Jessica Asscher (1976) graduated from high school (Christelijk Gymnasium Sorgvliet in The Hague) in 1995. After studying Italian language and culture at the Universita per Stranieri in Perugia (Italy, 1995-1996), she studied Psychology at Leiden University. During her studies she worked as a research assistant at the department of Developmental Psychology of Leiden University, where she participated in various research projects and taught academic skills to first year students. In 2000 she obtained her MA (Cum Laude) in Developmental and Educational Psychology. Following a three month research traineeship at Oxford University (United Kingdom), she worked for a short period at the Hogeschool Rotterdam as an educational policy advisor and as a Psychology teacher.
In October 2001 she entered a PhD program at the University of Amsterdam, where she conducted an evaluation of the Home-Start parenting support program (PhD defense: October 2005). In June 2005 she was appointed to a postdoctoral fellowship at Utrecht University, where she worked on the evaluation of Multisystemic Therapy (Multisystemic Therapy with violent antisocial adolescents and their families: effectiveness, mechanisms of change and differential response).
From December 2008 - July 2013 she worked as an assistant professor and from July 2013 as an associate professor at Forensic Youth Care Sciences at the University of Amsterdam (Department of Educational Sciences). She was coordinator of the Master program from 2008-2015 and now coordinates and teaches the course "Methods and Statistics of Forensic Child and Youth Care". From April 2017 she combines her associate professorship at Amsterdam University with a full professorship Forensic Child and Youth Care Sciences at Utrecht University. She is project leader of various resarch projects focussing on the effectiveness of forensic youth care, e.g., New Perspectives upon Return (evaluation of after care programme for delinquents, aged from 16-23), the evaluation of the Tools4U skills training for juvenile offenders. Furthermore, she is projectleader of a randomized Controlled Trial examining the effectiveness of Family Group Conferencing in Youth Care en the effectivenes sof Dutch Cell Dogs and project leader of a project examining the gender sensitivity of treatment in JeugdzorgPlus instellingen.
Jessica Asscher is member of the NJI committees examining the effectiveness of youth and judicial interventions.