Victim Researcher Profile

Researcher Photo

Debra L Stanley





School of Criminal Justice, University of Baltimore


Professor and Executive Director




Victimology/Criminal Justice


More than 20 years


Dr. Debra L. Stanley is a Professor and Executive Director of the School of Criminal Justice, University of Baltimore, and Director of the Roper Victim Assistance Academy of Maryland. She received her Ph.D. in Criminology & Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland at College Park, her M.S. in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University, and B.A. in Criminal Justice and Sociology from Rhode Island College. Dr. Stanley has dedicated her academic career to the promotion of victim centered higher education, professional development, and training for both public and non-profit organizations. In 2003, she founded Maryland’s Roper Victim Assistance Academy (Academy), the first statewide initiative dedicated to providing comprehensive and standardized professional training to victim service professionals. Under Dr. Stanley’s leadership the Academy is recognized as a national model for other states as it is one of the longest standing programs in the country; with more than 700 graduates from the foundational program, and more than 3600 advanced training graduates. She developed an undergraduate victim studies minor, trauma certificate, and a victimology track for the master’s degree program in Criminal Justice. Dr. Stanley has dedicated more than thirty years to applied research that promotes policy and system change in the areas of crime victimization, child abuse and homicide, trauma, substance abuse prevention and treatment, re-entry and diversion, drugs and crime, and program evaluation. She works with both public and non-profit agencies in the areas of program development, strategic planning, organization diagnostics, assessment, and systems improvement, client tracking and monitoring, client success, data reporting systems, and evaluation. Her applied research promotes policy and system changes to better integrate crime victims into the criminal justice process and to enhance crime victim services. She has developed a wide range of treatment and prevention programs in criminal justice agencies for crime victims, inmates returning to the community, high risk youth and their families, substance abuse, mental health, and HIV clients, and elderly victims. She has served as principal investigator on dozens of federal, state, and local funded research projects. Her research is widely disseminated in a number of publications, seminars, trainings, and professional presentations. She currently serves as advisor to the U.S. Congressional Victim’s Rights Caucus. For the past twenty years, she has provided technical assistance expertise to dozens of programs funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). She has extensive experience in program development and systems management, client assessment and referrals, trauma informed care, co-occurring disorders, recovery support, re-entry and diversion, court mandated clients, and mental health prevention and treatment, client tracking and follow-up.


Child Abuse and Sexual Abuse, Domestic and Family Violence, Drug-Related Victimization, Elder Abuse/Mistreatment, Homicide Survivors/Co-victims, Physical Assault (other than domestic violence or elder abuse), Vicarious Trauma


Child victims, Formerly incarcerated victims, LGBTQ victims, Military personnel victims, Rural victims



Action research, Community-based participatory research, Data collection, Descriptive studies, Ethnography, Needs assessment, Program evaluation, Qualitative studies, Quantitative studies, Quasi-experimental studies, Training and/or technical assistance