Tarra Simmons is a Rule 9 Legal Extern at the Public Defender Association. Her focus area is expanding the LEAD Project and providing LEAD legal services. Tarra has worked for a variety of nonprofit organizations on barriers to re-entry prior to joining PDA. Realizing the best way to avoid the collateral consequences of a conviction is to divert individuals from the criminal justice system, Tarra joins PDA in support of this mission. Tarra believes in a bottom up approach to policy reform and is a Community Organizer for Civil Survival, leading other criminal justice involved individuals in policy change. Her work in re-entry continues as Tarra was recently appointed by Governor Inslee to the Washington Statewide Re-entry Council where she co-chairs the council alongside King County Prosecutor, Dan Satterberg. Tarra was given the opporunity to continute her work with PDA for another two years by earning the presitgious Skadden Fellowship. Her commitment to this work stems from her personal experience with drug addiction and the criminal justice system.
Tarra graduated from Pacific Lutheran University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing in 2000, and will graduate from Seattle University School of Law in May 2017.