INITIAL FOUNDING WORKING GROUP
Ann Ratnayake Macy has dedicated her legal career to championing child safety by working to improve the U.S. child protection system. For nearly a decade, she has worked as an attorney protecting child victims.
Her legal advocacy started at the child abuse unit of the National District Attorneys Association (“NDAA”). It was funded by the Department of Justice to train and provide legal assistance to state and local prosecutors on criminal child abuse cases. The partner organizations included the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the National Children’s Alliance, the National Sherriff’s Association, and International Association of Chiefs of Police.
She worked strategically as a liaison between state prosecutors and federally funded child abuse initiatives. Ann assisted front-line prosecutors by providing prosecution assistance on child abuse cases: authoring briefs on novel issues, providing assistance corroborating evidence, and subject matter expertise on legal issues unique to child abuse cases such as using CCTV in the courtroom, and competency of child witnesses to testify. She has drafted legislation on issues related to child maltreatment. Ann supervised attorneys, communicated with stakeholders and configured grant applications to meet the needs of the field. She also managed and tracked deliverables, and wrote the final, progress, and semiannual reports for 5.9 million dollars of Department of Justice grant funding. She managed complex trial advocacy trainings, conferences, and wrote for NDAA's publications.
Her primary area of research focused on addressing family and domestic violence within the criminal justice system. Her NDAA articles include: U.S. v. Jones: Signaling Change to Search and Seizure under the Fourth Amendment, Juvenile Sex Offenses: Finding Justice, Berghuis v. Thompkins: Invocation and Waiver of the Miranda Right to Remain Silent. The Confrontation Clause After Ohio v. Clark: The Path to Reinvigorating Evidenced-Based Prosecution in Intimate Partner Violence Cases was co-published by NDAA and the George Washington Law Review, and a Precarious Gap in U.S. Criminal Codes for Cases of Child Torture was published in the Journal of Child and Youth Review. She has also written three chapters for the American Bar Association's State of Criminal Justice Book Series. In addition to research, during her time at NDAA, she either trained or provided legal assistance regarding child abuse cases to almost all of the 50 state jurisdictions as well as Samoa, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.
She stepped away from NDAA to start her own organization dedicated to fixing issues she had noticed while working on these cases across jurisdictional lines. She started the National Center for Child Abuse Statistics and Policy (“NCCASP”) in April –child abuse prevention month –of 2017. NCCASP champions child safety by perpetuating innovations in law, technology, and science that better protects children from abuse and neglect.
In 2019, a two-year NCCASP research study was published in the J. of child and Youth review. It documented the lack of an available felony charge for cases of severe child abuse medically defined as child torture in some state criminal codes. This gap allowed perpetrators of child torture to escape justice and potentially reconnect with victims. Ann worked to draft ABA resolution to spotlight this issue in order to better protect victims from the perpetrators. The resolution passed the house of delegates with no dissent. NCCASP is currently working to close the gap in state criminal laws for cases of child torture.
In addition to leading positive change as the Founder and Executive Director of NCCASP, Ann also serves as co-chair of the ABA victim’s committee, on the criminal justice section council, and on the Commission for Youth at Risk, as well as, being a member of the Women in Criminal Justice Taskforce. She is also a board member for the Zero Abuse Project, and was selected as a 2018 Presidential Leadership Scholar (“PLS”). The PLS program is a prestigious mid-career fellowship which selects 60 agents of change. Ann has spent her legal career working as an agent of change for victims of child abus16
Founder & Executive Director, NCCASP
Former Senior Staff Attorney at American Prosecutors Research Institute (APRI), Child Abuse Unit
Ann Ratnayake Macy, JD/BBA
Randi King currently serves as the Chief Prosecutor of the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office Family Law Division. She has prosecuted Child Protective Services cases, juvenile crime, and domestic violence protective orders since 1995. She assists in felony criminal prosecutions in cases in which Child Protective Services is involved. Randi has participated in CASA of Southeast Texas new volunteer training for 18 years and it energized her every time.
She serves on the Garth House Child Advocacy Center Board of Directors, Executive Board as Secretary (2 terms), Vice-President, and President (2 terms), and Professional Standards Committee; Jefferson County Child Fatality Review Team, Foster Care Task Force, Adoption Day Committee and Juvenile Board Citizens’ Advisory Council; the Texas Children’s Justice Act Task Force, and has been vice president of Beaumont Community Partners for Children. She organized the county’s Baby Moses law publicity program and regularly makes presentations to community groups and child abuse professionals. Ms. King is honored to have received the 2001 Southeast Texas CASA Child Advocate of the Year Award and the 2006 Texas CASA Lone Star Proud for Kids Award.
Chief Prosecutor, Jefferson County District Attorney's Office Family Law Division
Randi King, JD
Dr. Barbara Knox is the Medical Director of the University of Wisconsin Child Protection Program at the American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin. Dr. Knox completed her residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. She then completed a fellowship in Child Abuse Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center before joining the faculty in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin, where she is currently an Associate Professor. Dr. Knox is board certified in General Pediatrics and Child Abuse Pediatrics. Dr. Knox is Chair of the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatric Section on Child Abuse and Neglect and is a member of the Ray E. Helfer Society of Child Abuse Physicians.
She is the Immediate Past Chair of the Wisconsin Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board that administers the Wisconsin Children’s Trust Fund. She is also a team member serving on the Department of Justice’s Statewide Child Fatality review team that advises state agencies and the Legislature on law, policy and practice modification in an on-going effort to reduce preventable childhood deaths. She co-directs a statewide Medical Peer Review project in Wisconsin. Areas of research interest for Dr. Knox include child physical/psychological torture as a form of child abuse and sexual torture as a form of child abuse. Dr. Knox has published on many topics, including child torture as a form of child abuse, burns of abuse, abusive head trauma, and is currently an editor for three textbooks relating to child maltreatment. She also reviews current child abuse medical research journal articles for The Quarterly Update. As part of her practice she cares for children who have been or are suspected of being victims of physical abuse sexual abuse and neglect.
Medical Director, University of Wisconsin Child Protection Program at the American Family Children's Hospital
Dr. Barbara Knox, MD
Denise Langford Morris was appointed to the Oakland County Circuit Court in August 1992, elected in 1994, and reelected in 2000, 2006, and 2012. She is the first African-American circuit court judge and dean of the bench. Judge Langford Morris received her JD from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, where she presently serves as a trustee. She is a former assistant Oakland County prosecutor and assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, civil division. She also has extensive civil trial experience as a private practitioner.
Judge Langford Morris received her MA cum laude in Guidance and Counseling from Wayne State University in 1979 and spent several years working for the state's Department of Social Services as a protective services worker, first for mentally/physically disabled adults and senior citizens, and then for abused/neglected children. Judge Langford Morris is active in many legal and civic organizations. She is the past chairperson of the NBA Judicial Council. She is a director of the Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society and is a state director at large of the Women Lawyers' Association of Michigan. She is also highly active in the American Bar Association serving as Co-Executive Director of the Criminal Justice Section’s Equal Rights Division
Judge, 6th Court - Michigan
The Honorable Denise Langford Morris
Pamela J. Watkins, PsyD, MA, MJ, MAS, is a forensic psychologist, researcher, mental health professional, and infant/preschooler clinician with a particular area of specialization involving Munchausen by proxy abuse. Her training has included forensic interviewing, the administration of neurological, psychological, and trauma assessments, detailed forensic and psychological report writing, testifying, and journal editing and article reviews representing various aspects of child abuse, child maltreatment, and Munchausen by proxy investigations. Additionally, she has testified in court on elder abuse investigations regarding Munchausen by proxy. Critically, Dr. Watkins has continued to focus her career highlighting the most current research, socio-legal and psychological procedures, placements, and policies involving Munchausen by proxy abuse, while continuing to review both criminal and civil case matters involving Munchausen by proxy litigation. Dr. Watkins, who is based in San Diego, CA, travels and presents her studies on Munchausen by proxy extensively, by attending various child/disabled/elder abuse conferences across the United States, yearly. Dr. Watkins has dedicated both her academic and professional career towards engaging and enlightening professionals regarding the multi-faceted aspects of the most lethal form of abuse, also known as Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another (Previously Factitious Disorder by Proxy).
During her academic, clinical, and professional training, Dr. Watkins’ advocacy regarding the complex nature of Medical Child Abuse has allowed her to gain considerable insights from various disciplines, including forensic and clinical psychology, law, criminology, and now, the research within faith-based communities. Dr. Watkins attended Alliant International University for her doctorate in clinical and forensic psychology (PsyD/2014), Loyola Chicago Law School for her Masters in Child Policy and Law (MJ/2015), and graduating from the University of California, Irvine, with a Masters in Sociology, Criminology and Law (MAS/2016), honored with academic distinction in all three programs as Magna Cum Laude. This past May 2017, Dr. Watkins was accepted into Fuller Theological Seminary to begin her Masters of Divinity (M.Div) in an effort to further child abuse/elder abuse investigations within the faith-based communities.
Prior to entering graduate school, Dr. Watkins was a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) within the Juvenile Justice Department of the San Diego courts, affiliated with Voices for Children during the late 1980s-1990s; and in the 1980s, during her undergraduate journalism studies while at San Diego State University, she interned alongside of award-winning investigative television news reporters and newspaper journalists, gaining critical insights into the news, public relations and media realm. Lastly, and most importantly, Dr. Watkins is happily married to her high school prom date Rick, who is a custom jewelry designer based in Encinitas, CA. Dr. Watkins and her husband have raised four grown children, and now are the proud grandparents of three small grandchildren, all whom call her “Peaches.” She is a proud member of APSAC, CAPSAC, SNAP, NCCASP, and GRACE.