December 31, 2017 marks the end of an era – the first era – at Policy Research Associates; PRA Founder and President Henry J. Steadman, Ph.D. will retire.
Throughout his career as a nationally recognized leader in the criminal justice and behavioral health fields, Dr. Steadman has published 8 books, 172 articles, and 24 chapters. Two of his most notable publications are Rethinking Risk Assessment: The MacArthur Study of Mental Disorder and Violence (2001) and Before and After Hinckley: Evaluating Insanity Defense Reform (1993). He has received 10 major awards recognizing his service to the field and has secured funding for 52 major grants and contracts. Besides founding PRA in 1987, Dr. Steadman also started Policy Research, Inc., PRA’s sister non-profit, in 1995. In addition to his work at PRA, he spent 17 years at the New York State Office of Mental Health, and served as a professor at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, Union College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the State University of New York at Albany.
In addition to his incredible body of published works, Dr. Steadman is well known for his work in the field through the operation of numerous technical assistance centers, such as SAMHSA’s GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation and SAMHSA’s Service Members, Veterans, and their Families Technical Assistance Center.
Reflecting on his impact in the field through SAMHSA’s GAINS Center, Dr. Steadman said “[Before the GAINS Center,] there was no central place in the country that collected what [criminal justice and behavioral health professionals] were doing, distilled it, and put it into usable form. I can’t tell you how many people have said to me, ‘I was trying to think how to develop a program, and I went to the [GAINS Center’s] website, and it gave me the guidance I needed to create and implement my program’. And that is very rewarding.”
While PRA must come to terms with the departure of its 30-year leader, Dr. Steadman doesn’t see his retirement affecting the work PRA does.
“The metaphor that I’ve been using…is of passing the baton,” Dr. Steadman says. “I have a tremendous amount of confidence in the people who are here…they present a lot of passion, a lot of commitment, a lot of interest in these issues, and a lot of capacity.”
In his retirement, Dr. Steadman plans to further pursue his hobbies and visiting the Saratoga Race Track. He has tentative plans to travel somewhere warm – like Hawaii, Florida, or Las Vegas – but the only thing on his 2018 calendar is a golf tournament. He says his wife of 50 years is looking forward to having him home after a long career of traveling.
CEO Pam Robbins will continue to manage operations of PRA after Dr. Steadman’s retirement. Please join us in wishing Dr. Steadman much happiness as he embarks on the next chapter of his life!