In the News
Imagine, writes Lisa Reyes Mason, if more of us in academe publicly shared our research expertise to help address crucial social issues. What impact could we collectively have? How could lives change? Mason suggests 'breaking it down and getting it out' and highlights the importance of cleaning and analyzing data efficiently, so that early findings -- clearly labeled as such, like work by the Institute for Justice Research and Development -- can be shared much sooner than the painstakingly slow peer-review cycle.
Carrie Pettus-Davis was featured as an outstanding woman researcher for Women's History Month! Her work is changing how technology can be used to improve the lives of people as they leave incarceration and return to their communities.
“We are applying the full power of technology to respond to, arguably, the greatest challenge to implementing data-driven criminal justice reforms — the fact that we just don’t have the human capacity to support and address the complexities of individuals’ lives who are justice-involved,” Pettus-Davis said. “This solution can get us on a path to substantially reduce the size of our criminal justice system, which is desperately needed in our country.”
More than a quarter of the 600,000 Americans who are reincarcerated each year are sent back to prison because they have committed “technical violations” of their terms of probation or parole—not because they have committed new crimes.
The high percentage of such violations, for behaviors like staying out past curfew or missing an appointment with a parole officer, raises uncomfortable questions about the goals and purposes of the country’s system of community supervision, say researchers at Florida State University.
In the sixth of a series of quarterly studies examining “re-arrests” in seven states, researchers at the Institute for Justice Research and Development at FSU’s College of Social Work argued that the nation’s high rates of recidivism bear little relation to the prevalence of criminal behavior among individuals released from prison.
Is a smart phone app the answer to increasing support and improving well-being among individuals under community supervision? A Florida State University criminal justice expert, Carrie Pettus-Davis, intends to find out.
Listen to the radio story here!
Although voting rights were recently restored to 140,000 Kentuckians with a felony record, a proposed identification bill may limit their ability to cast their vote this November. IJRD Post-Master's Fellow, Bill Rone, underscored how discouraging the identification process can be for an individual leaving incarceration.
“When you get released, it’s hard enough that you have to get a new driver’s license,” he said. “First you have to get your birth certificate, and hopefully it’s in the state you’re in. From that, you have to get your Social Security card and from that, you can get a driver’s license. … Everybody thinks that’s no problem, but you can’t drive and you’re relying on public transportation. It’s a lot harder than people think.”
Investors have joined grassroots activists to mitigate the toll that mass incarceration takes on the US: human suffering and 6% of GDP. The direct cost of incarceration in the US is $80 billion, but when it includes the costs to the 2.3 million individuals jailed in the US and their families and communities, the total cost to society is approximately $1.2 trillion or 6% of GDP, according to Carrie Pettus-Davis of Florida State University.
Sustainable investor solutions to mass incarceration range from focusing solely on private prison operators to considering the entire prison-industrial complex and from divesting to engaging.
Florida State University researchers received a record level of funding from federal, state and private sources, bringing in $233.6 million to the university to support investigations into areas such as criminal justice reform, health sciences, high energy physics and marine biology. The Institute for Justice Research and Development - a multidisciplinary research endeavor that works to advance science, policy and practice to improve the well-being of individuals, families and communities impacted by the criminal justice system - has brought in nearly $11.9 million since its founding in 2018.
In this opinion piece, Carrie Pettus-Davis talks about the public health crisis facing our communities - why individuals release from prison and die at alarming rates.
Fluent in Floridian: Dr. Carrie Pettus-Davis devoted most of her career to improving the lives of formerly incarcerated people. Her five key approach prepares them to be job-ready and job steady for when they complete their sentences. Tune in to hear her meaningful conversation with SalterMitchell PR President Heidi Otway as they discuss the impact of her research and how she preaches what she teaches.
Safe Streets & Second Chances is a program implemented by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections last year. It’s a reentry initiative aimed at improving community stability by focusing on the formerly incarcerated person’s strengths and mental well-being, rather than the usual deficit-focused models. Advocates with the program say research shows this focus is the best way to make sure everyone is safe.
“We must particularly focus on second chances. Rehabilitation, redemption, and restoration, and that’s really important. It’s what makes communities and families better, safer, and stronger,” says Mark Holden, Advisory Council Chair for Safe Streets & Second Chances.