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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 1098

Papers of Cessie Alfonso, 1989-2018


The papers of Cessie Alfonso include biographical information, professional correspondence, training materials, biopsychosocial assessments, articles by her, and other materials.


  • Creation: 1989-2018


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Cessie Alfonso is held by Cessie Alfonso. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


.63 linear feet (1+1/2 file boxes)

The papers of Cessie Alfonso include biographical information, writings by her and others, and material regarding her company, Alfonso Consultants, Inc., also known as, Alfonso Associates.

Series I, BIOGRAPHICAL AND WRITINGS, 1989-2018 (#1.1-1.6), contains articles about Cessie Alfonso, biographies, curriculum vitae and her passport. Of particular note are writings by Alfonso including articles entitled, "Poverty and Its Impact on the Client-Attorney Relationship," "Enhancing Capital Defense: The Role of the Forensic Clinical Social Worker," and a short story describing her experiences in Cuba on September 11, 2001. The series is arranged in alphabetical order by format.

Series II, ALFONSO CONSULTANTS, INC., 1996-2017 (#1.7-2.4), contains professional materials related to Alfonso's companies: Alfonso Associates and Alfonso and Baur. Materials include an overview of services provided by Alfonso Associates and Alfonso and Baur, an office manual, and correspondence and certifications for the licensing of Alfonso and Alfonso and Associates. The bulk of the series consists of presentations given by Alfonso for various companies, organizations and law offices regarding death penalty mitigation, client center presentation, interview techniques, and preparation for working as a battered women's expert for court testimony. The series is arranged in alphabetical order by format.


A nationally recognized expert in forensic social work and domestic violence, Cecilia (Cessie) Alfonso (1945- ) is the founder and president of Alfonso Consultants, which provides psychosocial assessments to clients of civil and criminal attorneys throughout the United States and abroad. Since 1986 she has consulted on over 700 capital cases, often testifying as an expert in the penalty phase of those cases. A first-generation Caribbean American, Alfonso has conducted mitigation investigations in Cuba, Columbia, El Salvador, and Puerto Rico, and regularly leads training sessions on domestic violence, cultural competency, among other topics. Alfonso attended Montefiore School of Practical Nursing (LPN 1965), Hood College (BA 1973), and Rutgers Graduate School of Social Work (MSW 1977). A member of the Combahee River Collective, she is an activist who marched against the Vietnam War, for civil rights, and women, lesbian, and gay rights. In 2008 she was recognized by Governor Jon S. Corzine of New Jersey as a leading mitigation specialist who significantly contributed to the abolition of the death penalty in the state. In 2017 she was part of the Truth Commission on Poverty in New York State, organized by the Labor-Religion Coalition of New York State.


The collection is arranged in two series:

  1. Series I. Biographical and Writings, 1989-2001 (#1.1-1.6)
  2. Series II. Alfonso Consultants, Inc., 1996-2017 (#1.7-2.4)

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2018-M152

The papers of Cessie Alfonso were given to the Schlesinger Library by Cessie Alfonso in 2018.

Processing Information

Processed: April 2021

By: Amber L. Moore, with assistance from Johanna Carll

The Schlesinger Library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.  Finding aids may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by Patricia M. King/Schlesinger Library Director's Fund.

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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