Mark Coe was born and raised in Darlington, a small town in northeastern South Carolina. He received a B.A. in psychology in 1996 from Clemson University in South Carolina. After leaving Clemson, he worked as a drug education and prevention specialist, helping community-based organizations and schools develop programming and provide psychoeducational training related to substance abuse prevention.
In 1999, he started the clinical psychology program at DePaul University in Chicago. He is enrolled in the child psychology track, but he has also been involved in training conducted by the community psychology track at their program. He has a strong interest in both areas. While in Chicago, he trained at a number of sites, including a community mental health center which provides services to children and families in a number of different settings (schools, homes, churches, satellite offices), the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and a program for youth with mental health issues who are in the juvenile justice system. He has also worked for psychologists in private practice conducting psychological assessments, as a consultant with the Department of Child and Family Services, in a supported living facility for adults with severe and persistent mental illnesses, and as part-time/visiting instructor at DePaul University and the University of South Carolina.
His dissertation, which he plans to defend in June 2006, is a qualitative study that explores factors that impact recidivism in African-American adolescent males involved in drug trafficking. His study uses Bronfenbrenner’s ecological system model as a framework to understand how various systemic factors impact offending and how oppression of various forms (race, class, gender, age) impacts these factors to influence offending in this group of young people. He is also conducting a study with an undergraduate student at the University of South Carolina exploring how familial factors impact offending in adolescent females.
Currently, he serves on the board of the Vector Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports the efforts of the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice (SCDJJ) by developing mentorship initiatives and funding proposals presented by SCDJJ. He also serves on the board of A Better Way, an organization that does gang intervention and prevention work. He has a very strong interest in juvenile justice issues. He is particularly interested in issues related to the disproportionate confinement of ethnic and racial minority youth and poor youth and the development and evaluation of multisystemic, culturally sensitive, and gender-specific, community-based interventions for youth as an alternative to incarceration.