Dr. Clarissa Uttley,
a member of the faculty at the Plymouth State University whose areas of
expertise include early childhood, psychology and pet therapy, will speak this
month about prison-based animal
She will give her talk, “Taking a
Bite out of Crime: Inmate Rehabilitation through Prison-based Animal Programs,”
at 7 p.m. March 17 in the Lester and Barbara Rice Auditorium in Fisher Hall.
An educator and psychologist by
training, Uttley became fascinated by the influence of pets on people when she
worked as the education specialist for a small zoo in Massachusetts prior to
enrolling in graduate school.
She is a certified Pet Assisted
Therapy facilitator and conducts research on how animals can support the
social-emotional development of young children. She has worked in restorative justice
programs with adolescents and animals with a focus on developing career skills
and helping children feel they are positive contributors to the community.
Uttley has published several
pertinent articles: “Cisco’s Kids” describes how Cisco, a chocolate Labrador
retriever, was able to work with gang members in a juvenile detention facility
to reduce violence and recidivism rates; and “Pet-Assisted Therapy and the
Traumatized Child,” which details how a therapeutic intervention program can
assist adolescents and young children to cope better with the trauma in their
Her research interests include early
childcare, early intervention programs, program evaluation, multiculturalism
and pet-assisted therapy. She has published in the Journal of Emotional Abuse
and numerous educational journals. Uttley is a member of the American
Psychological Association and the International Society for the Study of
She holds a doctoral degree in
psychology with a specialization in behavioral science and research methodology
from the University of Rhode Island.
The Division of Behavioral andSocial Sciences at Pitt-Bradford is the sponsor for Uttley’s talk.
For disability-related needs,
contact the Office of Disability Resources and Services at (814)362-7609 or firstname.lastname@example.org.