College of Social Work
The Florida State University
June 2021

Prioritizing rapid dissemination of research findings to advocates, professionals, and policymakers.
Dear IJRD Team –

I am excited that times are changing and we are moving toward being able to be together in person again. You have been an amazing and resilient team over the past year and we kept things going despite all barriers. Congratulations again for doing so well! I am excited to share our June IJRD newsletter with you!
Below you can read about our team member's wonderful accomplishments and learn about the new team members who have joined us at IJRD. You can also learn about webinars and other events to further your professional development, read articles and essays of interest, and learn about improving your own personal well-being. 
Please do follow us on social media and share our posts with your networks.

Thank you again for all of the hard work you do to generate data-driven solutions to criminal justice reform!
With admiration,

Don't forget to like us on Facebook, join us on Twitter, follow us on LinkedIn, and watch us on YouTube! Please encourage others in your network to donate!
Happy Birthday!
Erin DuPristle    May 4
Carrie Pettus-Davis    May 7
Taylor Russell    May 14
Kandace Jernigan    May 20
Shelby Kibellus    May 28
Sierra Ross    June 1
Mara Law    June 8
Kerensa Lockwood    June 10
Anghela Kane    June 30
Sara Julian    July 10
Lauren Hiskey    July 12
Connie Conway    July 25
Amberly Prykhodko    July 28
Faye Miller    July 29
Happy Work-a-versary!
THREE years!

Jessica Le
Katie Morphonios
Amberly Prykhodko
2 years!
Connie Conway
Jennifer Joseph
Sara Julian
Anghela Kane

Silvia Obregon
Steve Pepper
Bill Rone

Taylor Russell
Sydney Smith
Gregory Stevens

Megan Vogt 

1 year!
Mara Law
Welcome Aboard!
A warm welcome to Alissa Bell who joins IJRD as a social work intern! She will primarily work with the professional training team as she has expertise in curriculum development, advising, and instructional design. 

Click the image to learn more.
Please welcome Jordan Berry who started her social work field placement with us earlier this year! Jordan works primarily with our data collection and analysis teams and plans to use these experiences to inform a career in criminal justice reform advocacy.

Click the image to learn more.
Personal & Professional Accomplishments

Shelby Pederson, current doctoral student and Graduate Research Assistant with IJRD, was honored as the Doctoral Student of the Year for the College of Social Work.

She also recently passed her standardized preliminary exam!

Congratulations, Shelby!

Victoria Connor, Research Technician and current MSW student at FSU, was accepted as a 2021-2022 National Institute of Health, Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (JCOIN)LEAP Scholar! In this role, she will work alongside other criminal justice researchers, students, medical professionals, and social workers to advance knowledge and create policy impact for justice-involved individuals with opioid use disorders. Congratulations! 

Stephen Tripodi, Faculty Director of Academic Dissemination,  joined Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil, and other community reentry experts on May 22 to speak at an event hosted by the Achieve Higher Ground Foundation in Tallahassee. The goal of Professor Tripodi’s presentation was to highlight how experiences of trauma intersect with both incarceration and return to incarceration after release for service providers working with this population.  

He also presented a paper entitled, ‘Trauma informed care groups with incarcerated women: An alternative treatment design comparing Seeking Safety and STAIR’ at the Academic and Health Policy Conference on Correctional Health held by the Academic Consortium on Criminal Justice Health on April 9.

Carrie Pettus, Founding Executive Director, Chris Veeh, Faculty Associate, Tanya Renn, Faculty Director of Academic Dissemination, and Stephanie Kennedy, Director of Research Dissemination, had the foundational Well-Being Development Model article accepted for publication! This paper describes the theoretical foundation for our well-being orientation at IJRD and will publish in September in Social Service Review. You can read a white paper version of the paper here. 

Tanya Renn, Chris Veeh, and Carrie Pettus had an article accepted for publication entitled, "Associations of childhood and adult trauma on substance misuse and mental health among incarcerated men.” We will let you know when a published version is available for you to read!

Tanya Renn, Chris Veeh, and John Moore, a colleague from the University of Texas had their article, “The geographic context of substance use and substance use disorders among adults on probation or parole supervision” accepted for publication!


Carrie Pettus received a National Institute of Health grant from the Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (JCOIN) Coordination and Translation Center. She will design and implement an interactive development series on fidelity monitoring and feedback loops in intervention and services research in criminal justice.

She also convened Secretaries and Directors of the Departments of Corrections in Florida, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Texas - the first four 5-Key Model states - on March 30 & 31. The convenings highlighted preliminary 5-Key Model results on the association between increasing well-being among individuals releasing from prison and decreased rates of reincarceration. 

Stephanie Kennedy was voted by students as the Instructor of the Year for the College of Social Work! Students noted her engaged and compassionate teaching style and her ability to translate complex research content into highly accessible lectures and activities. Congrats!

Carrie Pettus, Stephanie Kennedy, and Chris Veeh published an article entitled, "Incarcerated individuals’ experiences of COVID-19 in the United States" in the International Journal of Prisoner Health. Click the image to read more!
The Learning Corner
Click the image to learn more about a free, virtual Reentry Employment Specialist Training conducted by the PA Board of Probation and Parole June 21-22! The curriculum, developed by the National Institute of Corrections, is designed to improve employment outcomes for persons with criminal histories through strategies of enhanced collaboration, employment assessments, and job development. 
This webinar, presented by Be Social Change, explores the wider context of hate-based violence in the US and each individual's role in making change. This webinar may be of interest to you if you are:
  • Concerned about the rise in hate-based violence in the US
  • Interested in learning how to prevent harm against our respective communities
  • Passionate about social change across social issues (violence prevention, public safety, public health, racism, sexism, homophobia, religious intolerance, etc).
Click the image to browse more events and register! Webinar will be held June 22 from 1-2 pm EST! 
Click the image to learn more and register for Florida's largest behavioral health conference! The conference will be held in person in Orlando on August 18-20 (virtual options are available).

Earn CEU's and apply the most current technology, research, and trends to your work through more than 100 workshops!  
Of Interest
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS! Sara Julian, Law and Policy Fellow, is now working with Crime and Justice News, a daily news outlet hosted by the Academy for Justice at Arizona State University is accepting submissions for Crime and Justice News. They seek to highlight the role of social work and other helping professions within the criminal justice system.

Submissions can be on any topic related to the criminal justice system and must be at least 750 words. All accepted submissions are paid $500! Please contact Sara at for more details! 
On May 17-18, we convened the National Scientific Advisory Committee, a group of national experts who provide guidance and consultation on all aspects of IJRD's science and projects! We had an incredible conversation with group members who provided guidance on IJRD’s ongoing research projects, reviewed current analyses, and identified methods for increasing our research dissemination.

Click the image to read a powerful and compelling essay by Clint Smth in the Atlantic about the transformative power of education in prison. Smith taught men serving life sentences literature and poetry and reflects on how difficult it is for incarcerated individuals to pursue higher education.

Click the image to learn more about the mental health impacts of solitary confinement in this very difficult, but necessary piece by Arnold Ventures.

Read this Yale Law report on the use of solitary confinement in prisons across the nation. They estimate that more than 3,000 people with serious mental illness are held in solitary confinement at any given time. 
"85% of human resources professionals and 81% of business leaders believe workers with criminal records perform just as well or better in their jobs compared to workers without criminal records."

Click the image to read a report by the Society for Human Resource Management detailing employer's perceptions of second chance hiring.

Our Retaining Talent training supports second-chance hiring employers to develop a toolkit for retaining and promoting these highly motivated employees. 
Click the image to read a Council on Criminal Justice report on the effectiveness of police training. Their recommendations for reform include shifting to a "resiliency-based approach" - teaching officers to recognize stress & self-regulate their responses to it versus the more typical “stress-oriented” military training approach.

Click the image to read a powerful essay in the Daily Beast by Tyrone Walker about his experience of arrest and family separation when he was just 13 years old.

He writes, "There were no programs, no encouragement, no supportive mechanisms to ease my trauma & guide me forward."
New Trainings from IJRD!
Stay tuned to our Professional Training page to learn more about our growing catalog of exciting trainings! 

COMING SOON: Our 'Race, Class, and Health Equity in the Criminal Justice System' training series is designed for mental health professionals, reentry counselors, case managers, administrators, support staff, probation and parole officers, and anyone who wants to gain a deeper understanding of the varied experiences of individuals coming in contact with the justice system. Professionals seeking more in-depth knowledge to work more responsively with many differing populations within the criminal justice system will find this series useful. Training topics include an introduction to the US criminal justice system, trauma and men, race and poverty in the criminal justice system, trauma and women, traumatic brain injury, immigrants in the criminal justice system, LGBTQIA+, and native populations. 

If you have an idea for training we could offer or if you would like to get more involved in training, please contact Amberly at

Don't forget to please share these opportunities with your friends and colleagues to expand our reach!
Amberly Prykhodko and Sarah Michaelsen, Program Manager, led a Peer-to-Peer Support Training with nearly 50 members of the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office on April 26-27! This training was designed for law enforcement officers or first responders who want to gain a deeper understanding of how the mind and body react to on-the-job stress and learn actionable steps to help support others who are suffering. 

Read more about the event here!

Amberly Prykhodko also presented at a virtual training sponsored by the St. John’s County Sherriff’s Office on May 15 designed to support clinicians interested in working with frontline, line-of-duty law enforcement staff and first responders (fire/rescue, EMS, corrections, dispatch). Prykhodko focused on how clinicians can cultivate cultural competency as an outsider when engaging with public service and safety personnel.

Amberly Prykhodko partnered with Edward Andrews, Founder of Second Chance Re-Entry Initiative Program (SCRIP), to deliver specialized training to members of the Connecticut Department of Corrections in late May. The training content included what trauma looks like, ways to interact and understand people who have experienced trauma, and how to better support them. The goal was to create more successful reentries for individuals leaving incarceration across Connecticut.

This partnership was formed when Andrews reached out to IJRD after reading a journal article written by IJRD researchers. The research helped him better understand himself, the unaddressed symptoms of trauma he was suffering from, and how those experiences he had throughout his life related to his prior incarceration. Andrews used these findings and related research to found SCRIP and develop its reentry program curriculum.  His goal was to help others address the invisible barriers of past trauma and make more effective life decisions as they release from incarceration.

A year after its inception, the eight graduates from SCRIP’s inaugural program are all still in the community, gainfully employed and have integrated SCRIP’s curriculum into their lives. “Real world research, when applied, can help individuals, and I am hopeful that we are going to continue to see it shape policy and reform institutions. It can truly spark systemic change.” said Andrews. 

The training duo has also captured the interest of a large corporation to deliver cultural competency training for second chance promotion and retention to their many franchises across the US.

Well-Being Corner

                                                                                                                    Image credit: Tobi from Pexels

Whether you’re still working from home this summer or you're back in the office, incorporating movement into your everyday routine is a great way to improve overall health and wellness, according to the University of Colorado's Anschutz Health & Wellness Center. When we hear about exercise, we seldom consider the benefits of small changes to our daily routines; movement does not need to be lifting heavy weights or going on long runs, rather, it can be as simple as walking a little further in the parking lot. 

According to the CDC, only about 20% of adults meet ideal physical activity levels. This lack of movement is associated with an array of health issues, such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, some types of cancers, and mental health issues. Our bodies aren’t designed to sit all day, so incorporate some of these strategies to improve overall wellness! 

Here are some suggestions to get you started!

  1. Take the stairs instead of the elevator when in buildings. 
  2. Instead of parking your car for a shorter walk, try parking further away from the building to get more steps in. 
  3. Try moving a little faster when doing tasks, even just walking through the grocery store. 
  4. Rather than unwinding by watching TV, go for an evening walk or spend time in nature. This is also great for getting some vitamin D! 
  5. When on the phone, try walking around or standing instead of sitting. 
  6. Start a summer garden project or do outside chores yourself, such as pulling weeds or mowing the lawn. 
  7. Instead of going through the drive-thru, go inside the store to increase your steps!

Please don't forget that if you need additional support during this time, the FSU Employee Assistance Program offers free, confidential services to all FSU employees.

The EAP has assisted thousands of employees through professional, personal and family issues. 

Click the image to learn more.
You can learn more about our media coverage, access podcasts and interviews, link to press conferences, and read all of our scholarship on our website

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