Jacob Eikenberry, MSW
Jacob Eikenberry is a Research Faculty member focused on Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice for the Institute of Justice Research and Development. In this role, he oversees all aspects of implementation and data collection for the many IJRD research projects being conducted in states across the nation. Jacob also contributes to funding proposals and the development of innovative studies in partnership with funders and interdisciplinary community partners. He is focused on creating sustainable alternatives to incarceration and improving the systems that intersect with currently and formerly incarcerated individuals, their families, and their communities. Prior to joining IJRD, Eikenberry conducted and synthesized research, developing tailored policy and programming solutions for policymakers and criminal justice system leadership groups in Missouri. He also conducted and stimulated translational research for stakeholders across the criminal justice system through systems science and designed and taught courses on research methods, and opioid use disorders, among others. Eikenberry has worked in direct practice, providing case management services, and was a substance abuse counselor for several years. His research interests include exploring the intersection of trauma, mental health, and substance misuse for justice-involved individuals and examining how peer mentorship and peer support may facilitate healthy transitions for individuals exiting the criminal justice system. Eikenberry is well situated for this work because he identifies as a formerly incarcerated person in long-term recovery from substance use. He uses his lived experience and knowledge to spearhead innovative research and create sustainable pathways for others to find their way home.
Eikenberry holds a Bachelor of Psychology degree from the University of Illinois in Springfield, and a Master of Social Work degree from the Washington University in St. Louis. He is a current Ph.D. candidate in the School of Social Work at St. Louis University.