Academic Publications

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Sex offender recidivism: Does volunteering for treatment matter? An assessment using propensity score analysis

Sex offender recidivism: Does volunteering for treatment matter? An assessment using propensity score analysis

Published: | Author: Melissa D. Grady, Daniel Edwards, Carrie Pettus-Davis, Jennifer Abramson

A common critique of program evaluations of prison-based sex offender treatment holds that the samples inherently show selection bias because the participants typically volunteer for treatment. To address this critique, we used propensity score analysis to assess the influence of volunteerism on treatment effects.

Category: Sex Offenders, Recidivism
Social work and criminal justice. Are we meeting in the field?

Social work and criminal justice. Are we meeting in the field?

Published: | Author: Anna M. Scheyett, Carrie Pettus-Davis, Susan McCarter, Rebecca Brigham

Social workers are needed but infrequently involved with criminal justice systems. One way to increase the number of social workers in the criminal justice system is by exposing students to work in these settings. This study examined the number, types, and utilization of criminal justice field placements in MSW programs by surveying field education directors. On average, 7.73% of field placements were in criminal justice settings. When asked about barriers to criminal justice placements, the most frequently identified challenge was a lack of MSW supervisors.

Category: Criminal Justice System, Social Work
"Let momma take 'em": portrayals of women supporting male former prisoners.

"Let momma take 'em": portrayals of women supporting male former prisoners.

Published: | Author: Anna M. Scheyett, Carrie Pettus-Davis

Women provide support for many vulnerable groups, work that is frequently discounted with gendered stereotypes. One growing vulnerable group is former prisoners who often return to women family members. We completed a qualitative study with 25 former prisoners and criminal justice staff to examine their conceptualizations of the demands placed on women supporters of former prisoners. 

Category: Reentry, Social Support, Racial and Gender BIas
Reverse Social Work's Neglect of Adults Involved in the Criminal Justice System: The Intersection and an Agenda

Reverse Social Work's Neglect of Adults Involved in the Criminal Justice System: The Intersection and an Agenda

Published: | Author: Carrie Pettus-Davis, Matthew Epperson, Annie Grier

Social work has neglected adults involved in the criminal justice system for nearly four decades. This neglect has been attributed to value conflicts between social work and crimi­nal justice professionals, perceived limited effects of interventions with adults involved in the crimi­nal justice system, and lack of social work training in services to those involved in the criminal justice system.

Category: Smart Decarceration
Effects of Correctional-Based Programs for Female Inmates: A Systematic Review

Effects of Correctional-Based Programs for Female Inmates: A Systematic Review

Published: | Author: Stephen Tripodi, Sarah E. Bledsoe, Johnny S. Kim, Kimberly Bender

Objective: To examine the effectiveness of interventions for incarcerated women. Method: The researchers use a two-model system: the risk-reduction model for studies analyzing interventions to reduce recidivism rates, and the enhancement model for studies that target psychological and physical well-being. Results: Incarcerated women who participate in substance abuse interventions appear less likely to reoffend than those who do not participate. Enhancement model studies report mixed results.

Category: Incarcerated Women, In-Prison Intervention
Naturally occurring social support in interventions for former prisoners with substance use disorders: Conceptual framework and program model

Naturally occurring social support in interventions for former prisoners with substance use disorders: Conceptual framework and program model

Published: | Author: Carrie Pettus-Davis, Matthew Owen Howard, Amelia Roberts-Lewis, Anna M. Scheyett

Naturally-occurring social support is underutilized in interventions with former prisoners with substance use disorders. This paper proposes a conceptual framework followed by a program model to inform the development of naturally-occurring social support interventions with former prisoners with substance use disorders.

Category: Reentry, Social Support, Substance Use
Parole Officers’ Experiences of the Symptoms of Secondary Trauma in the Supervision of Sex Offenders

Parole Officers’ Experiences of the Symptoms of Secondary Trauma in the Supervision of Sex Offenders

Published: | Author: Margaret Severson, Carrie Pettus-Davis

The work of parole officers who supervise sex offenders rarely comes to the public’s attention unless something goes wrong. Research suggests that those providing postrelease supervision of convicted sex offenders likely experience trauma as a result of their work and that little support is available to respond to their emotional needs. This manuscript explores parole officers’ and parole officer supervisors’ experiences of the symptoms of secondary trauma, defined as the emotional and cognitive experiences of hearing stories that recount one or more traumatic events.

Category: Reentry, Sex Offenders, Trauma, Probation and Parole
Substance Abuse Treatment for Juvenile Offenders: A Review of Quasi-Experimental and Experimental Research

Substance Abuse Treatment for Juvenile Offenders: A Review of Quasi-Experimental and Experimental Research

Published: | Author: Stephen Tripodi, Kimberly Bender

This paper presents the results of a systematic review of the research literature to assess the effectiveness of substance abuse treatment programs for alcohol and marijuana use by juvenile offenders. The literature and database search generated five experimental or quasi-experimental studies that assessed alcohol outcomes for juvenile offenders and five experimental or quasi-experimental studies that assessed marijuana outcomes for juvenile offenders. Implications for future research are discussed.

Category: Substance Use, Juvenile Offenders
A Practitioner's Guide to Sampling in the Age of Evidence-Based Practice: Translation of Research into Practice

A Practitioner's Guide to Sampling in the Age of Evidence-Based Practice: Translation of Research into Practice

Published: | Author: Carrie Pettus-Davis, Melissa D. Grady, Gary S. Cuddeback, Anna M. Scheyett

Evidence-based practice must include the translation of research into practice, and the social work practitioner is the essential link in that translation. As part of the EBP process, researchers must present findings in a way that is accessible to practitioners and practitioners must view the study as relevant and representative of their clients’ needs. This article provides practitioners with tools to interpret research, specifically the sampling process. Our goal is to support practitioners in bridging the gap between research and practice.

Category: Evidence-based practice, Criminal Justice System
Consumers' perspectives on Forensic Assertive Community Treatment.

Consumers' perspectives on Forensic Assertive Community Treatment

Published: | Author: Gary S. Cuddeback, Carrie Pettus-Davis, Anna M. Scheyett

The evidence for forensic assertive community treatment (FACT) is promising; however, a number of gaps in our knowledge about FACT remain. For example, only one study in the extant literature includes the perspectives of FACT consumers and more information about what consumers like and/or dislike about FACT is needed. To address this gap in our knowledge, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 FACT consumers from four FACT teams in Ohio. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed and open coding analysis techniques were used to identify themes.

Category: Evidence-based practice, Criminal Justice System, Mental Health
The Influence of Social Bonds on Recidivism: A Study of Texas Male Prisoners.

The Influence of Social Bonds on Recidivism: A Study of Texas Male Prisoners.

Published: | Author: Stephen Tripodi

The present study examines the influence of social bonds on recidivism for a random sample of 250 male offenders released from Texas prisons since 2001. Recidivism is a continuous variable, in which the researcher measured months between release from prison and reincarceration. Based on life-course theory, the researcher hypothesized that offenders released from prison who become employed or were married would have lower hazard ratios than offenders who were not employed or married.

Category: Social Support
General Medical Problems of Incarcerated Persons With Severe and Persistent Mental Illness: A Population-Based Study

General Medical Problems of Incarcerated Persons With Severe and Persistent Mental Illness: A Population-Based Study

Published: | Author: Gary S. Cuddeback, Anna M. Scheyett, Carrie Pettus-Davis, Joseph P. Morrissey

Persons with severe mental illness have higher rates of chronic general medical illness compared with the general population. Similarly, compared with the general population, incarcerated persons have higher rates of chronic medical illness; however, there is little information about the synergy between severe mental illness and incarceration and the general medical problems of consumers.

Category: Reentry, Mental Health
Constructing community change: Assertive Community Treatment for persons with severe mental illness as a community change intervention.

Constructing community change: Assertive Community Treatment for persons with severe mental illness as a community change intervention.

Published: | Author: Anna M. Scheyett, Carrie Pettus-Davis, Gary S. Cuddeback

Individuals with severe mental illnesses are a vulnerable population, struggling to cope with fragmented and often unwelcoming community service systems. Research has examined Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) as an intervention for individuals with severe mental illness, but little research has explored ACT's potential as a community system change intervention. Using focus groups with ACT teams, we explored changes in community service systems as a result of ACT teams' presence.

Category: Evidence-based practice, Mental Health
Is Employment Associated With Reduced Recidivism?: The Complex Relationship Between Employment and Crime

Is Employment Associated With Reduced Recidivism?: The Complex Relationship Between Employment and Crime

Published: | Author: Stephen Tripodi, Johnny S. Kim, Kimberly Bender

This article explores the association between employment and recidivism for parolees released from Texas prisons. Along with determining whether obtaining employment on release from prison is associated with decreased odds of reincarceration, this article analyzes whether obtaining employment is associated with increased time to reincarceration. Proportional hazard models were used to examine the effect of employment on reincarceration over time. This analysis allowed a unique view of desistance from crime as a process of behavioral change with multiple stages.

Category: Recidivism