Trauma Informed Care Groups with Incarcerated Women: Comparing Seeking Safety and STAIR
| 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
Traumatic experiences before incarceration in a county jail
| Author: Stephen Tripodi, Elizabeth Curley, Sierra Ross
This report describes the traumatic experiences of individuals prior to their incarceration in a county jail. Nearly 70% of study participants experienced a traumatic event in the year prior to their incarceration, with the majority of those affected reporting more than one traumatic event. Among study participants, 24% were violently assaulted, 15% lost a loved one to homicide, 18% witnessed a serious injury or death, 26% experienced a serious health incident, and 35% received news of the death or injury of a loved one.
Associations of Childhood and Adult Trauma on Substance Misuse and Mental Health Among Incarcerated Men
| Author: John Moore, Tanya Renn, Christopher Veeh, Carrie Pettus-Davis
Men are overrepresented in prisons and report higher rates of trauma exposure than the general population. This study examines the role of trauma exposure across the lifespan on substance use disorder, mental health status, and emotional well-being among incarcerated individuals nearing community reentry. Childhood trauma exposure severity was significantly associated with generalized anxiety disorder, major depressive episode, and reduced emotional well-being. Adult cumulative trauma exposure was significantly associated with substance use disorder.
Category: Trauma, Mental Health, Substance Use
Childhood Polyvictimization and Mental Health Issues among Incarcerated Women
| 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
Young Fathers in Jail: Associations Between Father Experiences, Father-Child Relationships and Community Stability
| Author: Luyi Jian, Carrie Pettus-Davis
This study describes the characteristics of a sample of 103 jailed fathers aged 18 to 25 and explores associations between father experiences, father–child relationships, behavioral health factors, and return to incarceration. Results show jailed young fathers have several risk factors as well as strengths. Their father–child relationship is positively associated with training on fathering skills, employment experiences, and self-efficacy, and negatively associated with incarceration history.
What Trauma Looks Like for Incarcerated Men: A Study of Men’s Lifetime Trauma Exposure in Two State Prisons
| 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.
Proposing a population-specific intervention approach to treat trauma among men during and after incarceration.
| 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
| 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
Incarcerated Women’s Experiences and Perceptions of Participating in Research
| 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
“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
| 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
Childhood Victimization, Attachment, Psychological Distress, and Substance Use Among Women on Probation and Parole
| Author: Katherine M. Winham, Malitta Engstrom, Seana Golder, Tanya Renn, George E. Higgins, and TK Logan
The present analysis was guided by a gendered pathways-based theoretical model and examined relationships between childhood victimization and current attachment, psychological distress and substance use among 406 women with histories of victimization who were on probation and parole in an urban Kentucky county. Structural equation modeling examined relationships among childhood victimization, attachment, psychological distress, and substance use.
Category: Incarcerated Women, Reentry, Trauma, Probation and Parole
Assessing Attitude and Reincarceration Outcomes Associated With In-Prison Domestic Violence Treatment Program Completion
| Author: Annelise M. Mennicke, Stephen Tripodi, Christopher Veeh, Dina Wilke, Stephanie Kennedy
Studies indicate that as many as 30%–56% of incarcerated men have perpetrated domestic violence, and that factors related to domestic violence perpetration are associated with long-term recidivism after release. The current study evaluates the effectiveness of an in-prison domestic violence treatment program called STOP and Change Direction to increase positive attitudes toward women, decrease levels of criminal thinking, and reduce general recidivism rates for program completers.
Category: Trauma, In-Prison Intervention
Examining Dose–Response Relationships Between Childhood Victimization, Depression, Symptoms of Psychosis, and Substance Misuse for Incarcerated Women
| Author: Stephanie Kennedy, Stephen Tripodi, Carrie Pettus-Davis, Jaime Ayers
The current study uses the dose–response model to examine the relationships between childhood victimization events and subsequent depression, symptoms of psychosis, and substance misuse in a sample of 230 randomly selected incarcerated women in the United States. Results on the frequency of victimization were mixed. In this sample, both frequency of physical abuse and frequency of sexual abuse significantly predicted current symptoms of psychosis, but only frequency of physical abuse significantly predicted substance misuse.
Category: Trauma, Mental Health, Substance Use
Social support among releasing men prisoners with lifetime trauma experiences.
| Author: Carrie Pettus-Davis
High rates of lifetime trauma experiences exist among men incarcerated in US state and federal prisons. Because lifetime trauma experiences have been linked to problematic behavioral and psychiatric outcomes for incarcerated populations, trauma-informed interventions could improve post-release well-being of releasing men prisoners with trauma histories. Social support has consistently been found to have a positive impact on trauma-related outcomes in non-incarcerated populations.
Category: Reentry, Trauma, Social Support
The relationship between childhood abuse and psychosis for women prisoners: Assessing the importance of frequency and type of victimization.
| Author: Stephanie Kennedy, Stephen Tripodi, Carrie Pettus-Davis
This study examines the relationship between childhood victimization and self-reported current symptoms of psychosis in an incarcerated female population in the United States. Participants are 159 randomly selected women incarcerated in two North Carolina state prisons. Participants completed a battery of self-report measures to assess childhood victimization and current and lifetime experience of audio/visual hallucinations and delusions.