Dr. Michele P. Bratina
Location: 531 BPM Center
Before entering academia, Dr. Bratina held several positions in the State of Florida, including Forensic and Children's Mental Health Coordinator for the Florida Department of Children and Families (FL-DCF) in the 19th Judicial Circuit, Systems Integrator for the Southeastern Florida Behavioral Health Network (SEBHN), and Criminal Justice Program Director for a small university in West Palm Beach. She is a Past-President of the Northeastern Association of Criminal Justice Sciences (NEACJS), the recipient of the 2021 NEACJS Founders Award, and a three-time award recipient of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS)/SAGE Junior Faculty Professional Development Teaching Award.
In 2020, Dr. Bratina and several students co-founded the first NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) chapter at WCU. Currently, Dr. Bratina serves as the co-advisor, and she is the advisor for Nu Beta, the WCU Chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma—the national criminal justice honor society. Dr. Bratina endeavors to advance mental health awareness and advocacy in the criminal justice system and in the community.
In her spare time, Dr. Bratina enjoys playing acoustic guitar and making memories with her munchkin.
Education & Professional Certifications
- Ph.D. Criminology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
- M.A. Criminal Justice, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
- B.S. Applied Behavioral Science, Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg
Dr. Bratina holds the following Certifications: Crisis Intervention Team Coordinator (CIT International), Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) instructor, and SAMHSA-certified trainer for How Being Trauma-Informed Improves Criminal Justice System Responses.
Dr. Bratina is co-author with James Fagin of CJ 2019 and CJ 2022 (Pearson), and the author of Forensic Mental Health: Framing Integrated Solutions, 2nd Edition (Routledge). Her research has focused on specialized training for criminal justice professionals and the development of community partnerships in forensic mental health. Other areas of interest include secondary trauma among law enforcement officers and examining offending/offending risk and victimization through a trauma-informed lens. Dr. Bratina’s publications have appeared in the Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice, International Journal of Police Science and Management, Police Practice and Research, Abuse: An International Impact Journal, Salus: An International Journal of Law Enforcement & Public Safety, the Journal of Correctional Health Care, and the Journal of Community Mental Health.
Selected Professional service
Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS):
· Region One Trustee
· Executive Counselor, International Section
· Executive Counselor, Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Section
Northeastern Association of Criminal Justice Sciences (NEACJS):
· Co-Chair, Professional Development Committee, Annual Meeting
· Program Committee, Annual Meeting
· NEACJS Chair, Criminal Justice Policy Review (CJPR) & NEACJS Paper Award
· Immediate Past President
· First Vice President
· Second Vice President
· Chair, Awards Committee
Pennsylvania Statewide Forensic Interagency Task Force (FITF)
Chester County Police Crisis Intervention Team (CIT):
· Executive Steering Committee
· Curriculum Committee
Selected university service
- West Chester University of Pennsylvania (WCUPA) University Writing Council Advisory Board: Representative, College of Business & Public Management
- Advisor, Nu Beta Chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma (National Criminal Justice Honor Society)
- Co-Advisor/Founder NAMI on Campus (National Alliance on Mental Illness)
Classes regularly taught
- Theories of Crime and Delinquency
- Forensic Mental Health
- Mental Health and the Criminal Justice System