Presenter Bios

Robert Anderson, LCSW, CASAC

Robert Anderson currently serves as a member on the Senior Clinical Management Team of Odyssey House, Inc. in New York City.   He oversees agency operations of the Adolescent, Outpatient, and Admission Services and their affiliated programs. Mr. Anderson has a wealth of training experience and has instructed and developed curriculum both regionally and internationally.  Mr. Anderson has a graduate degree from the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service, where in addition to a clinical theory base he also majored in the effective administration and management of non-profit organizations.  As part of his current portfolio, Mr. Anderson oversees two SAMHSA funded initiatives, including the ROSC program “OH ROCS” providing recovery supports for persons served.  Mr. Anderson is a member of the NY State Provider Association’s 501(c)(3) Board of Directors and has been involved in many of the planning efforts to professionalize and advance the field of addictions.   Mr. Anderson is also an adjunct Professor at Fordham University.

Janetta Astone-Twerell, PhD

Dr. Janetta Astone-Twerell received a doctorate in Social/Personality Psychology from the CUNY Graduate Center. In addition to a clinical practice, she has been involved in behavioral research in the addiction field for the past 20 years. In 2007, she joined Samaritan Village as the Director of Research and Evaluation. During this time at Samaritan Village, her work has included an examination of PTSD, Hepatitis C, addiction treatment and mandated clients, performance dashboards, health care reform and trends in veteran’s outcomes.  Some of the findings from this work have been presented at both professional and provider conferences and in peer-reviewed publications.

Virginia Barber Rioja, PhD

Dr. Virginia Barber Rioja obtained her Ph.D in clinical-forensic psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She is currently the clinical director of Brooklyn LINK court mental health diversion program, and the former director of Queens TASC mental health diversion program, both programs of the EAC Network. She has also worked providing assessment and treatment to acute forensic patients in the Bellevue Forensic Inpatient Unit. Dr. Barber Rioja has published and presented multiple workshops and panels on the topic of criminal justice diversion and risk assessment. She teaches Psychology of Violence at New York University’s  Psychology Masters Program and serves as clinical faculty of the New York University School of Medicine.

Horatio Capote, MD

Dr. Capote serves as the Medical Director of the Division of Neuropsychiatry at DENT. In addition, he is Medical Director of Addiction Services at Brylin Hospital, Clinical Assistant Professor at State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine, and the Faculty Physician Assistant Program at Daemen College.  Dr. Capote is also active in various professional societies, including the American Academy of Neuropsychiatry, American Psychiatric Association, American Society of Addiction Medicine, and the Cuban American Psychiatric Association. He also shares his knowledge by teaching physician assistant students, pharmacology residents, and family medicine residents. He is very involved in educating his peers by presenting a variety of lectures ranging from grand rounds to round table discussions.

Patrick Clayton

Patrick Clayton coordinates the Comprehensive Screening part of the Queens Treatment Court.  In addition, he is the DWI case manager for the Queens DWI Court.  He is responsible for screening, referring, and monitoring QDWI participants.  He has been working for the criminal court for eight years.  Prior to working in QDWI, Mr. Clayton worked as a case manager at the Brooklyn STEP, MBTC, and Queens QMTC courtrooms.  Mr. Clayton has a Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice from St. John’s University.  Mr. Clayton also served in the U.S. Navy from 1995 to 2000.  He received the Navy Achievement Medal during a tour in the Persian Gulf. When he was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy, he joined the New York State Army National Guard where he received the Army Achievement Medal and the New York state terrorism medal. Mr. Clayton is currently serving in the U.S. Navy Reserve as a Petty Officer Second Class.

Tania Chandler, Esq. MA

Tania Peterson Chandler is the Regional Director for the Education and Assistance Corporation's (EAC) New York City Services which includes the Treatment Alternatives for Safer Communities (TASC) and TASC Mental Health Programs. Her career with EAC TASC began in 1997.  Ms. Peterson Chandler has a Bachelor of Science Degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, a Master of Public Administration Degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice with a concentration in Criminal Justice Policy and Planning and a Juris Doctorate from Rutgers School of Law-Newark. She is licensed to practice law in New Jersey and New York State.

Shelly Cohen, PhD

Dr. Shelly Cohen is the founder and President of Stony Brook Research & Evaluation Consulting (SBREC) as well as a Senior Research Specialist in the School of Social Welfare at Stony Brook University.  In the latter capacity she has been providing independent evaluations of problem solving courts throughout New York State since 1996. SBREC has been an independent contractor for many federally funded grants to the New York State Unified Court System, for which she has had major responsibility for the design and implementation of process and outcome evaluation protocols.  In addition, she has played a key role in the development, delivery, and evaluation of a curriculum for Juvenile Treatment Court teams and family court judges.  She has attended numerous national and local drug court conferences and training events as both a participant and a presenter, and is also on the Board of Directors of the New York Association of Drug Treatment Court Professionals.  

Carol Davidson, MSW, LCSW, CASAC

Carol Davidson completed the alcoholism counselor training program at The South Oaks Foundation in Amityville, N.Y. in 1975.  She subsequently earned a BA from Adelphi University, an MSW from SUNY Stony Brook and a Post Graduate Certificate in Military & Veterans Behavioral Health.  Ms. Davidson is the Senior Director of Veterans Services at Samaritan Village.  She is a frequent conference workshop presenter and public advocate on behalf of veterans’ issues.  Ms. Davidson has authored articles on Samaritan Village’s Veterans Program for The International Journal of Therapeutic Communities, National Council Magazine, and the TCA News.  She is the 2010 recipient of the Rosalie Rosa-Cuva Award. Ms. Davidson is also a member of the Consensus Panel for SAMHSA TIPS Manual for veterans and is a recent appointment to Board of Directors of NYADTCP. 

Dan DeBruin

Dan DeBruin is the Coordinator of the Rochester Veterans Court, recently named a national mentor court by the NADCP. His responsibilities as coordinator include day-to-day management of the court, supervision of community- based case managers, coordination of the community- based veteran mentors, liaison with community agencies as well as writing and managing state and federal grants.  His current responsibilities also include case management of participants in the Mental Health Court and performing initial Drug Court assessments.  From 2000 until 2011 Mr. DeBruin was Coordinator of the first Juvenile Drug Treatment Court in New York State.  For over ten years Mr. DeBruin had a small psychotherapy private practice where he specialized in working with adolescent and young adult males and their families.  In addition he was a Psychiatric Assignment Officer at Clifton springs Hospital and Clinic.  Mr. DeBruin spent many years at Catholic Family Center in Rochester, concluding as the Director for Homeless and Housing Services.  He has been an adjunct Professor at Roberts Wesleyan College and Monroe Community College. He is also a frequent speaker at local school trainings for both staff and students.  Mr. DeBruin has a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Bowie State University’s Alder-Dreikurs Institute.  He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biblical Studies from Washington Bible College as well as Graduate studies in Greek New Testament from Capital Bible Seminary.  He is a Diplomate with the American Psychotherapy Institute.

Dr. Michael DeFalco, PsyD

Dr. Michael DeFalco received his doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Long Island University/C.W. Post campus, where he specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of persons suffering from serious and persistent mental illness. Dr. DeFalco is the Director of Military and Integrated Services at Bridge Back to Life Center, Inc.  Dr. DeFalco has worked for over ten years providing treatment and developing treatment programs for children and adults affected by traumatic stress, depression, and other mental health issues. His current area of specialties include the treatment of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and other disorders related to experiencing traumatic events, as well as geriatric psychiatry and addictions treatment.  Dr. DeFalco is also the Education Chair of the Veterans Mental Health Coalition of New York City and sits on their Steering Committee.  Dr. DeFalco is active in community education, and he maintains an active private practice in Queens and Nassau Counties. 

Hon. Matthew J. D’Emic

Judge Matthew J. D’Emic is a graduate of Fordham University and Brooklyn Law School.  He was appointed to the Court of Claims in 1996 and is assigned to Kings County Supreme Court.  Since 1998, he has presided over the Brooklyn Domestic Violence Court, a specialized felony domestic violence part.  In March 2002, he was selected to open and preside over the first mental health court in New York State, the Brooklyn Mental Health Court.  He hears all criminal competency and related proceedings in Kings County and presides over a special matrimonial calendar.  Judge D’Emic is past Chair of the Supreme Court Gender Fairness Committee and is a member of the New York State Judicial Committee on Women in the Courts, as well as the N.Y.C. Mayor’s Steering Committee of the Citywide Justice and Mental Health Initiative.  He is also co-chair of the alternatives to incarceration and diversion committee of the Criminal Justice Section of the American Bar Association and was a member of the Domestic Violence Committee of the New York City Bar Association.  Judge D’Emic has been recognized for his work in domestic violence by the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association and the Lawyers Committee Against Domestic Violence, and for his work in mental health by the New York State Chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, Brooklyn Psychiatric Center, the American Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation, and the New York State Psychiatric Association.  Judge D’Emic lectures frequently on criminal justice issues in the areas of domestic violence and mental health.  He is an adjunct professor of clinical law at Brooklyn Law School.

Steve Handon

Steve Hanson is the Associate Commissioner of Treatment and Practice Innovation for the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.
Steve has been with OASAS since April 2001 when he was appointed as the Director at our John L. Norris Addiction Treatment Center in Rochester. In 2007, he was named Director of the Bureau of Addiction Treatment Centers, and in 2009 he was named Director of Treatment Services.

Steve has over 30 years of experience in the field as a treatment provider, educator and consultant.

Vincent Happ

Vincent “Vinnie” Happ is a strategic account manager for Redwood Toxicology. He is directly responsible for the account development, sales, support and training of Redwood’s drug testing business in the New York City metro area.  Mr. Happ began his career at Roche Diagnostics in 1991 as a Substance Abuse Sales representative. Mr. Happ was involved in the sales, training and establishment of onsite drug testing programs for probation, parole, corrections, drug courts, drug treatment agencies, and workplace settings in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.  In 2003 Roche sold their drug testing business unit to Varian Inc., where Mr. Happ became a key account manager in the criminal justice marketplace. Prior to his association with Roche Diagnostics he worked for seven years as a juvenile probation officer in the Bucks County Juvenile Probation Department, Doylestown, PA. Mr. Happ earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from The College of New Jersey and his Masters degree in Administration of Justice from Shippensburg University.  Mr. Happ has presented at numerous national and statewide conferences on the topic of drug testing.

Herbert Hardwick, CASAC

Herbert Hardwick is the Community Resource Coordinator for the Brooklyn Treatment Court and courtroom Resource Coordinator for the Brooklyn Veteran’s Court, where his work focuses on developing new initiatives, conducting network expansion activities, facilitating cognitive behavioral group therapy sessions and assisting the clinical director and project director as part of the court’s senior management team.  Mr. Hardwick has twenty years experience as a clinician and supervisor in both treatment and criminal justice agencies. 

Gary Harmon, Ph.D.

Dr. Gary Harmon, currently serves as the Director of Research and Grants for Odyssey House, Inc., a comprehensive community- based not-for-profit human services organization committed to providing quality programs that meet the needs of people with substance abuse, mental illness, homelessness, and medical problems. He is the project evaluator for Odyssey House’s transition aged youth AAFT-3 grant, as well as several other SAMHSA-funded grants. Dr. Harmon has been working with underserved populations for over ten years, and has a background in program evaluation and data management. He has been in his current role at Odyssey House overseeing all private and public grant awards, data management and outcomes, and grant development and grant writing for the previous four years. He recently completed his doctoral studies in Epidemiology at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Hon. Marcia P. Hirsch

Honorable Marcia P. Hirsch is the presiding Judge of the Queens Treatment Court, the Queens DWI Court, the Queens Mental Health Court, the Queens Drug Diversion Court, and the Queens Veterans Court. She was appointed to the New York Court of Claims in March 2005 and was assigned to Queens Supreme Court, Criminal Term. She presided over hearings and trials before she was assigned to the therapeutic courts in October 2005.  Judge Hirsch has lectured extensively at various conferences and training sessions, and she is a board member of the New York Association of Drug Treatment Court Professionals.  Judge Hirsch is a graduate of Union College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and is a graduate of Syracuse University College of Law.  She served for nine years on the Rockville Centre School Board and also was a member of her community’s Drug & Alcohol Task Force.  Judge Hirsch is the president of The New York Association of Drug Treatment Court Professionals.

Chu Hsiao

Chu Hsiao graduated in 2012 from Cornell University where she majored in Human Biology, Health and Society and minored in Gerontology. She has been conducting research the past four years on various topics including adult attachments, health decision making, age differences and substance use treatment.  Ms. Hsiao became a research assistant at Samaritan Village in 2012.

Leslie Kellam

Leslie Kellam has over 25 years of experience in criminal justice research and policy analysis in New York State.  As the Director of Research at the Division of Criminal Justice Services’ Office of Justice Research and Performance, she has helped coordinate numerous criminal justice initiatives, including the state's interagency effort to assess the impact of New York's 2009 Drug Law Reforms.  Other projects have focused on the implementation of measures of criminal risk and needs in correctional settings and the impact of program participation on recidivism.  Previously focused on sentencing and corrections, she is the author of numerous recidivism and outcome studies. Ms. Kellam’s extensive experience in using operations databases to address research and policy questions has led to particular interest in cross-system analyses.

Henry Kurcman

Henry Kurcman has been involved in the addiction treatment field for over 30 years. He has been integral in the development of treatment models for criminal justice populations. He has coordinated several highly successful diversion programs including STEPS/Road to Recovery and has been collaborating with criminal justice stakeholders in the implementation of re-entry strategies.  Mr. Kurcman has trained criminal justices agencies internationally on the Therapeutic Community milieu and is working for the N.Y.S. OASAS Criminal Justice Services Bureau to integrate treatment for criminal justice populations.

Thomas LaBarca, CASAC

Thomas LaBarca has worked at Samaritan Village since 1997.  During his career at Samaritan, he has held various positions in their shelter and ambulatory programs and for the past seven years has been the Director of Admissions and Assessment.  In his current position, Mr. LaBarca is responsible for Samaritan Village’s recruitment and for assessing the suitability of participants in one of New York State’s largest substance abuse programs.  Mr. LaBarca received his CASAC in 2001 and has a degree in counseling from Empire State College.

Claudia Montoya, Esq.

Claudia Montoya is an attorney for the Legal Aid Society’s Enhanced MICA Project. She has worked closely with the Bronx Mental Health Court and Bronx TASC Mental Health Diversion program for over 10 years and has provided expert legal representation and social services for individuals with mental illness and substance abuse disorders who are diverted from jail into community treatment.   Ms. Montoya is a graduate of New York University and CUNY Law School.

Maria Morris-Groves

Maria Morris-Groves serves as the Project Director for New York Serving Adolescents in Need of Treatment Services(NYSAINT) and is the Coordinator of Adolescent, Women and Children's Services for OASAS. 


Ed Olsen has been in the chemical dependency treatment profession for 33 years.  Currently, Mr. Olsen is Director at Bridge Back to Life Center in Bethpage, N.Y. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Suffolk County Community College for the Chemical Dependency Counseling Program.  He is a past member of the executive board of the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors and is currently Commissioner for the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission.  He also serves as Secretary for the Long Island Recovery Association.

Jim Parsons
Jim Parsons is the Director of the Substance Use and Mental Health Program at the Vera Institute of Justice.  He has over fourteen years experience conducting and managing public health and criminal justice research projects in the U.S. and U.K. and has been the Principal Investigator on several government and foundation funded studies. Among other projects, he is currently leading a consortium of research agencies on an NIJ-funded study to assess the impact of the 2009 changes to the ‘Rockefeller’ drug laws in New York City, an NIJ-funded multi-site study examining the provision of public funded legal representation to defendants with mental health disorders, and an evaluation of the first U.S. based Social Impact Bond initiative. In the past, he has conducted research on the mental health needs of inmates at New York’s Rikers Island jail, has developed research- led jail reentry initiatives in New York, and has worked with criminal justice and behavioral health agencies in Washington D.C. to improve the provision of forensic substance use and mental health treatment services. Jim has published extensively and presented frequently on research related to jail reentry, drug policy and the intersection between criminal justice and behavioral health. He has a BA in Sociology from London Guildhall University and an MSc. in Social Research Methods from the University of Surrey.

Sky L. Peña-Davis

Sky Peña-Davis is a Regional Project Manager in the Office of Policy and Planning at the New York State Unified Court System where she utilizes her 20 years of experience as a criminal justice and addictions professional to plan, implement and provide ongoing support to drug courts and veterans courts in New York State.  Ms. Peña-Davis also worked at the Center for Court Innovation and New York City Treatment Alternatives for Safer Communities.  She is a speaker on drug court topics and serves on multiple associations, committees and advisory boards.  She received her bachelor’s degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and her master’s degree from Long Island University/CW Post College.

Valerie Raine, Esq.  

As the director of drug treatment court projects at the Center for Court Innovation, Valerie Raine assists New York’s Unified Court System in developing and training drug treatment courts across New York State. She also oversees the Statewide Drug Court Training & Technical Assistance initiative which is supported by the Bureau of Justice Assistance.  From 1996 to 2000, she was project director of the Brooklyn Treatment Court, New York City's first drug treatment court.  Ms. Raine created and taught a course on problem-solving justice at Fordham Law School, has served as faculty for the National Drug Court Institute and presented on drug treatment courts at numerous conferences over the past 16 years.  Previously, she worked for 14 years at the Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division in Kings County, where she was appointed attorney-in-charge in 1994. Ms. Raine is a graduate of Hunter College and the University of Virginia School of Law.

Michael Rempel

Michael Rempel is research director at the Center for Court Innovation. He is currently directing a  randomized trial of evidence-based assessment tools’ an evaluation of the Attorney General’s multi-site Defending Childhood Demonstration Program, a national study of prosecutor-led pretrial diversion programs, and a national study of the commercial sexual exploitation of children.  He is also co-principal investigator on NIJ’s Evaluation of Second Chance Act Reentry Courts and is co-PI on an evaluation of a specialized community court in Brooklyn.  In the past, he has published extensively on research related to drug courts and offender interventions in cases of intimate partner violence.  Recent publications also concern specialized domestic violence courts, the commercial sexual exploitation of children, community courts, procedural justice, research methodology, and the potential to apply problem-solving techniques more   broadly in traditional court settings.  Mr. Rempel also frequently presents on the use of evidence-based principles with criminal offenders.

Anthony Rizzuto

Anthony Rizzuto is a credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor and has been working in the substance abuse field approximately 13 years.  He currently serves in two roles at Seafield Center.  He is the Provider Relations Rep for Long Island and also the Program Director of the Power & Control Program. He has facilitated and worked with perpetrators of domestic violence for many years.  At present Mr. Rizzuto no longer provides direct services but provides supervision for all of the Power and Control group facilitators at Seafield. He speaks three languages fluently English, Italian & Spanish.  Lately his work has been in public speaking and training.  He has lectured in various parts of the country including Las Vegas, Arizona, Massachusetts and Buffalo.  Mr. Rizzuto has been spending quite a bit of time organizing community events to educate, empower and provide resources for those struggling with the disease of addiction. He has also been a strong advocate for changing the current practices by insurance companies which prevent an individual’s access to treatment.

Elan Robin

Elan Robin, LMSW is the Veterans Care Coordinator for the Brooklyn Veterans Treatment Court.  In this position, Mr. Robin coordinates a collaborative effort between the Brooklyn Treatment Court and local community service providers to offer enhanced services designed to assist veterans in re-establishing a productive and law-abiding lifestyle.  Mr. Robin began his career working in the substance abuse field for Phoenix House of Long Island.  He later developed their Military Services Program in Long Island and New York City.

Gregg Roth, Esq.

Gregg Roth is Associate Director of Drug Court Programs at the Center for Court Innovation where he provides training, technical assistance and development support to drug treatment courts.  Mr. Roth is also a team member of CCI’s Tribal Justice Exchange and has been involved with projects involving, and given presentations on, Veterans Courts and creating a bridge between drug court and higher education.  Mr. Roth is formerly a Deputy County Attorney, Senior Trial Counsel, for the Nassau County Attorney’s Office where he prosecuted juvenile delinquents and helped create Nassau County’s first juvenile drug treatment court.  Mr. Roth has been invited to speak locally and nationally on topics including the prosecutor’s role in juvenile drug courts, evidence-based practices and Reclaiming Futures and is currently an adjunct college instructor of criminal justice at Briarcliffe College.  Mr. Roth graduated from the George Washington University and the Hofstra University School of Law.

Merrill Rotter, MD

Merrill Rotter is a forensic psychiatrist working at Albert Einstein College of Medicine where he is Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Division of Law and Psychiatry for the Department of Psychiatry.  Dr. Rotter received his B.A./M.D. from the Boston University Six-Year Combined Liberal Arts Medical Education Program.  Trained in clinical psychiatry at Columbia and in forensic psychiatry at Yale, Dr. Rotter leads a program of teaching, research and clinical service for Einstein as well as the New York State Office of Mental Health.  In his OMH role, Dr. Rotter is Director of the Division of Forensic Services at Bronx Psychiatric Center and Senior Consultant to the Division of Forensic Services.   In addition, Dr. Rotter is the Medical Director of the EAC and NYC TASC. 

Christina Ruffino

Ms. Ruffino is the Project Manager for Drug Court Programs at the Center for Court Innovation, where she contributes to several drug court training, technical assistance and research projects both locally and nationally. In addition, she is an Adjunct Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in the Public Management Department.

Ms. Ruffino previously served as Clinical Director of the Brooklyn Treatment Court where she was responsible for managing the court's clinical operations. She holds an MPA in Criminal Justice Policy from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, NY and a BA In Liberal Arts from St. John's College in Annapolis, MD. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Criminal Justice Policy, Oversight and Administration at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Jaquie Sheehey

Jacquie Sheehey has worked for more than 20 years in the drug and alcohol testing industry; she worked very closely with the NADCP in a consulting position from 1998-2001 and was instrumental in assisting with the NYADTCP from 1998-2003. Her expertise includes management, marketing and training. She has worked for Varian, Inc., TruTouch Technologies, Alcohol Monitoring Systems, and currently serves as the Judicial Services Liaison for Smart Start, Inc.

Bill Solz

Bill Solz has been the director of Stress Solutions of Long Island for the past 29 years. He is also the director of CHANGES! which addresses the needs of male domestic violence offenders. Ms. Solz is certified in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), anger management and domestic violence therapies. Mr. Solz works with children, adolescents, and their families specializing in promoting stress reduction and addressing addiction, trauma, and parenting concerns. He uses several different treatment modalities to afford his clients quick symptom relief and comprehensive healing. He also provides court-approved programs in DWI, anger management, and domestic violence. Mr. Solz is a former school social worker and adjunct professor at Adelphi’s School of Social Work.

Leroy Spicer

Leroy Spicer attended Minot State College from 1978-82.  He majored in Physical Education and Recreation and had a minor in Philosophy.  He played semi-pro Basketball in Winnipeg, Canada in 1982 before having a foot injury. He was also Head JV basketball coach at Port Richmond High School in Staten Island, N.Y. from 1983-86. He became an Assistant Basketball Coach with Tottenville High School varsity team from 1992-94.  He has always been involved in the community after his college days. He provides alternative high schools on Staten Island (Concord High, Mt. Loretta Group Homes and New York Founding) with a prevention program where he entered their environment on a weekly basis with education on substance abuse/negative behavior and how to make healthy choices.  In June 2009, he was certified by SUNY Cortland Youth Sport Institute and received a Youth Sports New York Coaching Certification.  Mr. Spicer has been in the substance abuse field for over twenty years and has been a Case Manager for the Brooklyn Treatment Court since 1996.  Mr. Spicer has experience in working with the young adult population. He developed a youth program in 1992 called “I am Somebody, So are you, Inc.”.  Mr. Spicer has dedicated himself to helping youth of all ages through sports.

Laura VanWort

Laura VanWort currently a Senior Case Manager and Court Liaison with EAC Forensic LINK in Brooklyn, New York. In her current role, she connects Severely and Persistently Mentally Ill (SPMI) offenders to treatment services as per a court mandate, assists with their compliance and monitors their progress. Laura has obtained an MA in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a BA in Psychology/BS in Criminal Justice from Adelphi University. Currently, Laura is working on a research project for the Sex Offender Research Lab (SORL) at John Jay College that investigates possible barriers within the New York State Sex Offender Registration System.

Kevin Wadalavage, M.A., L.M.H.C., C.A.S.A.C., M.A.C., N.C.A.C.II

Mr. Wadalavage has worked in the substance abuse field since 1981 as a street worker, counselor, Program Director, trainer and administrator. He has trained on chemical dependency related topics to various human service professionals for over 25 years and is a lecturer at Outreach Training Institute, the largest addiction counselor training program in New York State. He also supervised two New York City outpatient addiction treatment programs which offered trilingual services to adolescents and adults.  He is a member of the OASAS Clinical Advisory Panel and Gold Standard Committee. Mr. Wadalavage has participated in the Addiction Technology Transfer Provider Workgroup and OASAS Workgroups for Credentialing, Treatment Outcome Studies, Evaluation Systems, Curriculum Development and Assessment Protocols. He also was a member of the Item Development Committee for the first New York State Credentialed Substance Abuse Counselor exam and has participated in item development for Substance Abuse Counselor exams for the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium. He also participated in several practice/research collaborations funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Warren Zysman, LMSW, CASAC

Warren Zysman is the Chief Program Officer of A.R.E.B.A Casriel Inc., the nation’s oldest substance abuse treatment program.  Mr. Zysman graduated with honors from Adelphi University and Fordham University earning his Bachelors’ and Master of Social Work degrees, respectively.  He trained at the Albert Ellis Institute in Rational Emotive and Cognitive Behavioral Theories, and the Beck Institute of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy where he trained under Aaron Beck MD and was supervised by Daniel Beck LCSW.  Since 1997, he worked in the substance abuse field in management and as a provider of care—providing him with unique and varied insight into this field. Under his leadership ACI has developed a reputation for providing clinical services for the criminal justice population, developing linkages with Federal Probation, Treatment Court, TASC and CASES.  ACI provides a wide range of services from early intervention and treatment to continuing care and recovery support.