College of Social Work
The Florida State University
March 2021

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

I am excited about Spring! The weather is getting warmer, COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed, and our research projects are operating smoothly even in light of all of the challenges that COVID-19 has presented!  
It was so wonderful to connect with you all at our Bi-Annual All-Team meeting – we received terrific feedback and I am excited to be with you all again at the next meeting – hopefully in person!
Please read below to see all of the wonderful accomplishments of our team members; welcome new team members and celebrate of anniversaries of other team members; learn more about all the impact your work is having; and access additional resources and training information from the field.
As always, keep up with us on social media, and please share our posts with your networks.

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

Don't forget to donate, like us on Facebook, join us on Twitter, follow us on LinkedIn, and watch us on YouTube
Happy Birthday!
Solvay Metelmann    March 13
Karyn London    March 15
Rachel Bowns    March 22
Jennifer Joseph    March 30
Hanna Cozine    April 1
Abby Smallwood    April 22
Happy Work-a-versary!
Multiple years!
Teisha Sanders - 3 years
Faye Miller - 3 years
Karyn London - 2 years
Nancy Revell - 2 years
1 year!
Mariah Johnson
Welcome Aboard!
A warm welcome to Monique Bing who joins IJRD our South Carolina team! Monique has extensive experience doing grass-roots organizing in SC.

Click the image to learn more.
Please welcome Solvay Metelmann who joins our Indiana team! Prior to joining IJRD, Solvay served as a strengths-based caseworker conducting home visits.

Click the image to learn more.

Welcome to Rachel Phillis who joins us as a student intern in Tallahassee! Rachel is pursuing degrees in English and International Affairs and plans to attend law school after graduation.

Click the image to learn more.
Spread the Word to Support IJRD
We are rapidly expanding our professional training, continuing education, evaluation & consulting services! 

Learn more about all of the services we offer and please share these opportunitites with your friends and colleagues to expand our reach!
We have also completely redesigned our donation page to help potential supporters learn how their support impacts the lives of criminal justice system-involved individuals, families, and communities. Click the image to learn more and please share with your networks!
Personal & Professional Accomplishments
Steve Pepper, Post-Master's Fellow and Program Specialist in Indiana, was selected as a cohort member for the “Building A Peer Support Workforce for Permanent Supporting Housing (PSH)” Project! The PSH Project promotes community-wide planning and strategic use of resources to address homelessness.

As part of his involvement in the PSH Project, Steven was trained to be a Community Health Worker/Certified Recovery Specialist (CHW/CRS) by the Indiana State Department of Mental Health & Addiction. He completed the training and passed the exam in February.

Silvia Obregon, Post-Master's Fellow and Research & Assessment Specialist in Ohio, recently passed the first licensure exam and is now an LSW!
Bill Rone, Post-Master's Fellow and Community Engagement Advisor, presented to first-year medical students at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine on substance use disorders and recovery. The panel was part of the Patients Advocacy in Communities, Teams, and Health Systems (PACTS) Longitudinal course taken by all medical students to focus on the patient experience of illness and coping, with an emphasis on vulnerable and underserved populations.

Jennifer Joseph, Clinical Training Specialist, conducted a training on Interactive Journaling, an innovative low-cost substance use disorder treatment, for the clinical staff at three prisons in Florida. 

Lauren Hiskey, a Research & Assessment Specialist in Ohio, was accepted into the Ohio State University MSW program for 2021!

Anghela Kane, our Central Office Project Coordinator, was accepted FSU's undergraduate degree program in Religion!
Carrie Pettus-Davis, Founding Executive Director, has given several talks over the past few months: 
  • Carrie participated in a Grand Challenges Roundtable with colleagues from across the nation on Jan 22. The talk was entitled, “Up Ahead: Progress and Plans for the Grand Challenges” and she highlighted the work of the Promote Smart Decarceration Grand Challenge!
  • On Feb 11, Carrie presented to the Leon County Sheriff’s Office Citizen Advisory Board here in Tallahassee! Her talk focused on key findings from the 5-Key Model study and a discussion of the associations between well-being enhancement and reduced reincarceration.
  • Carrie presented a talk at a conference of the Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (JCOIN) investigators and scholars on Feb 22. Her talk was entitled, “Study Design: Research ethics and writing a solid human subjects’ proposal to the institutional review board.”
  • On Mar 12, she presented to more than 100 members of the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. The Town Hall meeting focused on big questions and new ideas on equity and reform; Carrie spoke about data-driven criminal justice reform and evidence-based strategies to improve equity through the criminal justice system.

Carrie Pettus, Founding Executive Director, Stephanie Kennedy, Director of Research Dissemination, and Chris Veeh, Faculty Associate recently published a paper exploring the COVID-19 related experiences of individuals enrolled in the 5-Key Model study who experienced incarceration during the pandemic. The paper is entitled "Incarcerated individuals’ experiences of COVID-19 in the United States" and was published in the International Journal of Prisoner Health.
Carrie also published a paper entitled, “Support4Families: A Proposed Intervention Model to Support Families of Individuals Returning Home From Incarceration” which presents the theoretical and empirical grounding and describes the evidence-driven intervention components of a family skills training intervention designed to support families welcoming their loved one home from incarceration. 

Didi Nguyen was diagnosed in 2018 with Tumefactive Multiple Sclerosis (TMS). It's the rarest and most aggressive form of MS.

Although her condition is stable (THANK GOODNESS), when she was first diagnosed, she struggled to find information and research on this type of MS. This year, Didi decided to do a fundraiser by selling customized pins (with her perfect face and cupcakes!) to raise funds to bring awareness for March, which is MS awareness month. You will receive one pin for every donation of $8! 20% of proceeds go towards the MS Society; the rest to pin production. Donors can venmo Didi at DidiNguyen87 or cashapp her at $didinguyen. 

We have hosted several fabulous Fireside Chats over the past few months! Click the image to access the recordings and learn from Kiva Harper, LCSW, who provides trauma treatment to law enforcement officers and from Dr. Jim Clark, Dean of the College of Social Work at FSU!   
The Learning Corner
Click the image to learn more about a conversation between Reuben Miller, author of Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration, and Rev. Vivian Nixon, scholar and activist. Bruce Western moderates this can't miss conversation on 4/8 at 5:30 pm EST!

Kerensa Lockwood, Director of Implementation and Administration, Community Advisory Board member Dale White, and Research Technician Olivia Hitchcock will all participate in a reentry symposium presented on April 10 from 10-11:30 EST! The event is hosted by the Mercy & Justice Core Community of Good Shepherd Church of Tallahassee and will address the needs of individuals returning home from prison, community response, and ways the faith community can help. 

Click the image to register for this free event!  

The George Brown School of Social Work at the Washington University in St. Louis is hosting a series of free webinars in April, including one on resilience strategies to address compassion fatigue, scheduled for Apr 8 from 12:30-1:30 CST. 

Click the image to browse more events and register!  
Join the Boston Debate League and Suffolk University in this community conversation exploring multiple facets of criminal justice reform – Policing, Sentencing, Prisons, Criminal Justice and Immigrant Communities, and Community Activism.

Click the image to register for this free event which will be held on April 28th, from 5-6:30 pm EST. 
Click the image to register for a free virtual restorative justice training hosted by Dr. Abdul-Malik Muhammad, author of The Restorative Journey – Book One: The Theory and Application of Restorative Practices and contributing author of the recently released Colorizing Restorative Justice: Voicing Our Realities. The event will be held on May 4th, from 9-10am EST! 

This free training introduces motivational interviewing and provides trainees with valuable techniques and skills to motivate and encourage clients, guests, and residents to make the necessary changes to overcome the challenges of facing or experiencing homelessness.

Click the image to register for the free event on April 1, 3:30-5:30pm EST. 

IJRD is launching our first Summer Institute this summer, led by Carrie Pettus-Davis, Founder and Executive Director. This exciting workshop prepares individuals to conduct intervention research in criminal justice settings or with justice-involved individuals and families. Attendees will leave the workshop with a funding proposal to get their work started! 

Click the link to learn more about the event and register and please share widely! In-person and virtual options are avaialble! 

Of Interest
"Diversion and alternatives to incarceration have been shown to increase public safety and reduce prison and jail populations."

Click the image to read an op-ed about making 'diversion' the norm in criminal justice reform by Adam Mansky, former Director of Criminal Justice at the Center for Court Innovation, published in the Crime Report. 
Learn how a Florida county is partnering with Bethune Cookman University to increase officer empathy, improve de-escalation & ensure that police respond effectively to serve the community. "Policing isn’t something you do to a community. It’s something you do with a community.”

Click on the image to listen to an Ear Hustle podcast episode, "Are You Listening?" that features interviews with children who have parents that are incarcerated, and explores the impact incarceration has on families. 

Click the image to listen to a podcast by The Appeal on the privatization of America’s criminal legal system. GUests move beyond private prisons to look at all the ways the system has privatized corrections, including privatized probation, supervision, healthcare, and communications, and more. 
Well-Being Corner
Image credit: Angela Borders

As we cross the one-year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are struggling with exhaustion and anxiety. In this issue's well-being corner, we have provided free or low-cost resources and events to help you to preserve, prioritize, and improve your mental health.

Here are some highlights to get you started:
Click the image to read 31 tips to boost your mental health published by Mental Health America, the nation's leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to promoting mental health as a critical component of overall wellness.

You can access a range of free or low-cost resources for improving your mental health here


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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