In the News

last updated 5-16-2022

Published: | Author: Kevin Krause | Source: Dallas Morning News

Omar Narvaez said his brother had trouble finding a job in Houston when he was released from prison. The Dallas City Council member said he doesn’t want that to happen to others who have paid their debt and want to become productive members of society. He and other council members voted unanimously Wednesday to allocate up to $500,000 in state grant money toward housing and job skills training and placement for those leaving prison so they don’t wind up back behind bars.

This move was bolstered by the 5-Key Model program being tested in Dallas. The program’s leader, Carrie Pettus-Davis, the founding executive director of the Institute for Justice Research and Development, has called Dallas a natural test site. She has said the city was well ahead of the curve on providing reentry services for its large ex-offender population.

Published: | Author: Stephanie Kennedy | Source: FSU College of Social Work

IJRD is dedicated to the betterment of the lives of the individuals, families and communities impacted by the criminal justice system. Even before the renewed national consciousness about racial violence in our nation, IJRD has been at the forefront of addressing racial and economic disparities documented throughout the criminal justice system. Learn more about how IJRD promotes racial and economic equity and how IJRD team members are working to generate knowledge, expanding practice, and improve outcomes for justice-involved individuals related to the spread of COVID-19. 

Published: | Author: FSU College of Social Work | Source: Communitas Magazine

Learn about IJRD, the largest academic research institution in the nation working at the intersection of social work and criminal justice, and their dedication to generating data-driven solutions to criminal justice reforms. 

Published: | Author: Nancy Revell | Source: FSU College of Social Work

FSU College of Social Work Associate Professor Carrie Pettus-Davis addressed congressional leaders as part of a panel on social work and policing. On June 30, 2020, four experts convened to discuss social work's role in the future of policing. Moderated by Charles E. Lewis, Jr., the panel included Derrick JacksonGeorge T. PattersonDesmond U. Patton, and Carrie Pettus-Davis.

Published: | Source: Social Work Today

Researchers at the Institute for Justice Research and Development (IJRD) at the Florida State University College of Social Work find that nearly one-half of study participants experience an impactful traumatic event after their release from incarceration and lose substantial resources that would otherwise support their successful release. This trauma and loss occurs within the first eight months after release from prison.

Published: | Author: Michael Gelb | Source: The Crime Report

A striking 47 percent of former inmates experienced at least one traumatic event in the eight months after they were released from prison, according to a study conducted at Florida State University’s Institute for Justice Research and Development (IJRD). Of those who experienced trauma, 18 percent lost a loved one to homicide, 23 percent were assaulted, 31 percent witnessed a serious injury or death, 31 percent were diagnosed with a life-threatening illness or sustained a serious injury, and 60 percent learned of the serious injury or death of a loved one. Incidents like these led one participant to describe the post-release “mental anguish” and another participant to claim that “trauma’s just a way of life” during reentry.

Published: | Source: Florida State University News

Dr. Tanya Renn, Assistant Director of the Institute for Justice Research and Development, is part of an FSU team that received a $200,000 grant to develop a new evidence-based curriculum related to substance use disorders. The goal of the two-year grant is to develop an evidence-based new curriculum on substance use disorders for Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work programs across Florida. 

A national study of accredited social work programs indicated that fewer than 15 percent of graduate programs offer a specialization in substance use disorders and fewer than 5 percent of graduate and undergraduate programs offer a required SUDs course. This trend indicates that social work programs need improved curriculum to meet workforce requirements related to substance use issues. 

Published: | Author: Lisa Reyes Mason | Source: Inside Higher Ed

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. 

Published: | Source: Florida State University News

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.”

Published: | Author: Stephen Handelman | Source: The Crime Report

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.