Research Reports

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Measuring Well-Being During Reentry

Measuring Well-Being During Reentry

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

A growing number of scholars and reentry practitioners are seeking alternative approaches to identify how community stability and success can be measured for those returning home from incarceration to our communities. Our team developed a well-being-oriented conceptual framework – the Well-Being Development Model – and a manualized reentry program approach – the 5-Key Model for Reentry – which focus on human potential and thriving. We needed a tool to assess the theoretical validity of our model, the strategies for assigning people to the right supports, and the impact of the 5-Key Model on participant outcomes. The results of the validation study presented in this report confirm that the Reentry Well-Being Assessment Tool is an appropriate means for assessing these three factors.

Category: 5-Key Model for Reentry, Well-Being
Brief Report: COVID-19's Impact on Reentry Research

Brief Report: COVID-19's Impact on Reentry Research

Published: | Author: Carrie Pettus, Stephanie Kennedy

When the COVID-19 pandemic began to impact communities across the United States in March 2020, most community members were concerned about how their lives would be affected. Researchers with ongoing studies were also concerned about how the pandemic would affect their ability to assess outcomes in their ongoing research. We anticipated that the pandemic might make it more difficult to detect the impact of the 5-Key Model on well-being outcomes given how drastically everyone in the country’s lives were impacted by the pandemic – and responses to control the pandemic – even those without a history of incarceration. Learn about the results of our analysis in this brief report.

Category: 5-Key Model for Reentry
Stories of Hope and Change 5-Key Model

Stories of Hope and Change

Published: | Author: Carrie Pettus, Stephanie Kennedy

This report presents interviews conducted with four 5-Key Model participants. Participants describe their lives and tell stories about overcoming challenges and finding success. They also describe how the 5 Keys helped them to make significant, positive changes to their lives and the ways 5-Key Model practitioners supported them in making these changes.

Category: 5-Key Model for Reentry
Associations between Well-Being and Reincarceration

Associations between Well-Being and Reincarceration

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

Preliminary findings from the 5-Key Model study suggest that participation in 5-Key Model services was associated with reduced reincarceration at 8 and 15 months post-release. Increased overall well-being and increased well-being on each of the 5 Keys were also associated with reduced reincarceration; those receiving the 5-Key Model had higher levels of well-being at 15 months post-release. Although the amount of 5-Key Model program engagement varied, individuals who received more sessions of 5-Key Model programming reported higher levels of employment, overall well-being, and less substance use at 15 months post-release. 

Click Here to access the One Page Summary from our Ninth Quarterly Report.

Category: 5-Key Model for Reentry, Well-Being
trauma before jail

Traumatic experiences before incarceration in a county jail

Published: | 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. 

Category: Trauma
covid-19 incarceration and reentry

COVID-19, Incarceration, and Reentry

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

This report presents data on the COVID-19 related experiences of incarcerated individuals and individuals recently released from incarceration. Study participants report how they learned about COVID-19 while incarcerated and identified the strategies both the facilities they were incarcerated in and they themselves as individuals took to prevent infection. They described stress, anxiety, fear, and worry as they reflected on their incarceration during COVID-19. Some participants were frustrated by a lack of timely, direct communication from the facility about COVID-19 and were concerned that they were unable to physically distance from others in the prison. Participants also described the challenges they faced with reentry related to COVID-19.

Click Here to access the One Page Summary from our Eighth Quarterly Report.

Category: 5-Key Model for Reentry, Well-Being, COVID-19
trauma and loss during reentry

Trauma and Loss During Reentry

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

This report presents data about the extremely stressful life events experienced by study participants in the 8 months after they left incarceration and returned home. These stressful life events included losing a loved one to homicide, having been violently assaulted, witnessing violence and death in the home or community, finding out about the death or serious injury of a loved one, being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, and losing critical resources like housing, employment, income, transportation, and social support.

Click Here to access the One Page Summary from our Seventh Quarterly Report.

Category: Reentry, Well-Being, 5-Key Model for Reentry
survey doc prison-based programming

A Point-In-Time Survey of State Department of Corrections Prison-based Programming

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

Research indicates that providing services to incarcerated individuals increases the chance that they will be successful upon reentry to communities. The current study assessed the provision of services (i.e. trauma and reentry) in state departments of corrections (DOCs) throughout the United States. DOCs from all fifty states and the District of Columbia were contacted to determine what services were provided to prisoners, with 44 of 51 providing responses. Results suggest that DOCs provide a range of programming, as well as assessments. Future research should explore the quality and effectiveness of programming and the capacity of existing efforts to meet the growing numbers of people releasing from prison.

Category: In-Prison Intervention
reforms to barriers

Reforms of Policy Barriers to Positive & Productive Community Engagement of Individuals with Felony Histories

Published: | Author: Carrie Pettus-Davis, Christopher Veeh, Sheree Hickman

Over the past four decades, civil disability policies have proliferated throughout the United States in tandem with the rising use of criminal sanction as social policy. There are currently more than 45,000 different state and federal statutes that impose a type of civil disability on individuals with a felony conviction. This preliminary report provides a brief overview of the reform efforts that have thus far been enacted, but not introduced, to either eliminate or ameliorate existing civil disability policies at the state level between 2010 and 2017. The first section of the report includes a state-level analysis of the reforms. Next, the second section takes an aggregate view of the reform efforts organized by United States Census regions and divisions. Lastly, an overall review of reform types is presented to identify those reforms with either high or low momentum.

Category: Civil Disabilities
going back to jail

Going Back to Jail Without Committing a Crime

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

This report presents data on reasons other than criminal behavior that 5-Key Model study participants report they were re-arrested.

These technical violations – or violations of the conditions of probation or parole supervision after an individual is released from incarceration – significantly contribute to recidivism across the United States and bring hundreds of thousands of people back to jail every year. The circumstances of re-arrest for those who had not engaged in crime are examined and readers are asked to think about whether current policy and practices are meeting the stated purpose and goals of probation and parole.

Click Here to access the One Page Summary from our Sixth Quarterly Report.

Category: Reentry, Well-Being, 5-Key Model for Reentry
when death follows release

When Death Follows Release

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

This report highlights the reentry period - leaving incarceration and returning home - as the highest risk time for death in a formerly incarcerated individuals’ life. The purpose of this report is to explore the deaths that occur during the reentry period from several different vantage points. 

First, what is known about the risk and causes of death for formerly incarcerated individuals from scholarly literature is detailed. Then, the 11 study participants who died in the community after their release from incarceration are described. Finally, composite cases of 6 individuals are presented. These composite cases represent typical life experiences of individuals who die soon after leaving prison. 

Click Here to access the One Page Summary from our Fifth Quarterly Report.

Category: Reentry, Well-Being, 5-Key Model for Reentry
Voices of 5-Key Model Participants

Voices of 5-Key Model Participants

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

This report contains interviews from four study participants involved in the 5-Key Model. The purpose of this report is to highlight the stories of participants in the 5-Key Model to provide a personal window into the experiences of those recently released from prisons. The interview explored participants’ lives and families, successes and challenges, and solicited advice for effectively helping individuals leaving incarceration.

Click Here to access the One Page Summary from our Fourth Quarterly Report.

Category: Reentry, Well-Being, 5-Key Model for Reentry
Accelerating Science Using the Research-to-Practice Feedback Loop

Accelerating Science Using the Research-to-Practice Feedback Loop

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

The report details the implementation of a Research-to-Practice Feedback Loop and how this Feedback Loop has been used to overcome challenges and adapt both the 5-Key Model intervention and how the intervention is delivered to individuals as they release from prison. The Feedback Loop provides space for practitioners, study participants, and researchers to identify areas for improvement and formalizes a process to ensure that any changes made are consistent with the original model, acceptable to all parties, and implemented fairly across all study sites.

Click Here to access the One Page Summary from our Third Quarterly Report.

Category: Reentry, Well-Being, 5-Key Model for Reentry
psychological toll of reentry

The Psychological Toll of Reentry

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

The struggle of reentry is common across hundreds of study participants and the reentry experience has a wide range of ripple out consequences for individual, family, and community well-being, and it intersects with the potential for future criminal behavior and public safety. This report details the psychological turmoil many individuals experience after release from incarceration, details the impact of reentry on an individual's family, and suggests ways in which men and women may experience reentry difficulty. The report closes by inviting readers and stakeholders to join us in grappling with four intractable realities of the reentry experience. 

Click Here to access the One Page Summary from our Second Quarterly Report.

Category: Reentry, Well-Being, 5-Key Model for Reentry
barriers to reentry

Researching and Responding to Barriers to Prisoner Reentry

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. This report is the first of many that invites stakeholders and the general public to watch the experiment unfold in real time – representing a revolutionary approach to research and evidence driven reentry reform.

Click Here to access the One Page Summary from our First Quarterly Report.

Category: Reentry, Well-Being, 5-Key Model for Reentry