The Torchbearer Awards were created in 2004 by the Board of Commissioners of the Indiana Commission for Women to honor the many achievements of Hoosier women. This year REFORM Alliance is proud to announce that our dedicated partner, Dr. Nikki Jackson has been selected as the winner. Dr. Jackson is a Professor of Criminal Justice at Purdue University Northwest (PNW). She is also the Executive Director at the Center for Justice and Post-Exoneration Assistance at PNW. Since its 2020 inception, Dr. Jackson has served as President of the Willie T. Donald Exoneration Advisory Coalition.
Dr. Jackson has appeared in a variety of tv, radio, and print media outlets including People magazine, True Crime Daily, People Magazine Investigates, Freedom Files, Righteous Conviction podcast, Wrongful Conviction podcast, and CrimeHQ. She has served as a Board of Director for two domestic violence shelters and currently serves on two prison boards.
In 2022, The Victimology of a Wrongful Conviction: Innocent Inmates and Indirect Victims, for which she was the lead author, was published by Routledge. She also edited the Encyclopedia of Domestic Violence in 2007.
Her passion for truth, social justice, equality, and philanthropy has resulted in numerous awards from a variety of organizations including United Way of Porter County; Housing Opportunities, an agency serving homelessness; and NBC News Chicago recognized her as a “Person Making a Difference.” Her most notable recognition was receiving the prestigious Sagamore of the Wabash Award, the highest civilian honor granted to an Indiana resident, for her humanitarian efforts by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb in 2021.