In the News
last updated 5-16-2022
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.
Governor Reynolds assembled a diverse group of experts, including NAACP leadership and National Director of Safe Streets and Second Chances, John Koufos, in Des Moines, Iowa to make criminal justice reform recommendations for the first time this month. The group heard presentations about trends in Iowa’s prison population and barriers people face when they leave prison.
According to a new report from a team of independent researchers at Florida State University's Institute for Justice Research and Development, the best ways to help people leaving prison are to listen, offer a path to success, and recognize that many want to contribute to their communities. Those findings, along with many others, inform the work of Safe Streets & Second Chances, a first-of-its-kind reentry initiative launched in 2018 in Florida, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
Research from the 5-Key Model was featured in a press conference Monday where Carrie Pettus-Davis and other members of the Safe Streets and Second Chances leadership team joined Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf to highlight data-driven solutions for criminal justice reform. The research supports common-sense policy reforms to increase supports and improve well-being for individuals leaving incarceration so that they can succeed in the community.
Carrie Pettus-Davis and leaders from Safe Streets and Second Chances joined Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, senators, and advocated to call for an end to punishing people for “minor probation violations,” such as missing appointments, and argue for “hard caps” on how long a probation sentence can last and efforts to find treatment for those who fail drug tests.
Wol noted that the PA DOC joined the safe Streets and Second Chances reentry initiative to reduce recidivism last year. The DOC has been working with Pettus-Davis and her research team to test an innovative reentry program called the 5-Key Model for Reentry.