Academic Publications

encyclopedia of social work

Smart Decarceration

Published: | Author: Carrie Pettus

This article describes the onset of smart decarceration approaches, the historical context from which smart decarceration stems, and the societal momentum that led to the conceptualization of smart decarceration. Smart decarceration is a social work lead strategy and is one of the 12 Grand Challenges for Social Work. This article concludes with an overview of the current status of smart decarceration and details shifts and initiatives to pursue at the intersection of social work and smart decarceration.

Category: Smart Decarceration
The Well-Being Development Model: A Theoretical Model to Improve Outcomes among Criminal Justice System–Involved Individuals

The Well-Being Development Model: A Theoretical Model to Improve Outcomes among Criminal Justice System–Involved Individuals

Published: | Author: Carrie Pettus, Christopher Veeh, Tanya Renn, Stephanie Kennedy

This article proposes a new conceptual framework, the Well-Being Development Model (WBDM), to support the development, implementation, and assessment of innovative reentry interventions designed to increase well-being among the millions of individuals released from prisons and jails each year. In contrast to prominent models guiding reentry services, the WBDM increases incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals’ capacity to reach their full potential while addressing common problems and barriers to success.

Category: Well-Being, Reentry
Correlates of post-traumatic stress among victimized women on probation and parole

Correlates of post-traumatic stress among victimized women on probation and parole

Published: | Author: Stephanie Prost, Seana Golder, George E. Higgins, Carrie Pettus-Davis, Tanya Renn, Tonya Edmond, TK Logan

The current study aimed to identify the correlates of post-traumatic stress among a sample of women on probation and parole with a history of victimization. Community-based sampling was used to recruit 406 women on probation and parole in Jefferson County, Kentucky.

Category: Victimization, Women, Probation and Parole
victims and offenders

Young Fathers in Jail: Associations between Father Experiences, Father–Child Relationships, and Community Stability

Published: | Author: Luyi Jian, Carrie Pettus, Patricia Kohl

Research on paternal incarceration has paid less attention to young fathers incarcerated in jail settings where most residents are either pretrial detained or serving out short sentences. This study describes 103 jailed fathers aged 18 to 25, and explores associations between father experiences, father–child relationships, behavioral health factors, and recidivism. Results show jailed young fathers have several risk factors as well as strengths.

Category: Parenting, Reentry
The metropolitan context of substance use and substance use disorders among US adults on probation or parole supervision

The metropolitan context of substance use and substance use disorders among US adults on probation or parole supervision

Published: | Author: John Moore, Tanya Renn, Christopher Veeh

Study findings highlight the differences of substance use and substance use disorders between levels of metropolitan areas for those on probation or parole. Findings suggest that cocaine use should be emphasized in clinical services in large metropolitan areas, whereas methamphetamine use may be prioritized in nonmetropolitan areas.

Category: Substance Use, Probation and Parole
international journal of prisoner health

Incarcerated individuals’ experiences of COVID-19 in the United States

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

This study examines steps taken by correctional staff and incarcerated individuals to reduce transmission risk for COVID-19. Data were drawn from interviews with 327 individuals incarcerated in 3 states. Overall, 9.9% of participants contracted COVID-19. Most participants wore face masks, washed hands, and practiced physical distancing. Participants reported that most facilities suspended visitation and volunteers, provided face masks, and sanitized. Few individuals were released early. Data indicate early adoption of many CDC guidelines, although state variation existed. 

Category: COVID-19
families in society journal

Support4Families: A Proposed Intervention Model to Support Families of Individuals Returning Home From Incarceration

Published: | Author: Carrie Pettus-Davis

Leaving incarceration and returning home (i.e., reentry) affects individuals and their families; 90% of individuals releasing from prison rely on family for critical reentry supports. Although positive family support during this period is empirically linked to an individual’s success, providing support can place a substantial emotional, social, and fiscal toll on family units.

Category: Social Support

Trauma Informed Care Groups with Incarcerated Women: Comparing Seeking Safety and STAIR

Published: | Author: Stephen Tripodi, Michael Killian, Matt Gilmore, Elizabeth Curley, Lauren Herod

 Almost all incarcerated women have experienced at least one lifetime traumatic event that often leads to limited coping skills and mental health problems. This study evaluated two different trauma-informed care groups for incarcerated women – Seeking Safety and STAIR – and found that participants who participated in either program had significant improvements in anxiety, depression, and coping self-efficacy. Results indicate the importance of screening for trauma and offering correctional-based programming to address trauma before release

Category: Trauma, Incarcerated Women
victims and offenders

The Role of Preparatory Programming in Increasing the Effectiveness of a Sex Offender Treatment Intervention

Published: | Author: Tanya Renn, Christopher Veeh, Melissa D. Grady, David Edwards, Carrie Pettus-Davis, Katherine Kelton

Increasing the effectiveness of programs designed to treat individuals who have sexually offended is a critical step in reducing the rates of sexual violence in our communities. Yet, the research on such programs have yielded inconsistent results with regards to their effectiveness in reducing sexual recidivism among participants. Some researchers have explored whether the dose of treatment impacts recidivism, but there remains limited knowledge around the dose-response relationship for individuals who have sexually offended.

Category: Sex Offenders

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

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

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