Meet Gang Expert Lisa Taylor-Austin
Receiving International Acclaim
Lisa Taylor-Austin, MS Ed, NCC, LPC, LMHC, CFMHEhas been a counselor since 1988. She began her career working with gang members of some of the most notorious gangs in California: Santa Monicas, V13, Culver City Boyz, Helms Street, and various Crip and Piru sets. Ms. Taylor-Austin was able to establish a trusting professional rapport with her clients and assist them with attaining their personal goals. She was instrumental in calming tension after a gang-related stabbing and assisted gang members to squelch their need for revenge. After a school shooting, she was helpful in assisting clients deal with post-traumatic-stress and return to functional day to day life. Ms. Taylor-Austin often describes her work as “walking between two worlds,” one of mainstream society and the other in the lives of inner city youth. She is a bridge between the two.
Ms. Taylor-Austin holds a Masters degree in Counseling (61 graduate credits), a Bachelor’s degree in Developmental and Behavioral Disabilities and a minor in African-American Studies. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Connecticut, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in New York, a Nationally Certified Counselor and a National Forensic Evaluator. Ms. Taylor-Austin is also a certified school counselor in Connecticut and a certified Community College Counselor in California.
After working in Los Angeles’ west side cities and at the University of Southern California and Stanford University, Ms. Taylor-Austin returned to the east coast where she works today. She has taught for Yale University and continues to work on various gang projects, including criminal trials across the United States, legal consultation, television consultation and training workshops.
As a gang expert witness, Ms. Taylor-Austin’s role is to explain to the jury the culture, hierarchy, identifiers and psychology of being in a gang. Her role as a gang expert witness is a neutral one; focusing on the facts in the case and presenting an unbiased opinion.
Ms. Taylor-Austin works closely with gang involved youth in Connecticut and also maintains a private practice, where she counsels children, adolescents and adults with a variety of issues.
Ms. Taylor-Austin is available for forensic work, presentations and media appearances.
“Thanks for all the good work you do. You have the heart!” - LouAnne Johnson (played by Michele Pfeiffer in Dangerous Minds)
“My colleague Lisa…important work” – Lewis Yablonsky, Ph.D.
Media Contacts: If you would like to interview Ms. Taylor-Austin for news, radio or television/film, please contact her with specific information about your project.
If you are seeking referrals to gang members or former gang members, do not contact Ms. Taylor-Austin, as she is unable to make these referrals due to professional ethical obligations.
Ms. Taylor-Austin was recently asked to provide testimony to the Connecticut General Assembly on the importance of a proposed law (HB 6226) which, if passed, would mandate cross-reporting of animal abuse and child abuse. Her testimony can be read here