College of Social Work
The Florida State University
March 2020

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

What a difference a month can make! In the last newsletter, I was savoring the special time we spent together during the Team Building Event in Atlanta. And today, our nation is striving to overcome the spread of COVID-19 and we are all working hard to manage multiple, competing demands in these often frustrating times.
I am truly amazed and in awe of how supportive you have been to each other and how committed you continue to be to our study participants and to advancing the mission of IJRD. In a time of disappointment and tragedy, you have also embraced the vision to seek the opportunity to learn more and do more to improve the lives of others. Your resilience and hard work makes me more honored than ever to know and work with each and every one of you. In the coming week, we will send you a research brief on all that we are doing to continue our progress in light of COVID-19.
In the meantime let’s have some small celebrations! Below you will see how IJRD continues to grow due to your diverse talents and dedication. We have sections that highlight learning and growth opportunities for you to pursue virtually, resources for managing COVID-19, and our personal well-being feature highlights strategies to help with remote work. 

Please continue reaching out to each other and to me for support. Thanks as always to the Newsletter Team and thank you all for working so diligently on behalf of justice-involved individuals! 
Hope to See you at We Got this Wednesdays!!!

With admiration,

Don't forget to donate at Day1, like us on Facebook, join us on Twitter, follow us on LinkedIn, and watch us on YouTube
Happy Birthday!
Annie Grier - April 10
Abby Smallwood - April 22
Michael Davison - April 29
Taylor Fannin - April 30
Happy Work-a-versary!
2 years!
Michael Davidson
1 year!
Nancy Revell
Addressing Racial & Economic Disparities in Our Work

Many of you have asked about how our research at IJRD addresses the pervasive racial and economic disparities documented at all levels of the criminal justice system. This section is designed to give you a deeper understanding of how the work you do day in and day out at IJRD helps to achieve these goals.

  1. At IJRD, we examine whether interventions or policy changes are reducing disparities versus staying neutral on them or, worse, exacerbating them.
  2. We developed a new theoretical model to ground all of our intervention design at IJRD called the Well-Being Development Model. This model was specifically designed with disparities and structural oppression in mind. Research shows that well-being based interventions have a greater impact on marginalized and oppressed groups than non-marginalized groups - even when existing structural inequalities have not shifted. We are testing a variety of well-being based interventions with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals across the country to assess whether our emphasis on human potential, well-being, and opening doors to opportunities has a greater impact than traditional approaches.
  3. In addition to conducting research, we also 'practice what we preach' at IJRD and actively pursue second chance hiring of individuals who have experienced incarceration. We provide our team members with meaningful work trajectories and well-paying jobs.
  4. We provide alternative language to otherwise stigmatizing characterizations of people involved in the criminal justice system. We refer to the individuals who have made contact with the criminal justice system as 'individuals' - never as 'inmates' or 'offenders.' Putting people first helps to disrupt community stigma.
  5. Finally, our work raises awareness around disparities and disproportionately in the criminal justice system. We share empirical data that shows that racial and economic disparities are not attributed to one racial or economic group committing more crimes than others, but rather to systemic limitations and structural barriers.
We hope that this helps you connect your work to the larger criminal justice reform movement which aims to reduce disparities and improve outcomes for people of color and those living in poverty across our nation!
Welcome Aboard!

Join us in welcoming Rebekah Elliott, who joins us as a Multisite Project Director on our Tallahassee team! Rebekah has a wealth of experience providing direct services to justice-involved individuals and working to achieve community well-being among Indigenous Americans. 

Rebekah earned a BSW and MSW from FSU and is licensed in Florida and Georgia. Click the image to learn more!  

Please extend a warm welcome to Aliyah Henry who joins our team as a Research and Assessment Specialist in South Carolina!

Aliyah is passionate about criminal justice reform has a wealth of experience conducting research, both in the states and internationally, and engaging with justice-involved individuals.

Aliyah earned her MSW from the University of Connecticut.

Click the image to learn more! 

Join us in welcoming Dawn-Marie Parker as she joins our team as a Trauma-Informed Care Interventionist on our Seminole County, Florida team!

Dawn has extensive experience working with individuals diagnosed with persistent mental health disorders and she is passionate about trauma-informed, holistic care.

Dawn is currently pursuing an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at the University of Central Florida. 

Click the image to learn more! 
New Quarterly Report Released!

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

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 the image to learn more about the technical violations that bring hundreds of thousands of people back to jail every year.


Personal & Professional Accomplishments

Carrie Pettus-Davis, our Founding Executive Director, and Stephanie Kennedy, Director of Research Dissemination, published a book chapter entitled, Early Lessons from the Multistate Study of the 5-Key Model, for reentry in Perspectives: The Journal of the American Probation and Parole Association.  

Click the image to read about how the great work our team is doing to implement the 5-Key Model in states across the nation!

Sydney Smith, a Reentry Program Specialist and Post-Master's Fellow in South Carolina, passed her LMSW exam! Congrats Sydney, we are so proud of you! 

Amberly Prykhodko, our Clinical Training Specialist, led a reentry training on March 9 for policymakers and leaders at Safe Streets and Second Chances.

Her training provided critical context about the experience of individuals leaving incarceration and returning home so policy efforts could target common barriers and improve outcomes.

Tanya Renn, our Assistant Director, gave a talk entitled, “Emerging Trends for Women with Substance Use Disorder,” for attendees at the Florida Higher Education Substance Use Disorder Consortium’s Spring Symposium on March 6.

She was part of a panel of experts all working to help improve outcomes for women diagnosed with substance use disorders. 

Carrie Pettus-Davis presented research on addressing mental health and substance use disorders among incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration earlier this month.

She was also celebrated by FSU for her achievements during Women's History Month!

Carrie Pettus-Davis was interviewed with four other community leaders on the WFSU show, Perspectives, about how the Tallahassee community can help individuals as they leave incarceration and return home.

She is pictured here with (L-R) Lucretia Shaw-Collins of Bethel Empowerment Foundation, Tom Flanagan, WFSU Perspectives host, Suzanne Printy of Mercy and Justice Core Community, and Leon County Assistant Sheriff Steve Harrelson. Anthony Scott of the Florida Innocence Project joined by telephone. 

Event Reports

We co-hosted the "Law Meets Social Work" event with FSU College of Law’s Public Interest Law Center on March 3.

Faculty, staff, and students from the FSU College of Social Work, FSU College of Law, and FAMU’s Department of Social Work discussed voter disenfranchisement among incarcerated individuals and potential implications for the fields of both law and social work.

Annie Grier, our Director of Community Partnerships and Training, hosted a series of "Coffee Break" sessions to talk about ethical dilemmas in the field of social work. The goals of these "Coffee Break Ethics" sessions were to promote social engagement and continued learning among our Master's students. 

"Coffee Break Ethics" provided space for students to discuss hypothetical ethical dilemmas that they may encounter in their work at the intersection of social work and criminal justice. Students explored a variety of possible courses of action and insights from the group and now feel more confident about their future in this field. 

Community Advisory Board Update!
Our Community Advisory Board made the shift to a teleconference meeting this month, as a safety measure related to COVID-19. 

This month our participants discussed the use of active journaling for incarcerated individuals,and how to market the tool to participants in an accessible and catchy way. 

Additionally, the board brainstormed ways to incentivize participants while incarcerated in lieu of monetary payments. 

Learn more about our Community Advisory Board members on our website!
The Learning Corner
Yale University is offering its popular "The Science of Well-Being" for free via Coursera! The course engages learners in a series of challenges to help them reexamine the concept of happiness and build an overall more productive life.

Enrollment is rolling and allows for flexible deadlines to meet each individual schedule. Click the image to learn more and register!

Join the Drug Policy Alliance's Department of Research and Academic engagement as they discuss how incarceration and reentry affect the physical body on April 30th, at 4:30PM.

Dr. Calvin John Smiley, of the City University of New York's Hunter College, will facilitate discussion during this virtual roundtable.

Click the image to attend!

Community Family Life Services is hosting a virtual speaker event on April 15th from 12:30PM- 2:00PM EST! This event will cover current policies and practices around women giving birth in prison and strategies to help women stay connected to their children during incarceration.

Khadijah Jones, the first speaker, is a doula and certified lactation consultant with a BA from Morgan State University. She is an activist and advocate for young mothers. Her co-host, Enidsia Darby-Gill is a mother of four who gave birth while incarcerated.

Click the image to learn more!


Of Interest

Click the image to read a piece by The Sanford Social Innovation Review that discusses how to connect individual and societal change. The authors describe how supporting well-being boosts capacity for innovation, collaboration, and identifying solutions to social and environmental challenges.

Click the image to read a piece from the Marshall Project on the COVID-19 experience for incarcerated individuals.

The article discusses the discrepancy in policies related to the spread of the disease based on the geographic location of facilities. Additionally, the authors discuss how some criminal justice stakeholders are approaching sentencing and pretrial incarceration differently to improve health outcomes.

Looking for a new read?

Check out Book Riot's list of 100 Social Justice and Law books! Included texts cover how many different types of individuals and families experience barriers to success in our communities and within the criminal justice system.

Click the image for the full list!
Click the image to listen to Rising Up with Sonali, an all-woman news digest show focused on gender and racial justice. This week's episode features a conversation with Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio as she discusses concerns about COVID-19 as related to currently incarcerated individuals.

Click here for more information about Rising Up with Sonali and to listen to other episodes!.  
Click the image to read a piece by Akela Lacy in The Intercept. Lacy writes about how the spread of COVID-19 makes the case for the need for criminal justice reform. 
Resources for Managing COVID-19

Here are links and resources for managing COVID-19, preserving well-being, and helping you and those with whom you work safe and healthy.

SocialWork.Career assembled more than 50 free resources designed for social workers, mental health professionals, and social work educators during the COVID-19 pandemic. These include free on-demand trainings (some of which offer free CEUs), free self-care tools, and resources to help you serve your clients and both educate and entertain your children. 
Promoting Personal Well-Being

In our busy lives balancing career and home life, we may find ourselves out of sync with our “work-life balance." This monthly newsletter feature highlights issues and strategies to enhance and maintain your personal well-being while promoting the well-being of others.
This month we feature Working from Home!

Whether you're an expert at being a professional from the couch or whether your work routine has shifted from the office to your home for the first time, we have relevant tips and tricks to help you maintain your well-being and thrive at your job all while working from home. 
When working from home, it is crucial to carve out dedicated working space and learn how to manage and protect your time from distractions. Here are some helpful links to get you moving in the right direction!  
We also wanted to share SAMHSA's Tips for taking care of your health during Social Distancing.

We hope that these strategies help you and your family feel comfortable, secure, healthy, and productive both inside and outside of working hours!


The FSU Employee Assistance Program is a free, confidential service that provides a professional support system for 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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