• Apply to join us as a Post-Master's Fellow!

    Applications are open for clinical practice and research Fellows to join our team. For full consideration, apply by August 30!

    Learn more and apply
  • I moved to KY and lost my right to vote

    Bill Rone, one of our Post-Master's Fellows, sacrificed his right to vote to help Kentuckians releasing from prison. Read more about what that means for his own freedom.

    Read the Op-Ed here
  • A spoken word narrative event on transforming the criminal justice system

    Carrie Pettus-Davis, Lamont Carey, and Bill Rone generated a public discourse around justness and opportunity at the Globe Theatre in Tallahassee June 27, 2019.

    Watch the full recorded event here!
  • The power of second chance hiring

    John Koufos, National Director of Reentry Initiatives at Right On Crime and a key member of the Safe Streets and Second Chances leadership team, highlights how second chance hiring can transform our communities for the better.

    Read the Op-Ed here
  • Meet our inaugural class of Post-Master's Fellows!

    We are thrilled to introduce our 16 Post-Master's Fellows, all of whom began training this week. Fellows will primarily engage currently and formerly incarcerated men and women on the 5-Key Model for Reentry study.

    Learn more
  • A Celebration of Freedom with Alice Marie Johnson

    Dean Jim Clark and Carrie Pettus-Davis joined Alice Johnson in Memphis to celebrate her one-year freedom anniversary after being sentenced to life in prison for a non-violent drug crime. Ms. Johnson recently published her memoir entitled 'After Life: My Journey from Incarceration to Freedom.'

    Learn more about 'After Life' here
  • Focusing on Well-Being to Change Lives and Increase Public Safety

    The Institute for Justice Research and Development seeks to re-orient the field of criminal justice to focus on the value and worth of the individual.

  • The IJRD Open House was a success!

    A crowd of 100 joined us to learn more about our work and our team; FL Department of Corrections Secretary Mark Inch headlined the event.

    Learn more
  • The Institute for Justice Research and Development

    Critically focused on getting to what works, discovering the "why" and "how" in ways that seek opportunities to safely and quickly apply solutions to communities, and accomplishing our mission without compromising research rigor and integrity.

  • Integrating Criminal Justice Research into the Classroom

    Our faculty infuse their academic courses with criminal justice content to help train the next generation of workers to facilitate Smart Decarceration.

  • Safe Streets and Second Chances

    Our researchers are currently conducting a multi-state, multi-site trial to test the effectiveness of the innovative 5-Key Model for Reentry in 50 prisons across the nation.

    Learn more

IJRD Home Page

title-inside title-centered

Prioritizing the rapid dissemination of research findings to advocates, professionals, and policymakers. 

Our mission is to advance science, policy, and practice to improve the well-being of individuals, families, and communities impacted by criminal justice system involvement. 



New Report Released!

The third in a series of quarterly reports describing the inner workings and early discoveries of the 5-Key Model for Reentry was just released. Read the breaking media alert and access the full report here.

Media Alert

In a heart-wrenching letter, Carrie Pettus-Davis, IJRD's Executive Director, describes how the existence of a 17-year gap between scientific innovation and actual changes to policy and practice directly affects her family. The report details the steps she and her team are taking to accelerate the scientific process and improve outcomes.    

Read more here

Accelerating Science using the Feedback Loop

We invite you to learn about how the Feedback Loop has been used to overcome challenges and adapt both the 5-Key Model intervention and how the intervention is delivered to maximize impact for individuals as they release from prison.

Read more here

The movement from mass incarceration toward smart decarceration has the potential to produce effective, sustainable, and equitable criminal justice reforms. 

The Institute for Justice Research and Development was created to maximize the potential for change. 

We work to achieve three goals:

Develop individual, family & community well-being

Promote racial and economic equality

Change conventional criminal justice outcomes

We form teams of researchers, private and public sector professionals, students, and people with histories of criminal justice involvement to maximize solution finding.

We conduct rigorous research in real world settings in collaboration with government, business, academic, and nonprofit partners.

We build on a foundation of nearly two decades of faculty research and apply scientific discovery to technological advances that have yet to be fully pursued in criminal justice related policy or practice.

We prioritize rapid dissemination of research findings to the advocates, professionals, and policymakers who can adopt them rather than limiting the communication of our findings to academic audiences.



Findings showed no direct relationship between childhood trauma and reincarceration for women in the sample, although there was a significant mediated relationship from childhood trauma to depression to reincarceration. Results suggest the…

Accelerating Science Using the Research-to-Practice Feedback Loop

The report details the implementation of a Research-to-Practice Feedback Loop and how this Feedback Loop has been used to overcome challenges and adapt both the 5-Key Model intervention and how the intervention is delivered to individuals as they…

journal of traumatic stress

While it is understood that high rates of trauma exposure are common among incarcerated male populations, there is limited data on the nature of the trauma exposure. This study examined the trauma histories of a randomly selected sample of 67 men…