Maria C Palmer Biography

I have been a prominent voice in the Social Justice community, in California, New York and New Jersey. I previously hosted the radio show Scales of Justice, which had over 10,000 listeners, and am a well-regarded blogger. My personal and professional work has lead me to become one of the nation’s experts on children of the incarcerated.

I have been featured in a documentary, quoted in newspapers including the L.A. Times, magazines and a text book and have been the guest on radio shows. I have also co-authored academic articles concerning the topic of incarceration and have been a panelist at conferences relating to children with incarcerated parents.

Before relocating to the NYC metro area, I served as the Director of Get On The Bus, a California-based program that unites children with the parents in prison once a year for a special Mother’s/Father’s Day visit. I credit Get On The Bus for helping me to find my voice. I believed so strongly in this organization that in addition to working for Get On The Bus, my husband and I volunteered organizing a bus in the L.A. area for two years. In 2010, I ran the L.A. Marathon and blogged about my training experience. My blog fund-raised close to $10,000 for the organization.

In addition to my experience at Get On The Bus, I have worked for the Osborne Association in Brooklyn, NY and New York University doing prison-related research. Prior to a state budget cut which eliminated the program, I also worked for Hour Children in Long Island City as the Nursery Director at Taconic Women’s Prison. At the nursery, incarcerated women lived with their babies taking parenting classes in preparation for their releases. I formerly co-hosted a once a month radio show on the Scales of Justice on L.A. Talk Radio and Blog Talk Radio called “Heart to Heart.”

Since 2013, I’ve served as the Grant Writer/Fund Development Specialist for St. Paul’s Community Development Corporation (SPCDC), which works to sustain human self-sufficiency in Paterson, NJ. At this organization, we work to impact the lives of 6,000 plus individuals in greater Passaic County through 7 different programs which help people get a “hand up” not a “hand out.”  We have an Emergency Men’s Shelter, Permanent Housing for Women Living Independently, a Food Pantry and Supplemental Food Pantries inside of the Paterson Public Schools, a Full Service Community School Program which services over 1,400 students, a Next Step Workforce Development Program, a Breaking the Cycle Program for formerly incarcerated individuals, a WIOA Youth Program, and an Americorps Program.  Also in 2013, I had the amazing honor of fulfilling another role- I became a mom which is quite possibly the most important and the hardest job I do all day.  In addition, I am slowly working on my first book “On The Rocks,” which is a story of a dad, his daughter, his restaurant and the people he had an effect on along the way.  New in 2017, I will be tying up my running shoes again and this time running the United Half Marathon in NYC in honor of the work the SPCDC is doing.

I am a native of Pittsburgh, PA holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations from Syracuse University in New York and a Master’s Degree in Psychology from Pepperdine University in California. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my husband Joe, my daughters Helena and Josephina, and my furry child Maya the dog. I also enjoy hiking,running, cooking, and making the impossible possible.