Press Releases & Press Conferences
Prisons across the country have made headlines during COVID-19, but until now little has been empirically documented by researchers. A first-of-its-kind study, released today by researchers at the Institute for Justice Research and Development (IJRD) of Florida State University, captured data on more than 200 individuals during and after incarceration, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Data was also collected on their COVID-19 related experiences and perspectives on strategies that prison officials used to communicate and contain the spread of COVID-19.
The Prosecution Research Network convened virtually on July 13 and 14, 2020 for the purpose of identifying research and policy strategies to improve health, reduce incarceration, and increase national safety, prosperity, and wellbeing.
The newly formed Prosecutors Research Network, comprised of offices from rural and urban jurisdictions around the country, held its first summit to discuss establishing an evidence base for prosecutorial-led alternatives to detention and incarceration. The Prosecutors Research Network is the creation of a partnership with IJRD at Florida State University and Colorado Mental Health’s Equitas Project.
Florida State University College of Social Work Associate Professor Carrie Pettus-Davis addressed congressional leaders as part of a panel on social work and policing. Pettus-Davis emphasized funding and pursuing evidence-driven solutions to promote racial equity and reduce racial disparities.
“We need high quality and effective alternatives to incarceration. We need incremental, thoughtful change that is evidence-driven and evaluative. We need to continue to evaluate where we don’t have evidence. This is life or death. We cannot use anecdotal evidence or best guesses anymore,” said Pettus-Davis.
Researchers at the Institute for Justice Research and Development (IJRD) at the Florida State University College of Social Work find that nearly 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.
Florida State University’s Center for the Study and Promotion of Communities, Families, and Children welcomes FSU College of Social Work Associate Professor Carrie Pettus-Davis for the center’s latest presentation of its “Engage, Invest, Respond,” lecture series. She will present on her work harnessing technology to expand the scope of data-driven solutions to criminal justice reform.
This free lecture is scheduled for 3-4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, at the University Center Building C, Room 5301, 296 Champions Way. Advanced registration is requested.
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Researchers at the Institute for Justice Research and Development (IJRD) at the Florida State University College of Social Work have teamed up with the John E. Polk Correctional Facility and Christian HELP Employment and Resource Center to treat trauma among individuals releasing from jail in Seminole County.
“Experiences of trauma are nearly universal among incarcerated men and women and unaddressed trauma symptoms can contribute to the reason that an individual is incarcerated in a local jail,” said Carrie Pettus-Davis, associate professor of social work and director of IJRD.
The Charles Koch Foundation has provided a generous gift of over $6.5 million to support the groundbreaking work being conducted at the Institute for Justice Research and Development (IJRD) in the Florida State University College of Social Work.
These contributions will support and expand the reach of IJRD’s pioneering scientific, policy and practice endeavors, all designed to improve the well-being of individuals, families and communities impacted by criminal justice system involvement. The core values of IJRD are the rapid dissemination of data-driven discoveries to catalyze transformative real-world change and using innovation to ameliorate racial, economic and health disparities in criminal justice reform.
Watch an excerpt from a press conference given by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf on the need for probation reform in the state. Carrie Pettus-Davis, Mark Holden, and other leaders from Safe Streets and Second Chances joined to Governor to talk about data-driven solutions to criminal justice reform currently being implemented in the state by the Institue for Justice Research and Development.
Carrie Pettus-Davis, the executive director and founder of Florida State University’s Institute for Justice Research and Development, has received the 2019 Marguerite Q. Warren and Ted B. Palmer Differential Intervention Award, presented by the American Society of Criminology on November 14, 2019 in San Francisco.
“Dr. Pettus-Davis’ work represents a new era of criminal justice intervention research,” said Jim Clark, dean of the FSU College of Social Work. “Her focus on including formerly incarcerated persons in the research design and her emphasis on intervention that promotes whole-person health and social intervention are especially significant.
She is courageous to take important ideas and translate them into testable, scalable and sustainable interventions and programs.”
Is a smart phone app the answer to increasing support and improving well-being among individuals under community supervision? A team of researchers led by two Florida State University scholars intend to find out with the help of a $1.9 million grant from the National Institute of Justice.
Carrie Pettus-Davis, executive director and founder of the Institute for Justice Research and Development, and Sudhir Aggarwal, professor of computer science at FSU, are co-principal investigators for the project, in partnership with Marcus Rogers and Umit Karabiyik at Purdue University and Tathagata Mukherjee and Haeyong Chung at the University of Alabama at Huntsville. Researchers will engage in a 4-year study using artificial intelligence techniques within an app and a wearable device to provide support to individuals as they leave incarceration and come home.