Director Bios – Reentry Program

Current Director:

Ms. Edna Ramirez

Image of Edna Ramirez

Ramirez has worked as a Victim Advocate for many years through the North Little Rock Police Department, the Women’s Council on African American Affairs Inc. dba Center for Healing Hearts and Spirits, a non-profit located in Little Rock, Arkansas. Her continued dedication to aiding those in need led Ramirez to the position of Director for the UA Little Rock Community-Based Reentry Initiative Program.

Ramirez was also accepted into the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Citizens Academy where she has won two consecutive Community Leadership awards and accolades by the FBI and her peers.

Ramirez received her Bachelor’s in Sociology and Criminal Justice through UA Little Rock, she is also currently working towards her Criminal Justice Masters at her Alma Mater.

Former Director:

Dr. David Montague

Dr. David R. Montague

Dr. David R. Montague is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock; and is a tenured, Full Professor of Criminal Justice. In this role under the university’s provost, he is responsible for oversight of student-related leadership initiatives and supervision of various student services departments and programs. He earned a PhD at Howard University in Political Science, an MA at The George Washington University in Crime and Commerce, and a BA at Morehouse College in Political Science.

Dr. Montague completed federal investigations for fourteen years in law enforcement and intelligence capacities working for the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a federal drug diversion investigator, the United States JFK Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) as the agency’s senior investigator, and later as a consultant on national security matters with US Investigations Services, Inc. He has lectured on Asset Forfeiture at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia and was a member of the founding faculty of the PhD Program in Organizational Leadership at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

Having come to UA Little Rock in 2004 joining the Department of Criminal Justice as an Assistant Professor teaching in their undergraduate and graduate programs, he has used his time at UA Little Rock to facilitate a mix of his teaching, research, and service in such a manner as to use his access to expose students via projects, collaborate both on and off campus, and generate grant and contract funding as often as possible. He founded the UA Little Rock Senior Justice Center, to promote service and research on crime against older people. He is the recipient of the 2003, Outstanding Faculty Staff Award for Outstanding Teaching and Intellectual Development of Undergraduate Students by the University of Maryland at College Park Nyumburu Cultural Center, the 2009 UA Little Rock College of Professional Studies Faculty Excellence Award in Teaching, and the 2014 UA Little Rock College of Professional Studies Faculty Excellence Award in Service. He is also the recipient of the 2016 Felix Fabian Founder’s Award from the Southwest Association of Criminal Justice, awarded for outstanding contributions to SWACJ and the criminal justice profession.

Dr. Montague formerly served as the graduate coordinator for the UA Little Rock Master of Science Program in criminal justice and is a graduate of the LeadAR Program, the Arkansas State leadership program involving a two-year commitment of service-learning and travel within-state and the People’s Republic of China. He was a founding member of the UA Little Rock Chancellor’s Committee on Race and Ethnicity. In 2015, he moved into university administration and most recently served as the university’s Executive Director of Online Learning and Faculty Mentoring.

Dr. Montague is active in the community volunteering as a reserve police officer in Bryant Arkansas, is a volunteer instructor for the Inside-Out course at the Wrightsville and Hawkins prison units, and participating for sixteen years in a rehabilitation program within Arkansas prisons. He has served on several discipline-related boards; one being the board of directors for the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. He also currently serves on the Arkansas 4-H Foundation Board of Directors for and the Arkansas Repertory Theatre Leadership Council.

He has delivered over 250 presentations at academic conferences and community events, including research presentations in Austria, Slovenia, Germany, Holland, Trinidad, and Canada. In addition to serving as a keynote speaker nationally, he has testified before two state legislatures on prospective policies.

His latest funded project currently involves being part of a research team on a $2 Million National Science Foundation grant to implement evidence-based teaching practices in a wide-range of STEM courses, with the goal being to reduce the equity gap between undergraduate students who are members of historically underserved groups.

He has written numerous publications and is the coauthor of the book Travesty of Justice: The politics of crack cocaine and the dilemma of the Congressional Black Caucus, now in its Second Edition. His book  OVERNIGHT CODE: The Life of Raye Montague, the Woman Who Revolutionized Naval Engineering, was featured on Good Morning America and it received the 2022 Georgia Author of the Year Award for a Biography. His next book will address his time as part of the Congressional reinvestigation of JFK assassination records during the 1990s.

Dr. Montague resides in Little Rock, Arkansas with his family.

Founding Director:

Dr. Charles Chastain

Dr. Charles ChastainDr. Charles Chastain was a Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where he had been since the inception of the Criminal Justice program in 1972. He was Coordinator or Chair of the Criminal Justice program from 1975 to 1997, and served as the primary undergraduate student advisor for current students and the UA Little Rock Criminal Justice alumni chapter, as well as pre-law and Legal Studies advisor for the University.

His primary interests were in the area of Constitutional Law and Criminal Justice Careers. He developed a course based on the Inside-Out model of Temple University where UA Little Rock students and prison inmates share a classroom and study the major issues in Criminal Justice today. He served on the state Parole Board from 1993 to 2003, and served on the Board of the Law Enforcement Training Academy, and Governor Bill Clinton’s Task Force on Crime and Justice. He served on the Board of Substance Abuse Treatment Clinic of UAMS, the Arkansas Assisted Housing Network, and the Inmate Council of the Department of Correction Pine Bluff Unit.

He conducted a Prison Library Project which involves gathering books donated from UA Little Rock faculty, staff, and friends and giving them to the Arkansas Department of Correction libraries. His accomplishments with this project have been publicized in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and USA Today newspapers. He also founded a Re-entry into Society Program for inmates at the Wrightsville Unit of the Department of Correction.