Academic Publications

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Childhood Polyvictimization and Mental Health Issues among Incarcerated Women

Published: | Author: Stephanie Kennedy, Annelise M. Mennicke, Rajib Paul

Results from a cluster analysis identified four unique childhood polyvictimization: Low Victimization, High Witnessing Violence, High Sexual Abuse, and Severe Polyvictimization. The odds of reporting suicidal ideation, psychosis, and dissociation were higher for women in the High Witnessing, High Sexual Abuse, and/or Severe Polyvictimization clusters compared to the Low Victimization cluster, although pairwise comparisons indicated no significant differences between the three higher-level polyvictimization clusters.

Category: Incarcerated Women, Trauma, Mental Health
health and justice

‘I took care of my kids’: Mothering while incarcerated

Published: | Author: Stephanie Kennedy, Annelise M. Mennicke, Chelsea Allen

Research on incarcerated parents often focuses on their children, which obscures incarcerated mothers’ needs related to health and wellness. The prison environment offers few opportunities to foster mother-child connection; most mothers never receive even one visit from their children. Incarcerated mothers contextually framed crime as protecting and providing for children and identified community-based and in-prison service gaps.

Category: Incarcerated Women
perspectives

Early Lessons from the Multistate Study of the 5-Key Model for Reentry

Published: | Author: Carrie Pettus-Davis, Stephanie Kennedy

This chapter presents key themes that have emerged during Phase 1 of the 5-Key Model study, currently being implemented in Florida, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Texas. In addition to describing the 5-Key Model intervention and the study sample, the authors explore the psychological toll of reentry on individuals and families, barriers to reentry success and how the 5-Key Model responds to those barriers, and the early deaths of study participants after they released from incarceration and returned home.

Category: Reentry, Well-Being, 5-Key Model for Reentry
journal of offender rehabilitation

Intervention development study of the five-key model for reentry: An evidence-driven prisoner reentry intervention

Published: | Author: Carrie Pettus-Davis, Tanya Renn, Christopher Veeh, Jacob Eikenberry

Over the past decade and a half, substantial resources were poured into the development of prisoner reentry programs. However, the excitement that surrounded the initial rollout of reentry programs has begun to wane from a lack of substantive change to the number of individuals who return to prison. Therefore, this article details the development of an intervention that can provide a new path forward for prisoner reentry programs.

Category: 5-Key Model for Reentry, Well-Being
CriminalJusticeandBehavior

Pathways to Recidivism for women released from prison:A Mediated model

Published: | Author: Stephen Tripodi, Carrie Pettus-Davis, Kimberly Bender, Michael Fitzgerald, Tanya Renn, Stephanie Kennedy

Findings showed no direct relationship between childhood trauma and reincarceration for women in the sample, although there was a significant mediated relationship from childhood trauma to depression to reincarceration. Results suggest the importance of addressing incarcerated women’s trauma before release, assessing for depression, and using empirically-supported interventions to treat depression when applicable.

Category: Incarcerated Women, Reentry
journal of correctional heath care

Measurement in Correctional Health Research: Unique Challenges and Strategies for Enhanced Rigor

Published: | Author: Stephanie Prost, Stephanie Kennedy, Jennifer Peck, Mary Bouchaud, Deborah Shelton

It is essential to identify valid and reliable measurement strategies to enhance accurate, comprehensive, and meaningful health assessment and evaluation to improve health outcomes among justice-involved and incarcerated populations. This article identifies and describes three primary challenges related to measurement in correctional health care and makes four recommendations for enhanced measurement rigor from a social justice perspective.

Category: Research
quality of life

The Quality of Life Perception Gap in Prison Health Care Settings

Published: | Author: Stephanie Prost, Stephen Tripodi, Jeffrey Lacasse

Peer caregivers are specially-trained incarcerated persons who support the needs of patients in correctional health care settings. Their role is of particular importance in light of the growing population of older adult prisoners with complex health problems in U.S. prisons. The purpose of the current study was to examine the disparity between patient and peer caregiver ratings of patient quality of life in a sample of correctional health dyads (n = 52) in a state prison system.

Category: Well-Being
journal of traumatic stress

What Trauma Looks Like for Incarcerated Men: A Study of Men’s Lifetime Trauma Exposure in Two State Prisons

Published: | Author: Maria Morrison, Carrie Pettus-Davis, Tanya Renn, Christopher Veeh, Christopher Weatherly

While it is understood that high rates of trauma exposure are common among incarcerated male populations, there is limited data on the nature of the trauma exposure. This study examined the trauma histories of a randomly selected sample of 67 men incarcerated in the Missouri Department of Corrections. The analyses revealed several patterns among study participants, including near universal trauma exposure in adolescence with the most frequent exposures involving witnessing or being proximate to violent deaths of family and friends.

Category: Trauma
The Intersectional Effects of Race and Gender on Time to Reincarceration

The Intersectional Effects of Race and Gender on Time to Reincarceration

Published: | Author: Katie Ropes Berry, Stephanie Kennedy, Margaret Lloyd, Christopher Veeh, Stephen Tripodi

People of color are disproportionately incarcerated and reincarcerated after release. In an 8-year analysis of more than 21,000 individuals leaving state prisons, Black men were incarcerated more often and more quickly when compared to all other race/gender groups. However, with two exceptions (age at intake and marital status), Black men had lower risk scores on most variables when compared to other members of the sample. The interaction of race and gender was a potent predictor of time to reincarceration, even when controlling for a range of identified risk factors.

Category: Reentry, Recidivism, Racial and Gender BIas
The Relationship Between Severe Mental Disorders and Recidivism in a Sample of Women Released from Prison.

The Relationship Between Severe Mental Disorders and Recidivism in a Sample of Women Released from Prison.

Published: | Author: Erin A. King, Stephen Tripodi, Christopher Veeh

Women are one of the fastest growing sectors of the prison population, and have different pathways into prison and differing needs during the reentry process when compared to men. Women report higher levels of mental health problems overall, and report more severe symptomatology. The current study focuses on the role of severe mental disorders (SMDs) for 2,311 women released from prison and how SMDs relate to recidivism. Women diagnosed with SMDs were 16% more likely to have recidivated at eight years post-release compared with women who were not diagnosed with an SMD (p < .05).

Category: Reentry, Recidivism, Mental Health, Incarcerated Women
Proposing a population-specific intervention approach to treat trauma among men during and after incarceration.

Proposing a population-specific intervention approach to treat trauma among men during and after incarceration.

Published: | Author: Carrie Pettus-Davis, Tanya Renn, Jeffrey Lacasse, Robert Motley

A significant treatment gap exists for incarcerated men with lifetime traumatic experiences. A small research base for trauma interventions for incarcerated women is emerging, but incarcerated men have largely been ignored. Men comprise 90% of the incarcerated population and are at the greatest risk to be rearrested for a new crime after release. 

Category: Trauma, In-Prison Intervention, Reentry
The Relationship Between Interpersonal Victimization and Women’s Criminal Sentencing: A Latent Class Analysis

The Relationship Between Interpersonal Victimization and Women’s Criminal Sentencing: A Latent Class Analysis

Published: | Author: Stephanie Kennedy, Annelise M. Mennicke, Megan Feely, Stephen Tripodi

Latent class analysis was used to identify subgroups of incarcerated women differentiated by experiences of child abuse and intimate partner violence victimization. Four classes were extracted—Low Victimization, Child Abuse, Lifetime Physical and Psychological Abuse, and Lifetime Sexual Abuse; classes were then related to current sentence length, holding criminological predictors constant. Women in the Child Abuse and Lifetime Sexual Abuse classes had significantly longer sentences, despite the lack of significant between-class differences on criminological predictors.

Category: Incarcerated Women, Trauma, Sentencing
Promoting Reentry Well-Being: A Novel Assessment Tool for Individualized Service Assignment in Prisoner Reentry Programs

Promoting Reentry Well-Being: A Novel Assessment Tool for Individualized Service Assignment in Prisoner Reentry Programs

Published: | Author: Christopher Veeh, Tanya Renn, Carrie Pettus-Davis

The Reentry Well-Being Assessment Tool (RWAT) is an innovative practice tool to systematically guide individualized assignment into reentry program services based on a participant’s changing needs during the transition from prison to the community. Clearly defined treatment targets that promote an individual’s well-being are paired with a comprehensive set of assessments within the RWAT to measure progress throughout a prisoner reentry program.

Category: Reentry, Well-Being
Incarcerated Women’s Experiences and Perceptions of Participating in Research

Incarcerated Women’s Experiences and Perceptions of Participating in Research

Published: | Author: Lisa Schelbe, Amanda Hardwick, Ashley N. Wilfong, Cynthia E. Hanifin, Stephen Tripodi, Carrie Pettus-Davis

The research process within prisons has largely considered researchers’ perspectives. Only one known study explicitly examined incarcerated persons’ perceptions and no known studies have explored incarcerated persons’ experiences with research on sensitive topics. This study examines incarcerated women’s experiences with participating in research on victimization. A thematic analysis was conducted on responses to open-ended questions about participating in a research study from 227 women in two prisons who participated in a study about victimization.

Category: Incarcerated Women, Trauma
 Journal of Progressive Human Services

“Behind every woman in prison is a man”: Incarcerated Women’s Perceptions of How We Can Better Help Them in the Context of Interpersonal Victimization

Published: | Author: Stephanie Kennedy, Annelise M. Mennicke

Although women’s rates of incarceration have increased dramatically, the criminal justice system does not meet women’s unique needs. This article used qualitative methods to describe the responses of 113 incarcerated women to the following question: How can we better help women like you? Analyses focused on women’s experiences of victimization and highlighted how to address trauma in prison reform and abolition efforts.

Category: Trauma, Incarcerated Women