Thomas Ballard is a data associate for the Crime Lab and Education Lab. He provides data analysis services for community partners of the Crime Lab, which encompasses Chicago-based government agencies, non-profits, hospitals, universities, and other actors that work to reduce gun violence in Chicago. He also performs analytical work on a prison-based randomized control trial, which seeks to evaluate long-term outcomes of inmates at the Kewanee Life Skills Reentry Center.

Before working for the University of Chicago, Thomas attended the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Econometrics and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. After graduating in May of 2022, Thomas served as the criminal justice research intern for the Cato Institute, where he researched police response times and force policies during active shooting scenarios. At the University of Illinois, he spent much of his time performing research or volunteering in the criminal justice space. For his senior thesis, he performed an evaluation of police use of force rates following high-profile citizen killings by police officers. He has also held internships with the Computational Justice Lab, the Champaign County Public Defender’s Office, the Federalist Society, State Representative Diane Pappas, and the White House.