College of Social Work
The Florida State University
October 2021

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

I am excited to connect with all of you next month at our All Team Meeting! I wish we were in a place with COVID-19 where it was feasible to gather together in the same physical space, but I am hopeful that our next meeting will be in person versus virtually again! Thank you for your flexibility and your dedication to each other, to IJRD, and to the thousands of individuals your work touches every single day. Our work at IJRD has tremendous reach and none of it would be possible without your resilience and hard work!

I am excited to share our October 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 read about our new projects and trainings that are influencing policies and changing lives in the field, 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!

Priya Adhikari    Oct 2
Skye Henning    Oct 6
Stephen Tripodi   Oct 7
Jamie Kershaw    Oct 12
Nancy McCarthy    Oct 13
Bill Rone    Oct 16
Lauren Henderson    Oct 22
Katie Morphonios    Oct 26
DonnaTillis-Radcliff    Oct 26

Alissa Bell    Nov 5
Christy Myers    Nov 28


Nancy Revell    Dec 10
Rachel Fulmer    Dec 12
Johnny Kim     Dec 12
Haley Jahn    Dec 23
Victoria Conner    Dec 25
Silvia Obregon    Dec 25
Happy Work-a-versary!
THREE years!

Stephanie Kennedy
Kerensa Lockwood
Davonna McArthur

Didi Nguyen

TWO years!

Rachel Fulmer
Jennifer Garbin
Amarilis Harper
Katherine Herzog
Sierra Ross
ONE year!

Rachel Bowns
Victoria Conner
Skye Henning
Olivia Hitchcock-Howard
Haley Jahn
Sarah Tamburri
Welcome Aboard!

Please welcome Grant Burton, who joins IJRD as a Project Support Specialist on our Indiana team! Grant has experience providing both music therapy and behavioral therapy and is eager to enhance his research skills!

Click the image to learn more.
A warm welcome to Jake Eikenberry who joined IJRD this summer as Research Faculty specializing in Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice. Jake oversees all aspects of implementation and data collection for IJRD research projects and develops innovative studies in partnership with funders and interdisciplinary community partners. He is passionate about creating sustainable alternatives to incarceration and improving the systems that intersect with currently and formerly incarcerated individuals, their families, and their communities.

Click the image to learn more.
Please welcome Lauren Henderson who joins IJRD as a Research Technician on our Tallahassee team. She is passionate about criminal justice system reform and trauma-informed reentry programs for those who have left incarceration and returned home.  

Click the image to learn more.
Join us in welcoming Jaime Kershaw who joins us as a Research Technician on our Tallahassee team. Her experience with the Innocence Project of Florida ignited her passion for being an advocate to those who face incarceration.

Click the image to learn more.

Please welcome Christy Myers, who joins IJRD as a practicum student! Christy is passionate about alleviating barriers to success for individuals leaving prison and returning home so they can thrive in the community.

Click the image to learn more.

A very warm welcome to Tifani Parks, who joins IJRD as a Research & Assessment Specialist on our South Carolina team. Tifani brings expertise working with adolescents and adults with substance use disorders!

Click the image to learn more.

Please welcome Suzette "Sue" Robertson, who joins us as a  Program Specialist on our Jacksonville, Florida team! Sue relocated from Ottawa, Canada and is thrilled to provide trauma-informed clinical services to individuals leaving incarceration.

Click the image to learn more.
Personal & Professional Accomplishments

Sarah Michaelson, Program Manager, married Stephen Tamburri on June 23! 

Congratulations to the Tamburris - may you spend your lives in love and joy!

Olivia Hitchcock, Research Technician, married Sam Howard on August 7!

We are so happy for the Hitchcock-Howards and wish them a lifetime of love and happiness! 

Our Research Technicians Rachel Bowns, Victoria Conner, Olivia Hitchcock-Howard, and Haley Jahn were all promoted to Graduate Research Assistants! In this new role, they continue their work with IJRD while also receiving graduate tuition waivers.

Olivia Hitchcock-Howard also received a Grace Ann Fellowship for her exceptional work and dedication to criminal justice research!

Amberly Prykhodko, Director of Clinical and Professional Services, was on a panel of BIPOC therapists and allies to discuss BIPOC communities (comprised of those who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and mental health for BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month on July 12. The event was organized by Amberly's mentor, Kiva Harper, LCSW-S, who led a Fireside Chat for IJRD last February!

Amberly also presented two talks in the community! The first, entitled “Building Resiliency: Learning to Understand and Manage the Impact of Secondary Trauma and Job-Related Stress" was presented to correctional stakeholders at the 91st Annual Criminal Justice Training Institute in Orlando, Florida on August 25. And the second, "Amplifying Potential: Promoting Well-being with Previously Incarcerated Individuals" was presented at the NASW Texas Virtual Conference on September 3 and focused on how social workers can take a well-being approach with clients who have been impacted by incarceration.

Jennifer Joseph, Clinical Training Specialist, and Amberly Prykhodko presented a talk entitled “Childhood Sexual Abuse: How to Identify Early Signs and Respond Responsibly” to members of a community group in Dallas, Texas.  

Carrie Pettus, Founding Executive Director, has been out in the community presenting IJRD's data-driven criminal justice reform solutions to scholars, policymakers, practitioners, and correctional stakeholders! Here are just some of the talks she's given recently!

- “Incorporating Well-Being into Correctional Programming and Practices” was presented to members of the Prison Fellowship Warden Exchange on August 5th. The talk highlighted strategies for infusing a well-being-based orientation into programs, case management, and reentry preparation to help individuals thrive after release from incarceration.

- “Using a Well-Being Orientation to Address the Opioid Crisis During Reentry” was delivered to members of the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (JCOIN) on August 11th.

- "Well-Being and Community Stability Outcomes as Alternatives to Recidivism" was presented to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Committee on Law and Justice for their work Evaluating Success for Individuals Released from Prison on September 2nd. This talk focused on the movement away from a sole focus on re-arrest and reincarceration and toward understanding well-being and community stability as better markers of success for individuals leaving incarceration and returning home.
Carrie Pettus in partnership with Sylvie Naar, Distinguished Endowed Professor at FSU's College of Medicine, and Norman B. Anderson, Professor & Assistant Vice President for Research and Academic Affairs in FSU's College of Social Work, were awarded a National Institutes of Health Director’s Transformative Research Award worth $3.1 million to investigate racial inequities in the nation’s health-care system!

The team will move beyond documenting racism to generate and deploy policy-level, evidence-driven antiracism interventions at the most potent leverage points throughout Florida’s patient centered medical home system, a system of comprehensive and coordinated health care designed to serve individuals in poverty.

Click the image to learn more and click here to read a guest commentary Carrie published in the Orlando Sentinel about how these strategies can be used to infuse antiracism throughout the criminal justice system!

Carrie Pettus, Chris Veeh, Faculty Associate, Tanya Renn, Faculty Director of Academic Dissemination, and Stephanie Kennedy, Director of Research Dissemination, published the foundational Well-Being Development Model article! This paper describes the theoretical foundation for our well-being orientation at IJRD and was released open-access by the Social Service Review. Click the image to read the full article!  
The Learning Corner
IJRD is hosting a National Prosecutors Summitt on Mental Health in collaboration with our partners at the Equitas Project and Mental Health Colorado! This free, virtual event will be held on November 10th from 12-4pm EST. The summit will focus on prosecutor-led diversion & the unique role of prosecutors as leaders in disentangling mental health and criminal justice.

Click the image to learn more and register!
Click the image to register for a free virtual lecture entitled, "Advocacy & Allyship: Establishing a Racial Equity Framework that Goes Beyond HR," on November 4th from 12:30-1:30 PM CST.

This lecture is part of the open classroom series at the Brown School of Social Work at the Washington University in St. Louis. Click here to learn about all of their upcoming open classroom events!
Click the image to listen to the new Rigorously Relevant podcast from Gina Griffin, DSW, LCSW.

Episodes feature a range of social work practitioners and scholars discussing the connection between practice and research in a lively format. Listen to our own Annie Grier (who served IJRD for two years as the Director of Community Partnerships and Outreach before moving on to focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for FSU) discuss macro social work and Jonathan Singer, a national social work scholar on suicide prevention talk about the power of persistence in research. 

Click the image to search a range of free, virtual webinars offered by the US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs on juvenile and criminal justice topics.

A webinar entitled, "Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program National Forum" looks particularly relevant to our work at IJRD. This webinar will be offered November 16th-18th!
Of Interest
A featured piece to honor domestic violence awareness month written by Jennifer Garbin, Program Specialist.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence defines domestic violence as willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. They note that the frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically; however, the one constant component of domestic violence is one partner’s consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other.

You may already know the statistics – in the United States alone, more than 10 million people experience domestic violence every single year.

You can help individuals affected by domestic violence by raising awareness and getting involved in your community. Here are some ideas to get you started:
  • Learn about the warning signs of abuse and prevention strategies.
  • Here are some tips from the National Domestic Violence hotline on how to support a loved one currently experiencing domestic violence.
  • Use a purple bulb as your porch light to raise awareness.
  • Donate toiletries and other basics to your local domestic violence shelter as many who enter emergency sheltering arrive with nothing but the clothes on their backs.  
  • Support your local domestic violence shelter or other nonprofit organizations in your community providing assistance to survivors of domestic violence with your time or money.
  • Participate in a domestic violence awareness walk, run, or bike ride.
  • Use social media to raise awareness and educate your networks about domestic violence. You can also incorporate a purple ribbon into your profile picture!
Look at the impact our South Carolina team is having!

Carrie Pettus and John Koufos, Executive Director of the Taking Action for Good Foundation co-authored an op-ed, entitled, "Recidivism rate is down in SC prisons. These strategies work" in the Charleston Post & Courier. The piece highlights how real change is possible throughout the criminal justice system - and is happening now - through successful researcher-policymaker-correctional stakeholder partnerships. 

Click the image to read! 
Carrie Pettus was interviewed on the Passionate Pioneers with Mike Biselli podcast about how we can reduce our nation's overreliance on the criminal justice system and strategies to help justice-involved individuals to develop well-being and thrive!
Click the image to listen!
“The people in jail are the people in the community...Voting is an important life skill that needs to be utilized whether someone is in jail or out of custody."

Click the image to read a Pew Trusts piece about how jails facilitate ppl exercising their right to vote.

You can also watch this powerful Sentencing Project video from 2020 featuring Bill Rone, Community Engagement Advisor, and Jane Dwyer Lee from the FSU College of Social Work talking about what voting means to those who have experienced incarceration.
“Thank you for not giving up on me.”

A tough student in an in-prison education class thanked his incarcerated teacher's aide, who was once a tough student himself.
Click the image to read a Marshall Project piece about the power of change & believing in the success of others.
"Good public health is good public safety -- they're not competing."

Click the image to read an ABCNews piece about the rise in overdose deaths occurring in our nation's jails.

Then, read our 5-Key model report on how leaving incarceration is a high-risk time for opioid use and overdose death for many.
Learn from new research how incarceration shortens lives - not just of those individuals we incarcerate, but their loved ones as well.

Click the image to access a reader-friendly analysis of a scholarly article from the Prison Policy Initiative. Access the full article here.

You can also read a brand-new article released in Science this month entitled, "Assessing Mass Incarceration's Effects on Families."


Click the image to learn more about how providing vocational and postsecondary education during incarceration benefits incarcerated students, their families, correctional stakeholders, universities, and all of our communities in a series of reports by AEI Adjunct Fellow Gerard Robinson. 
Training Updates from the Field!
The training team has had an eventful few months! We are most excited about the recent release of our new, online training series Race, Class, and Health Disparities in the Criminal Justice System. This series came together thanks to the hard work and expertise of many amazing IJRD team members! In addition to many other trainings, we are looking forward to launching registration for our 2022 Winter Institute that will focus on the opioid epidemic and justice-involved individuals!

Many of our trainings now have CEUs available for those of you who need them!

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 our training opportunities with your friends and colleagues to expand our reach!

Click the image to learn more about our brand new training series!

This series supports those working within the criminal justice system to better understand the populations they serve. It includes an overview of the US criminal justice system and seven trainings focus on disproportionately represented individuals and communities.

Please share widely with your networks!

Learn how to understand, engage, and treat individuals with criminal justice histories who use opioids in this highly interactive 3-day workshop!

The Winter Institute will be held in person in Austin, Texas (virtual slots also available) from February 7th-9th!

Participation in the Winter Institute earns 21 CEUs and 4.5 hours in Ethics! 

Click the image to learn more and register!

Click the image to learn more about a new grant IJRD received to implement the Retaining Talent curriculum with second chance hiring employers across the nation. Retaining Talent helps organizations who already hire individuals with incarceration histories to effectively retain and promote these dedicated and loyal employees. The project will help employers to develop cultural competence and promote equity in the workplace.  

Amberly Prykhodko delivered two trainings at the Goodwill Reentry Opportunities to Work (GROW) Learn & Lead Lab September 21-24, 2021. Both trainings presented effective practices currently being utilized and studied to facilitate healthier transitions into the workforce and communities after incarceration and provided attendees with concrete techniques to focus on strengths, rather than deficits, and help to amplify the incredible human potential of returning citizens.

The first workshop, "Amplifying Potential: Key Principles of the Well-Being Development Model," identified strategies for integrating principles of the well-being development model into reentry practices.

The second workshop, "Amplifying Potential: Focusing on the Solution, Not the Problem," explored how solution-focused coaching could be infused in the workplace and in other reentry settings to help individuals set and achieve their goals.

Amberly Prykhodko has been partnering with Edward Andrews, Founder of Second Chance Re-Entry Initiative Program (SCRIP), to deliver specialized training to individuals in Andrews' hometown of Hartford, CT.

IJRD student interns Alissa Bell and Christy Myers are assisting Amberly to lead the delivery of Andrews' ASCEND program to men returning home from incarceration to the greater Hartford area. ASCEND is a program Andrews developed after he read Carrie Pettus' article entitled, Proposing a Population-Specific Intervention Approach to Treat Trauma Among Men During and After Incarceration. ASCEND helps men address the impact of trauma on their lives and facilitates their progressional growth and development.  

Edward and Amberly also facilitated a training on Sept 30 for the Hartford Reentry Welcome Center. The training focused on helping reentry workers understand the impact of traumatic events on the individuals they serve and provided attendees with best practices on creating safe environments for trauma survivors and how to develop rapport and effectively work with individuals returning home from prison who have experienced trauma.

Well-Being Corner

                                                                                                         Image credit: Andrew Neel from Pexels

It seems like many of us are dealing with what can only be described as "COVID crash." We are more than 18 months into the pandemic and, although the national cases are dropping, there does not yet seem to be a clear end in sight. The ambiguity of what the future holds may be resulting in you feeling disconnected, fatigued, depressed, anxious, or other feelings. Read this recent NPR article full of tips to help you deal with COVID crash as we head into the holiday season. 

Also, many of us would benefit from increasing our quality of sleep. According to the CDC, adults need roughly 7 hours of sleep per night, although in some communities 30-40% of us are not reaching that goal. Additionally, individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color (or, BIPOC) are less likely to reach 7 hours of sleep per day than those who identify as White, exacerbating stress and burnout.

Here are some suggestions to get you started!

  1. Schedule brief periods of rest into your schedule to ensure you can take time to move and clear your mind. 
  2. Set a consistent bedtime and do your best to honor it.  
  3. Do your best to set aside your devices before bed to allow your mind and body time to wind down.
  4. Search out online/app-based guided meditations and "sleepcasts" to help you fall asleep and get back to sleep should you wake up during the night. We recommend Insight Timer (free) and Headspace (subscription). Just 5 minutes a day of mediation has been shown to reduce anxiety and boost mood!

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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