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John Jay College’s President Travis Named Chair of the National Research Council’s Committee on Law and Justice

Distinguished Professor Widom Appointed to Committee

October 31, 2011, New York, NY — Jeremy Travis, President of John Jay College of Criminal Justice has been named as the new Chair of the Committee on Law and Justice of the National Research Council. Mr. Travis's appointment was announced on October 25 by Dr. Ralph Cicerone, Chair of the National Research Council and President of the National Academy of Sciences. President Travis, who has served as a member of the Committee since 2005, will succeed James Q. Wilson, Ronald Reagan Professor of Public Policy at Pepperdine University. His three-year appointment will take effect on January 1, 2012.

According to President Travis, "It is indeed an honor to serve as Chair of the Committee on Law and Justice. It is particularly humbling to succeed James Q. Wilson, who has led the Committee with great distinction. I am confident that the Committee with its distinguished history of advancing the state of scientific inquiry on critical topics of crime and justice will continue to play a vital role in promoting strong research. I am particularly pleased to note that another member of the John Jay College community, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Cathy Spatz Widom, has also been appointed to the Committee. It is a rare honor for two Committee members to come from the same academic institution."

The Committee on Law and Justice has been a standing committee of the National Research Council since 1975. It was formed to increase scientific understanding of crime and justice issues and to provide assistance in this regard to the National Institute of Justice. The members of the committee represent a breadth and depth of expertise necessary for studying such issues as violence, international and transnational crime, juvenile crime, white collar crime, law enforcement, prosecution, corrections and sentencing, illegal drugs and the operation of illegal markets, and deterrence.

Through its regular activities, including meetings, workshops and publications, the committee develops frameworks for identifying new areas of criminal justice research; assists in resolving scientific controversies; extends the research agenda in established areas; promotes theory development; and assists with planning for new research areas and large projects.

During President Travis's service on the committee, the 15-member panel has produced reports on topics that include parole and community reintegration, ballistic imaging, understanding crime trends, and strengthening the National Institute of Justice, among others. Current projects include an assessment of juvenile justice reform, the deterrent value of the death penalty, and the causes and consequences of high rates of incarceration in America.

Established in 1964, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York is an international leader in educating for justice. It offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching, scholarship and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art and science in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information, visit