Donna K. Wells is the Assistant Secretary of Public Safety for the Commonwealth of Virginia responsible for policy, planning and program development, as well as coordination and funding for domestic preparedness activities. She also directed 4 SAFE VA, the governor's school safety initiatives, and served as the Executive Director of the governor's New Partnership Commission for Community Safety. She speaks regularly at national conferences and workshops on youth safety and criminal-justice planning issues. Wells also serves as a faculty member of Virginia Commonwealth University's Commonwealth Educational Policy Institute and is a member of the Congressional Safety and Security Council.
Prior to assuming her current position, Wells served as the Policy and Planning Coordinator for the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). In that capacity, she served as liaison to the Criminal Justice Services Board and the U.S. Department of Justice. Wells also served as the state Youth and School Safety Specialist and developed numerous school and youth safety programs and initiatives. She was also instrumental in the development of the national Serious Habitual Offender Program. Wells began her career as a high-school English and reading specialist.
Wells has also authored or coauthored articles in numerous publications and journals, including Police Chief, The Journal of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, The National School Safety Journal, The Journal of Police Science and Administration and Law and Order. For several years, she wrote a weekly newspaper column, It's Elementary, for the (Norfolk, Virginia) Virginian-Pilot and Ledger-Star. The column was syndicated to several other newspapers. Additionally, Wells has published five nonfiction children's resource books.
In addition to her research and writing, Wells's professional affiliations have included the Virginia Preparedness and Security Panel on Terrorism, the Virginia Department of Education School Violence Task Force, the Southeast Regional Center for Drug-Free Schools and Communities, Class Action, the Youth Alcohol and Drug-Abuse Prevention Project, the Virginia Partnership for the Prevention of Youth Violence, and the Virginia Association of Law Enforcement Explorer Advisors.
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