Carrie Pettus-Davis

Guideposts for the Era of Smart Decarceration: Smart decarceration strategies for practitioners, advocates, reformers, and researchers

Guideposts for the Era of Smart Decarceration: Smart decarceration strategies for practitioners, advocates, reformers, and researchers

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

Reducing the United States’ overreliance on incarceration requires deliberate action. Proponents of smart decarceration recognize the need for clearly articulated areas of targeted intervention—or guideposts—to inform the multifaceted nature of criminal justice reform. An important first step as we enter the era of decarceration is to merge the collective goals and strategies of diverse and highly invested stakeholders.

Category: Smart Decarceration, Tools for the Field
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
5Key quarterly report

Researching and Responding to Barriers to Prisoner Reentry: Early Findings from a Multi-state Trial

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

This report describes the inner workings and early discoveries of participants and researchers in a groundbreaking longitudinal study currently occurring in four states, 50 prisons, 12 urban and rural counties with more than 1800 people enrolled since May 2018. The study, officially titled A Multisite Randomized Controlled Trial of the 5 Key Model for Reentry, is research that is occurring as a part of a larger initiative referred to as the Safe Streets and Second Chances initiative.

Category: Reentry, Well-Being, 5-Key Model for Reentry
Deferred Prosecution Programs: An Implementation Guide

Deferred Prosecution Programs: An Implementation Guide

Published: | Author: Carrie Pettus-Davis, Matthew Epperson, Annie Grier, Megan Kraatz, Leon Sawh, Stephanie Kennedy

Deferred prosecution is one prosecutor-led diversion mechanism which has the potential to reduce criminal justice involvement and incarceration rates while maximizing public safety.

Category: Smart Decarceration, Diversion, Deferred Prosecution
5Key Model intervention development study

Intervention Development Study of the 5 Key Model for Reentry: An Evidence Driven Prisoner Reentry Intervention

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

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 roll out of reentry programs has begun to wane from a lack of substantive change to the number of individuals who return to prison. Therefore, this paper details the development of an intervention that can provide a new path forward for prisoner reentry programs.

Category: Reentry, Well-Being, 5-Key Model for Reentry
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, 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
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
Smart Decarceration: Achieving Criminal Justice Transformation in the 21st Century

Smart Decarceration: Achieving Criminal Justice Transformation in the 21st Century

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

Smart Decarceration is a forward-thinking, practical volume that provides innovative concepts and concrete strategies for ushering in an era of decarceration -- a proactive and effective undoing of the era of mass incarceration. The text grapples with tough questions and takes up the challenge of transforming America's approach to criminal justice in the 21st century.

Category: Smart Decarceration
Deterioration of Postincarceration Social Support for Emerging Adults

Deterioration of Postincarceration Social Support for Emerging Adults

Published: | Author: Carrie Pettus-Davis, Elaine Eggleston Doherty, Christopher Veeh, Christina Drymon

More than 2.5 million emerging adults (ages 18-25) are incarcerated annually and most do poorly after release. Social support after an individual’s release from incarceration is a critical protective factor against recidivism for emerging adults. However, little is known about the stability of support for emerging adults post incarceration. This study uses hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) to examine whether social support declines over time after incarceration and how change in support may vary by incarceration length. 

Category: Reentry, Social Support, Emerging Adults
Gender differences in experiences of social support among men and women releasing from prison

Gender differences in experiences of social support among men and women releasing from prison

Published: | Author: Carrie Pettus-Davis, Christopher Veeh, Maxine Davis, Stephen Tripodi

Positive social support is critically important to postprison well-being outcomes. However, researchers and program developers are still trying to understand how to best promote stable and sustainable social support for formerly incarcerated individuals during reentry to the community. We sought to add to the body of knowledge on social support and prisoner reentry by comparing men and women releasing from prison on the quality (e.g., positive or negative) and amount of informal social support.

Category: Reentry, Incarcerated Women, Gender Differences
Enhancing Social Support Postincarceration: Results From a Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

Enhancing Social Support Postincarceration: Results From a Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

Published: | 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
Reverse Civic and Legal Exclusions for Persons with Criminal Charges and Convictions

Reverse Civic and Legal Exclusions for Persons with Criminal Charges and Convictions

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

Civil disability policies entangle persons with criminal convictions in a web of civic and legal exclusions
that revoke or restrict their rights and limit access to services needed for an individual’s successful
community reintegration. These policies—also known as collateral consequences—extend the reach of
criminal justice punishment long after contact with the formal system has ended. There are now an
estimated 40,000 civil disability policies nationwide—policies which affect the daily lives of individuals,

Category: Collateral Consequences of Incarceration, Smart Decarceration
economic burden of incarceration

The Economic Burden of Incarceration in the U.S.

Published: | Author: Michael McLaughlin, Carrie Pettus-Davis, Derek Brown, Christopher Veeh, Tanya Renn

This study estimates the annual economic burden of incarceration in the United States. While prior research has estimated the cost of crime, no study has calculated the cost of incarceration. The $80 billion spent annually on corrections is frequently cited as the cost of incarceration, but this figure considerably underestimates the true cost of incarceration by ignoring important social costs. These include costs to incarcerated persons, families, children, and communities. This study draws on a burgeoning area of scholarship to assign monetary values to twenty-three different costs, whic

Category: Cost of Incarceration
Policy Brief: Policy Recommendations for Meeting the Grand Challenge to Promote Smart Decarceration

Policy Recommendations for Meeting the Grand Challenge to Promote Smart Decarceration

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

What lies before us is a historic opportunity to promote smart decarceration by building social capacity to reduce
incarceration rates in ways that are effective, sustainable, and socially just. To succeed, smart decarceration requires policy innovations that substantially reduce the use of incarceration, redress existing disparities in the criminal justice system, and maximize public safety and well-being.

Category: Grand Challenges, Smart Decarceration