The large wild fire currently burning in Southern California is a stark reminder of the danger and damage that a fire can cause. Often times, curious youngsters are responsible for starting small fires that quickly get out of control.
That is why researchers at the Juvenile Arson and Explosive Research and Intervention Center (JAERIC) at the Burn Institute in San Diego are analyzing two decades worth of records from juveniles in their counseling program. They are trying to create more uniformity in the information collected by agencies like their own, so that they can determine juvenile fire-setting trends on a larger scale. The information they are compiling will be provided to the International Association of Fire Fighters for a national database of juvenile fire-setting cases that is being established.
Doctoral Student Patricia Jones, of Alliant’s California School of Forensic Studies (CSFS), has been integral in the Center’s efforts to analyze data and gain insights from it. She received the First Place Award of Excellence from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Pacific Division. The award was bestowed on Jones for her presentations on the juvenile arson research, training and interventions done at the Burn Institute, which were given at the 94th Annual Meeting of the AAAS Pacific Division with Dr. Ronn Johnson, clinical director of JAERIC.
Jones’ success in the San Diego clinical forensic psychology program is especially poignant. She is a student who, after sustaining a serious brain injury in a motor vehicle accident, needed to learn how to read again. Her young daughter helped teach her how to recognize words and letters. Jones is an inspiration, and student that the faculty of CSFS in San Diego is particularly proud of.
Read more about the on-going juvenile arson research by JAERIC and the important insights learned from it.