Our Professionals

Herbert J. Hoelter, NCIA’s Chief Executive Officer, has assisted in over 1,000 white collar cases during his 38-year career. His expertise in anti-trust, tax, fraud and other individual and corporate crimes is unparalleled. He has also trained and mentored hundreds of other sentencing professionals.


Herbert J. Hoelter

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Herbert J. Hoelter is cofounder and chief executive officer of the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives (NCIA). Founded in 1977, NCIA is regarded as one of the most progressive and effective criminal justice organizations in the country. NCIA is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland.

Mr. Hoelter is recognized as one of the country’s leading experts in sentencing and the federal prison system and in developing alternative programs to incarceration. He directs NCIA’s sentencing and parole services, which has prepared cases in all 50 states, 75 federal jurisdictions, and three countries. Since 1977, over 20,000 NCIA cases have been presented for consideration by sentencing courts and parole boards. Mr. Hoelter has particular expertise in federal court and white-collar crime, having assisted in the representation of many of the insider trading, tax, securities and corporate fraud cases.

Mr. Hoelter holds a Master of Social Work degree from Marywood University in Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Buffalo. He has served as an adjunct faculty member at American University and on the faculty of the National Judicial College. He has lectured on sentencing advocacy and reform for over 20 state and local Bar Associations and was the representative of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) before the United States Sentencing Commission on the subject of alternatives to incarceration. Mr. Hoelter has also served as cochair of the NACDL post-conviction committee. He has appeared on ABC’s 20/20, CNN’s Crossfire, Good Morning America, Nightline and many other television and radio shows.

Mr. Hoelter has written extensively on the U.S. criminal justice system. He is coeditor of The Real War on Crime (HarperCollins, 1996) which advances promising solutions for criminal justice policy in the United States. He has authored articles for The Federal Sentencing Reporter, The Judges Journal, the American Bar Association’s Journal on Law Related Education, Federal Probation, The Champion, and The New England Journal on Civil and Criminal Confinement, as well as numerous legal newsletters. Check out some of his Criminal Defense Updates here.

7205 Rutherford Road
Baltimore, Maryland 21244
443.780.1353 phone
410.265.8078 fax


Jamie D. Smart, MA

Research Analyst

Ms. Smart is Research Analyst for Criminal Justice Services at NCIA, she conducts statistical analyses of both state and federal sentencing practices. Her comprehensive reports are used to provide compelling support for sentence recommendations in both federal and state courts. In addition to conducting statistical research on federal sentencing practices, she is an expert on the Federal Sentencing Guidelines and assists in developing arguments for departures, variances and alternatives to incarceration. Ms. Smart also provides defense teams with comparative analysis of federal sentences based on offense statute for plea negotiations.

Jamie Smart joined NCIA after earning a Master of Arts in Political Science from Texas A&M University. She began her career as a research assistant with the Project for Equity, Representation and Governance at Texas A&M University, where she developed an expertise in multivariate modeling and survey methods. Her interests include public administration, public policy, and social justice.

7205 Rutherford Road
Baltimore, Maryland 21244
443.780.1435 phone
410.265.8078 fax


Joseph D. Allen, Esq.

Senior Counsel

Joseph D. Allen is Senior Counsel for Criminal Justice Services at NCIA, working on all aspects of our sentencing mitigation and consultation services. He brings to NCIA years of criminal defense experience handling sentencing challenges for his clients in state and federal courts. While in private practice, Mr. Allen crafted meticulous and persuasive sentencing memoranda and coordinated compelling presentations at sentencing hearings. Mr. Allen achieved a consistent track record of getting his clients the best possible sentence.

Along with the other professionals at NCIA, Mr. Allen offers defense attorneys and their clients a complete package of sentencing mitigation expertise. Early in their clients’ cases, defense attorneys choose Mr. Allen to advise them on formulating a pre-indictment strategy, preemptively developing and arranging appropriate community service plans, gathering mitigation evidence, and researching and analyzing potential sentencing outcomes. After a plea or conviction, Mr. Allen composes sentencing pleadings, including responses to pre-sentence reports and sentencing memos (incorporating NCIA’s custom statistical analysis of historical sentences), and also assists with production of sophisticated video presentations (a specialty of NCIA).

In 2006, Mr. Allen received his J.D. from Arizona State University College of Law, where he was a Staff Writer on the ASU Law Journal and a Pedrick Scholar. Mr. Allen is licensed to practice law in Arizona and Maryland.

7205 Rutherford Road
Baltimore, Maryland 21244
443.780.1355 phone
410.265.8078 fax