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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Committee on Law and Justice
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education




 Seminar on the Impact of Early Experiences on the Life Course

May 25, 2012


The National Academies

Keck Building, Room 100

500 5th Street, NW, Washington, DC




May 25, 2012


10:15-10:30 a.m.

Welcome and Introductions
Jeremy Travis, Chair


10:30-12:00 p.m.

SESSION 1: Study Findings

Moderator: Carl C. Bell, Community Mental Health Council, Inc.
Presenters: Cathy Spatz Widom, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Melissa Jonson-Reid, Washington University in St. Louis
Dennis P. Culhane, University of Pennsylvania
Eugene Griffin, Northwestern University



12:00-12:45 p.m.



12:45-2:15 p.m.

SESSION 2: Programs and Policies

Moderator: Ruth D. Peterson, Ohio State University
Presenters: Thomas Grisso, University of Massachusetts
Deborah Fowler, Texas Appleseed



2:30-4:00 p.m.

SESSION 3: Federal Programs

Moderator: Paul K. Wormeli, Integrated Justice Information Systems
Presenters: Melodee Hanes, Acting Administrator,Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)
Wilson Compton, Director, Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research, NIDA




4:00-4:30 p.m.

Summary and Discussion - What might be the focus of an Academy study?
Carl C. Bell
Ruth D. Peterson
Cathy Spatz Widom
Paul Wormeli


4:30 p.m.







Seminar on the Impact of Early Experiences on the Life Course

Speakers Biographical Data


Carl C. Bell is clinical professor of psychiatry and public health, director of the Institute for Juvenile Research (IJR) - University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). IJR is century old, multi-million dollar academic institute providing child & family research, training, & service, employing 257 academic faculty and support staff. Dr. Bell is President & C.E.O. - Community Mental Health Council (CMHC) & Foundation, Inc. in Chicago. CMHC a large multi-million comprehensive community mental health center employing 390 social service geniuses. During 40 years, he’s published more than 400 articles, chapters, & books on mental health and authored The Sanity of Survival. He has been interviewed by Ebony; Jet; Essence; Emerge; New York Times; Chicago Tribune Magazine; People Magazine; Chicago Reporter; "Nightline"; ABC News; NPR; "CBS Sunday Morning"; The News Hour with Jim Lehrer; the Tom Joyner Morning Show; Chicago Tonight; & the "Today" show. A 1967 graduate of UIC, he earned his MD from Meharry College in Nashville, Tennessee in 1971. He completed his psychiatric residency in 1974 at the Illinois State Psychiatric Institute/Institute for Juvenile Research in Chicago.


Wilson M. Compton is the director of the Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research at the National Institute Drug Abuse (NIDA). Prior to joining NIDA, he was associate professor of psychiatry and director of the Master Psychiatric Epidemiology Program at Washington University in Saint Louis as well as medical director of Addiction Services the Barnes-Jewish Hospital in Saint Louis. He has been the principal or co-principal investigator of multiple federally funded grants focusing on the epidemiology of drug abuse, HIV prevention and co-occurring mental drug use disorders. In these areas of research, He has authored over 90 articles and chapters, and several diagnostic interviews. He received his undergraduate education from Amherst College, and attended medical school and completed his residency training in psychiatry at Washington University.


Dennis P. Culhane is the director of research for the National Center on Homelessness among Veterans at the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. He co-directs the Intelligence for Social Policy initiative, a MacArthur-funded project to promote the development of integrated database systems by states and localities for policy analysis and systems reform. He co-directs the Cartographic Modeling Laboratory (CML), which applies spatial analysis to model the impact of the social and built environments on health, development, and behavior. His primary area of research is homelessness and assisted housing policy. His research has contributed to efforts to address the housing and support needs of people who experience housing emergencies and long-term homelessness. His recent research includes studies of vulnerable youth and young adults, including those transitioning from foster care, juvenile justice, and residential treatment services. He holds a B.A. from Bonaventure University and a Ph.D. from Boston College.


Deborah Fowler is deputy director at Texas Appleseed. She oversees Appleseed’s legal team, coordinating legal efforts on juvenile justice, the school-to-prison pipeline, and other Texas Appleseed project areas. She is a nationally recognized expert in school discipline and juvenile justice issues and has authored three major reports on the school-to-prison pipeline in Texas, including the latest (2011) on misdemeanor ticketing, arrest, and use of force in public schools. She also authored the first of its kind handbook for Texas attorneys who are representing a criminal defendant with an intellectual disability. She received the 2011 Excellence in Public Interest Award for her contributions to public interest law and the 2011 Ma’at Justice Award from the Women and the Law Section, State Bar of Texas. Deborah previously served as Texas Appleseed's legal director for five years. She also has extensive experience working with the judiciary, both as a judicial clerk and supervising attorney. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tulane University and a Juris Doctor from Lewis & Clark College's Northwestern School of Law.


Eugene Griffin is a clinical psychologist and attorney. He presently serves as an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, where he is principal investigator on several state child service projects and co-director of a project funded by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. He is a commissioner on the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission and the clinical director of the Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition. He is currently collaborating with experts from the MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change project in disseminating a curriculum for juvenile justice staff regarding adolescent development, mental illness and trauma. He is also a fellow of the Child Trauma Academy in Houston, Texas. He obtained both his law degree and his doctorate in clinical psychology from Northwestern University. He completed an internship in clinical and forensic psychology through Harvard Medical School.


Thomas Grisso is professor of psychiatry, director of psychology, and director of the Law and Psychiatry Program, at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. His work for the past 30 years has focused on research to improve courts’ decisions about children and adults to enhance the quality of forensic and mental health evaluations for criminal, juvenile and civil justice systems. His recent books on juvenile issues have included Forensic Evaluation of Juveniles (1998), Youth on Trial (2000, edited with Robert Schwartz), Double Jeopardy: Adolescent Offenders with Mental Disorders (2004), Mental Health Screening and Assessment in Juvenile Justice (2005), and Evaluating Juveniles’ Adjudicative Competence: A Guide for Clinical Practice (2005). Associations that have recognized Dr. Grisso’s research, teaching and consultation in law and psychology include the American Psychological Association’s Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Public Policy (1995), the American Psychiatric Association’s Isaac Ray Award (2005), an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice (1998), and an Honorary Fellow Award by the Royal College of Psychiatrists (U.K.). He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.


Melodee Hanes is the Acting Administrator in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Ms. Hanes previously served as Acting Deputy Administrator for Policy from June 2009, when she was appointed to the position by President Barack Obama, to January 2012. Ms. Hanes' 30-year career in public service and law includes work as a deputy county attorney in the Yellowstone County (MT) Attorney’s Office, prosecuting child abuse, sexual assault, and homicide cases. She also served as an assistant county attorney in the Polk County (IA) Attorney's Office, prosecuting major felony crimes. Ms. Hanes prosecuted the first child endangerment case in Polk County under Iowa Code Chapter 726 and handled more than 100 child abuse prosecutions during her tenure. In addition, she developed and coordinated the Polk County Child Abuse Trauma Team and Child Death Review Team. Ms. Hanes taught child abuse law and forensic medicine and law at Drake University Law School. She has lectured extensively and published in these areas of expertise. She also served on the faculty of the National District Attorneys Association's National Advocacy Center in Columbia, SC, and the Child Protection Training Academy in Des Moines, IA. In 1991, then-State Senator Elaine Szymoniak (D–IA) appointed Ms. Hanes as chairperson of Iowa’s Special Infant Mortality Task Force, which led to the creation of the Infant Mortality Prevention Project through the state’s Department of Public Health. The project provided services and resources to the community with the objective of reducing the high rate of infant mortality in Polk County. Before joining the Justice Department in 2009, Ms. Hanes served as state director and counsel in the office of U.S. Senator Max Baucus (D–MT). Ms. Hanes earned a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies from the University of Utah and a law degree from the Drake University Law School.


Melissa Jonson-Reid is a professor at Washington University, St. Louis. She studies child and adolescent outcomes related to services provided in the child welfare and public school systems. She is particularly interested in the interrelationship between child abuse and neglect, exposure to community risk factors, school and child welfare service provision, and later delinquent outcomes. Jonson-Reid also has interests in the impact of cumulative family violence such as child abuse and domestic violence, interagency coordination of services, school social work services, and the integration of theory with research. She has practice experience in domestic violence counseling and school social work. As a school social worker, she had over three years of direct and administrative experience in the California public school system. She continues to be active in the area of policy and professional development in school social work on regional and national levels. She earned a Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley


The Honorable John H. Laub, Ph.D., is the Director of the National Institute of Justice, the research arm of the United States Department of Justice. He is also a Distinguished University Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice on leave from the University of Maryland, College Park. With Robert Sampson, Dr. Laub was the 2011 recipient of the prestigious Stockholm Prize in Criminology, for their research showing why and how criminals stop offending. In 2002 he was elected President of the American Society of Criminology and he received the ASC’s highest research prize, the Edwin H. Sutherland Award, in 2005. He has published extensively, including two award-winning books: Crime in the Making: Pathways and Turning Points Through Life (Harvard University Press, 1993) and Shared Beginnings, Divergent Lives: Delinquent Boys to Age 70 (Harvard University Press, 2003), both coauthored with Robert Sampson. Dr. Laub received his B.A. from the University of Illinois, Chicago, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in criminal justice from the State University of New York at Albany.


Ruth D. Peterson is professor of sociology at The Ohio State University. She also is director of the University's Criminal Justice Research Center, and coordinates the Race/Ethnicity Research Working Group for the National Consortium on Violence Research at Carnegie Mellon University. Her present research focuses on examining the determinants of race/ethnic differences in violent crime rates. She has also conducted research on criminal justice decision-making, and capital punishment and deterrence. Her recent publications include “The Structural Context of Homicide: Accounting for Racial Differences in Process." American Sociological Review 65:547-559; “Disadvantage and Neighborhood Crime: Do Local Institutions Matter?” Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 37:31-63; and Segregation and Youth Crime." Pp. 277-86 in Handbook of Youth and Justice. Professor Peterson received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1983.

Cathy Spatz Widom is distinguished professor of psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and member of the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and American Society of Criminology. She has taught previously at Harvard and Indiana Universities and served on editorial boards of criminology and psychology journals. She is a recognized national expert on the causes and consequences of child abuse and neglect. Her highly respected research includes an important and ongoing longitudinal study of a large sample of children with confirmed abuse and neglect in childhood. Dr. Widom has authored or co-authored numerous articles and book chapters, and she received the 1989 American Association for the Advancement of Science Behavioral Science Research Prize for her paper on the cycle of violence. Since 1986, Dr. Widom has been investigating the long-term consequences of early childhood physical and sexual abuse and neglect. She received her B.S. in child development and family relationships from Cornell University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in psychology from Brandeis University.


Paul K. Wormeli is executive director emeritus of the Integrated Justice Information Systems Institute, a non-profit corporation formed to help state and local governments develop ways to share information among the disciplines engaged in law enforcement and the administration of justice. He has had a long career in the field of law enforcement and justice technology. He has been active in the development of software products, has managed system implementation for dozens of agencies throughout the world, and has managed national programs in support of law enforcement and criminal justice agencies. Mr. Wormeli was the first national project director of Project SEARCH, and was subsequently appointed by the President as Deputy Administrator of the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration in the U.S. Department of Justice. He helped design the first mobile computing equipment sold in this county to law enforcement agencies. Mr. Wormeli managed the staff work and wrote much of the report for the Information Systems section in the report of the National Commission on Standards and Goals for Criminal Justice which dealt with criminal justice information system standards. He has been an advisor to the White House on security and privacy, participated in the drafting of Federal law on this topic, and responsible for the development of numerous state plans to implement the Federal and state laws on information system security and privacy. During his tenure in the Justice Department, he served on the President’s Committee on Drug Enforcement. Mr. Wormeli was also the first chairman of the Integrated Justice Information Systems Industry Working Group (IWG), a consortium of over 100 companies which was formed at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice to help facilitate the implementation of Integrated Justice Information Systems throughout the nation. Mr. Wormeli undertook courses in the honors program for industry as a part of the doctoral program in engineering economic systems at Stanford University. He holds a B.S. degree in electronics engineering from the University of New Mexico, and a M.S. degree in engineering administration from George Washington University.


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