Rachel Schmidt has prior experience conducting research on the implications of multiple criminal-justice system contacts careers on individual trajectories. She also has conducted research exploring how the lack of therapeutic services in the criminal justice system affects individuals with mental health disorders and substance use disorders. Schmidt is passionate about eradicating discrimination and prejudice within the criminal justice system, both by working to ensure more effective reentry from prison to the community and also through improving relations between law enforcement and the communities they serve. Schmidt plans to further her education and research in order to propose policies to positively impact the millions of individuals affected by the criminal justice system.
Schmidt holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology and a Master of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with dual foci in Addiction Studies and Counseling, all from the University of South Dakota.