Enhancing Social Support Postincarceration: Results From a Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial
| Author: Carrie Pettus-Davis, Allison Dunnigan, Christopher Veeh, Matthew Owen Howard, Anna M. Scheyett, Amelia Roberts‐Lewis
Over 50% of released prisoners are reincarcerated within 3 years. Social support from loved ones postincarceration significantly reduces the likelihood of reincarceration. Increasingly, intervention developers aim to implement interventions that will enhance the stability of support available. This study responds to gaps in knowledge.
Category: Reentry, Social Support
Using Randomized Controlled Trials to Evaluate Interventions for Releasing Prisoners
| Author: Carrie Pettus-Davis, Matthew Owen Howard, Allison Dunnigan, Anna M. Scheyett, Amelia Roberts-Lewis
We focus on factors related to sampling frame, participant eligibility, sample size, engagement, and attrition. We conclude with general recommendations related to project delays, compromised research sites, and retention. This article provides guidance based on lessons learned from an RCT of a social support intervention with releasing prisoners and their loved ones. Barriers discussed and recommendations presented here will help interventionists develop and implement RCTs in prison to community contexts.
Category: In-Prison Intervention
Acceptability of a Social Support Intervention for Re-entering Prisoners
| Author: Carrie Pettus-Davis, Matthew Owen Howard, Vithya Murugan, Amelia Roberts-Lewis, Anna M. Scheyett, Claire Botnick, Michelle Vance
A relatively unexplored area of prisoner reentry programs involves actively engaging the prisoner’s naturally occurring social support in the reentry interventions. Most reentering prisoners rely on loved ones for social support, but that support is often fragile. Interventions that strengthen the sustainability of social support are crucial to a successful reentry. This study evaluates the acceptability of a social support intervention for male prisoners with substance-use disorders who are reentering the community.
Category: Reentry, Social Support, Substance Use
Is Positive Social Support Available to Re-Entering Prisoners? It Depends on Who You Ask
| Author: Carrie Pettus-Davis, Anna M. Scheyett, Misty Lewis
Re-entering prisoners have complex needs. Growing attention has turned to the role of informal social support in successful post-release outcomes. Research indicates informal supports are available to re-entering prisoners, yet this support can be experienced negatively and contribute to poor outcomes. We examined anticipated and received quality, source, and types of support for re-entering prisoners from perspectives of 60 re-entering prisoners and corrections professionals. We found re-entering prisoners anticipated and received what they considered positive support.
Category: Reentry, Social Support
Social work and criminal justice. Are we meeting in the field?
| 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.
| 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
Naturally occurring social support in interventions for former prisoners with substance use disorders: Conceptual framework and program model
| 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
A Practitioner's Guide to Sampling in the Age of Evidence-Based Practice: Translation of Research into Practice
| 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
| 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
Constructing community change: Assertive Community Treatment for persons with severe mental illness as a community change intervention.
| 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
General Medical Problems of Incarcerated Persons With Severe and Persistent Mental Illness: A Population-Based Study
| 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
From the “streets” to “normal life”: Assessing the role of social support in release planning for HIV-positive and substance-involved prisoners.
| Author: Carrie Pettus-Davis, Anna M. Scheyett, Danielle Hailey, Carol Golin, David Wohl
In 2005, there were 20,888 prisoners in the U.S. prisons known to be HIV-positive, many substance-involved. The high reincarceration rate of substance-involved prisoners, coupled with the fact that substance-involved prisoners are more prone to HIV-risk behaviors in the community, necessitates attention to preventing substance use and HIV transmission risk behaviors of prisoners upon reentry to communities. We use a social support framework to explore the role of social support in HIV+ prisoners’ expectations of release and postrelease plans.
Category: Reentry, HIV/AIDS, Substance Use, Social Support
HIV-Infected Prison Inmates: Depression and Implications for Release Back to Communities
| Author: Anna M. Scheyett, Sharon Parker, Carol Golin, Becky White, Carrie Pettus-Davis, David Wohl
High rates of both HIV and depression are seen in prison populations; depression has been linked to disease progression in HIV, risky behaviors, and medication non-adherence. Despite this, few studies have examined HIV-infected inmates with depression. We therefore conducted an exploratory study of a sample of HIV-infected inmates in North Carolina prisons (N=101) to determine what proportion of this sample screened positive for depression and whether depression was associated with different pre-incarceration characteristics or post-release needs.