for direct-line staff. Finally, Dr. Kramer is a professional trainer and curriculum developer with over 20 years’ experience in the creation and facilitation of skills-based trainings and intensive program implementation courses.

Dr. Kramer works throughout the United States and globally with projects in Haiti, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Tobago and Trinidad, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.

Presently, Dr. Kramer serves as:

  • Co-Founder and CEO of Corrections, Communities & Families for The Bridging Group LLC in Oakland, CA 

  • Statewide Director for the California Reentry Council Network

  • Subcommittees on Research and Data & 2019 International Conference Planning Committee in Manchester, England, International Coalition for Children of Incarcerated Parents

  • Executive Steering Committee member of the Alameda County Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership

  • Criminal Justice Expert on the Executive Editorial Board for the Journal of Clinical Research in HIV/AIDS and Prevention

Previously, Dr. Kramer served as:

  • Appointed member on the Subcommittee on Assessment and Connections of the San Francisco County Re-entry Council

  • Chair of the Data and Evaluation Committee of the San Francisco Children of Incarcerated Parents PartnershipCriminal Justice Expert for the National Working Group

  • Criminal Justice Expert for the National Working Group

  • Planning Committee member for the U.S. Women and Girls Gender Forum on HIV Prevention for the Office of Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

  • Program Committee Chairperson for the Board of Trustees for Broadway Children's School in Oakland, CA

Barry Zack, MPH

Barry Zack is a national (U.S.) expert and international consultant in the field of correctional and community health — prison, jail and other detention settings, and subsequent community re-entry.

He has been conducting research and directing behavioral interventions with a focus on infectious diseases (HIV/STDs/TB and hepatitis) and substance use in prison and jail settings for over 30 years, identifying critical gaps in the field of correctional health; most importantly, he has developed evidence-based and collaborative responses to meet these needs. Since 1986, Barry has engaged at every level of public health programming and research in the prison and jail setting, including his work as a Jail Outreach Worker, a Health Educator, and a Research and Executive Director of an incarceration focused NGO. He has also served as the Principal Investigator of multiple national research studies.

Mr. Zack is an innovative researcher with extensive experience in the development, implementation and evaluation of complex collaborative correctional, academic and community research projects. He is a demonstrated leader with strengths in the cross-cultural dynamics between corrections, public health, academia and non-governmental / community-based organizations. 

Barry has worked with many governmental ministries and departments, non-governmental organizations and research/academic institutions in over 30 U.S. States and globally with projects in Australia, England, Haiti, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Taiwan, Thailand, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

Currently, Mr. Zack serves as:

  • The Bridging Group,

    • Co-Founder and CEO, Corrections & Health​

  • University of California, San Francisco, Department of Social and Behavioral Science, 

    • Clinical Associate Clinical Professor (Affiliated)

  • University of California, Criminal Justice & Health Consortium,

    • Senior Fellow

  • Journal of Correctional Health Care,

    • Editorial Board member

  • San Quentin State Prison,

    • Community Advisory Board Member

Previously, Mr. Zack served as:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 

               "Prevention and Control of Infections with Hepatitis Viruses in Correctional Settings"

    • External Consultant

  • Surgeon General's "Call to Action on Corrections and Community Health"

    • External Consultant

  • National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine,                                                                                                                                                    "Ethical Considerations for Revisions to the DHHS Regulations for Protection of Prisoners Involved in Research"

    • Committee Member​

Katie Kramer
Barry Zack
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