Department of Justice Honors Pennsylvania Researcher with Crime Victims Research Award
WASHINGTON – The Office for Victims of Crime, a component of the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs, presented the Crime Victims Research Award to Dr. John Chapin from Monaca, Pennsylvania. This award category recognizes individual researchers or research teams that made a significant contribution to the nation’s understanding of crime victim issues.
“Dr. Chapin is both a survivor and a renowned researcher whose academic work and field advocacy have made a profound difference in the lives of victims across western Pennsylvania,” said Amy L. Solomon, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General of OJP. “He has not only expanded our base of knowledge about effective ways to prevent crime, he has helped schools, victim service professionals and community organizations reach individual victims, enabling them to begin the journey toward healing.”
As a survivor of childhood domestic violence and trauma, Dr. Chapin used education as his way out of abuse by becoming a first-generation college student. He received his Ph.D. from Rutgers University and started working with at-risk youth in urban New Jersey, which led to life-long research in violence prevention education. He has developed training curricula and evaluation measures for violence prevention education, medical advocacy and legal advocacy programs and shares his expertise and research with local school districts, nonprofits and church and community parent organizations. He also offers violence prevention workshops for the community and conducts workshops with journalists in multiple states about how to cover crime without re-victimizing survivors.
Dr. Chapin served as the President of the Board of Directors of the Women’s Center of Beaver County and was a key partner in the development and execution of the Western Regional Training Initiative, which provides web-based training for 13 women’s centers in 10 Pennsylvania counties. The initiative was awarded the prestigious Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Excellence for being the first computerized domestic violence training unit in the state. Dr. Chapin has been recognized at the federal, state and local levels, including by both chambers of the U.S. Congress and the Pennsylvania Governor.
“Dr. Chapin has built a distinguished career helping criminal and juvenile justice professionals and policymakers understand the causes and consequences of violence, and his work has been instrumental in improving the lives of victims in his state,” said Kristina Rose, Director of OVC, “Thanks to his exceptional contributions, and the insights gained by his own experience of abuse at a young age, advocates and service providers who train under his guidance and who learn from his research are better equipped to meet the needs of survivors and address the effects of trauma.”
Every April, OVC leads communities across the country in observing National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. President Ronald W. Reagan proclaimed the first Victims’ Rights Week in 1981, calling for greater sensitivity to the rights and needs of victims. This year’s observance is taking place April 24-30, and features the theme, “Rights, Access, Equity, for All Victims.”
The Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, advance racial equity in the administration of justice, assist victims and enhance the rule of law. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.