Institute for Justice Research and Development
College of Social Work
The Florida State University
January 2021

Amplifying Our Impact

Our word for 2021 at IJRD is 'Amplify' - we want to amplify the impact of our research by amplifying the reach of our data-driven solutions for criminal justice reform and providing a megaphone to the voices of people who IJRD’s research is about. 

Since IJRD opened its doors in 2018, we have been using science to improve lives, communities, and institutions by developing and researching innovations that reduce unnecessary reliance on the criminal justice system. Our data-driven criminal justice reform solutions produce equity and prosperity across race, socioeconomic class, and behavioral health status. 

Over the past 6 months, we have expanded our reach through participation in congressional briefings, developing and disseminating relevant trainings for a range of stakeholders, and validating the Well-Being Development Model - the theoretical model that provides the foundation for everything we do at IJRD. Moving forward, we are growing to meet the needs of our stakeholders and plan to expand the impact of our work across the nation.

Thank you for your continued support and interest in our burgeoning body of work. 

Warm regards,

Don't forget to take action to support our work, like us on Facebook, join us on Twitter, follow us on LinkedIn, and watch us on YouTube

5-Key Model Preliminary Outcome Trends
Click the image to read our newest report which presents preliminary findings from the 5-Key Model study! Our findings suggest:
  • Participation in 5-Key Model services is associated with reduced reincarceration for study participants at 8 and 15 months post-release.
  • Increased overall well-being and increased well-being on each of the 5 Keys were associated with reduced reincarceration.
  • Simply having a job was not associated with reincarceration or well-being - instead, the positive association between Meaningful Work Trajectories and well-being occurred through reported employment aspirations. 
  • 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. 
IJRD Impact
Since IJRD's founding in 2018, our faculty, staff, and students have been hard at work conducting rigorous research in 15 states across the nation. We work with policymakers, advocates, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, jail and prison administrators and staff, and service providers in hundreds of communities to ensure that our data-driven solutions are translated into durable changes to policy and practice.

Click the image to learn about IJRD's metrics and impact! 
Professional Trainings
Over the past six months, IJRD launched two new trainings series; several additional trainings are under development.

Learn about these exciting trainings and how you can purchase them for your organization below!
Click the image to learn more about and register for an innovative web-based interactive training we developed with our partners at the Florida Sheriff's Association! This training was designed to help law enforcement officers recognize traumatic stress’ physical and mental indicators and practice managing and responding to that stress both on and off the job. Trainees will also learn to identify potential trauma symptoms in their peers and how to direct them to appropriate help when necessary.

This first-of-its-kind training was featured in a press conference on December 17, 2020. Click here to read media coverage of the event!

IJRD also launched an exciting video-based training series designed to help non-profit/NGO administrators and staff amplify the mission of their organization by identifying potential funding sources, preparing grant applications, designing new programs, conducting program evaluations, collecting high-quality data, and building an evidence-base for your programs. 

Click the image to learn more about this training series and register for one course or the complete series!
Policy Impact
Our work at IJRD is designed to achieve rapid policy impact through rapid dissemination of research findings across all our work. 
Carrie Pettus-Davis was also featured in a virtual Congressional Briefing on June 30, 2020. The Briefing, "Social Work and the Future of Policing," explored data-driven strategies for moving away from an overreliance on the criminal justice system to address many common issues in our communities. Pettus-Davis' goal for the briefing was to identify the importance of evidence-driven solutions to police reform that prioritized equity on racial identity, socioeconomic class, and behavioral health status. Read her recommendations here

Click the image to watch Carrie's portion of the panel!
Carrie Pettus-Davis, Founding Executive Director, joined scholars and experts for a virtual Congressional Briefing on December 2, 2020. The Briefing, entitled "Undoing Racism: Eliminating Debilitating Criminal Penalties," identified data-driven avenues to reduce or eliminate the collateral consequences of criminal justice contact.

Click the image to watch the briefing!
IJRD virtually convened the Prosecution Research Network on July 13-14, 2020 with partners at the Equitas Project (an initiative of Mental Health Colorado). The 2020 Prosecution Research Network Summit provided an opportunity for leaders and decision-makers in prosecution from every region of the country to identify research and policy strategies to improve health, reduce incarceration, and increase national safety, prosperity, and well-being.

Click the image to read the co-authored initial draft for the 2020 Framework for Prosecution and Public Health which was developed during the summit!
Carrie Pettus-Davis presented several other talks focused on translating research findings into durable policy solutions. She gave a talk entitled, “Equity throughout the Criminal Justice System: Status and Potential Solutions,” to more than 100 members of the William H. Stafford American Inn of Courts, comprised of area judges, lawyers, and law students on September 24, 2020. 

She was also a panelist on a panel entitled, “Advancing Smart Decarceration: Research and Action Toward Criminal Justice Reform”, presented at the Arizona State University State of Incarceration Virtual Summit on October 7, 2020. 
Our quarterly reports are designed to rapidly translate research findings to achieve policy impact. These reports highlight preliminary findings from our ongoing research projects and are written to be accessible to those with no formal research training. 
Click the image to learn about learn the associations between well-being and reincarceration for those individuals who participated in the 5-Key Model study in our first four states, the COVID-19-related experiences of individuals incarcerated in Indiana, Ohio, and South Carolina, and the trauma experienced by individuals incarcerated in a Florida jail.
Keeping Our Work Grounded & Relevant
The Community Advisory Board maximizes the impact of our work at IJRD by ensuring we are relevant, accessible, and equitable. Board members have lived experience of the criminal justice system and work with us to review data collection strategies and materials, enhance intervention content and implementation strategies, generate strategies to foster connection with justice-involved individuals, and identify policy gaps.
The CAB meets monthly, meetings have been exclusively virtual since March 2020. In recent meetings, CAB members have provided expert consultation on several ongoing research projects including an app under development to translate the 5-Key Model into a format that will be easily accessible to those leaving incarcerations via their smartphones, a new research project examining physical wellness among individuals leaving jail, and a project aimed at addressing the impact of trauma among young men releasing from prison. 
The National Scientific Advisory Committee  shapes and guides the science we generate and disseminate. All committee members have expertise conducting behavioral health and criminal justice research and work with us to assist with overall strategic research guidance, advise on technical aspects of the science and scientific integrity, help to expand activities in research, capacity building, and policy outreach, and facilitate research priority setting.

We meet with the NSAC twice a year. Our last two meetings have been virtual - most recently, members convened for a day and a half to review our ongoing research projects and catalyze our work in the context of how COVID-19 restrictions have kept our teams from entering correctional facilities and made meeting with study participants after their release from prison back into the community more challenging, 
Featured High-Impact Presentations
Johnny Kim, IJRD Faculty Associate, and Amberly Prykhodko, Director of Clinical and Professional Services, presented at the 2020 Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Association Conference on November 14, 2020.

Using data from the 5-Key Model study, their workshop, “Amplifying Potential in the Face of Adversity: Utilizing SFBT with Formerly Incarcerated Individuals,” provided guidance on applying solution-focused techniques to enhance work with individuals who have returned home from incarceration.
Pettus-Davis was also on a panel entitled, “Addressing Social Justice Issues Impacting Workforce Needs”, held at the Home Builders Institute Industry Convening on October 1, 2020.
Additionally, Pettus-Davis presented at the Leadership Tallahassee Class 38 Hybrid Justice Day on November 15, 2020. Her presentation highlighted key findings and data-driven criminal justice solutions identified in eight research reports. The event was hosted by Patricia McCray, a member of the IJRD Community Advisory Board.
Amberly Pryhodko, Director of Clinical and Professional Services, and Jessica Le, Program Manager, presented a talk entitled," Examining and Reforming the Treatment of Criminal Justice-Involved Men who have Experienced Sexual Violence” at the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault.
The goals were to raise awareness about high rates of sexual trauma experienced by men with incarceration histories and detail how the 5-Key Model addresses common post-traumatic reactions to sexual trauma in men as they leave prison and return home. 
Featured News Coverage
The launch of our new training program for law enforcement officers, Resiliency Behind the Badge, received a wealth of media attention in December 2020. See below for selected coverage and click here to read all of IJRD's media coverage.

"Resiliency Behind the Badge" Program enjoys bipartisan support in Florida legislature

New program helps Florida law enforcement officers recognize PTSD

Walton Sheriff Adkinson a leader in new joint training program to address post-traumatic stress

Click the image to read an op-ed authored by Carrie Pettus-Davis, Founding Executive Director, published in the News Press. The piece is entitled, "Resiliency Behind the Badge - One-of-a-Kind Training for Law Enforcement."

Pettus-Davis describes the research-backed training, which IJRD developed in partnership with the Florida Sherriff's Association. The training focuses on an officer’s mental health, including the effects of exposure to extremely stressful or traumatic events.

Click the image to read an op-ed published in the Asheville Citizen-Times by Paula Zerfoss about post-traumatic stress among law enforcement officers and how post-traumatic stress may, in the words of Carrie Pettus-Davis, "lead officers to a misappraisal of social situations that can lead to disproportionate reactions.”

This supports the need for IJRD's training programs designed to help law enforcement officers to recognize and manage their own post-traumatic stress reactions. 

Click the image to read an op-ed published in the Washington Examiner by Andrew Afifian, a policy analyst with Right on Crime. This piece highlights a recent 5-Key Model quarterly report which found that nearly half of the 5-Key Model study participants experienced severe trauma in the 8 months since their release.

Afifian calls for maintaining and increasing individuals' access to mental health and rehabilitation programs as they return home from incarceration. 

Click the image to read an op-ed published in the Orlando Sentinel by Gil Zifffer, who notes how individuals leaving incarceration and returning home deserve much more than the right to vote - they need access to opportunities to enable them to successfully rejoin our communities.

Ziffer highlights listening to experts like Carrie Pettus-Davis, Founding Executive Director, and identifying and implementing data-driven solutions.

Click the image to read an article featuring IJRD's 5-Key Model Quarterly Report which highlights the COVID-19 related experiences of incarcerated and recently released individuals.

The article details how the COVID-19 pandemic, and the restrictions enacted by communities to control the spread of the virus, affected individuals during their incarceration and shortly after their release.

A piece published in the Dallas Morning News highlighted the impact of IJRD's work in Dallas in the decision of Dallas City Council members to earmark $500,000 in grant money to help individuals secure housing and employment after release from prison.

This move was bolstered by the 5-Key Model program being tested in Dallas. Carrie Pettus-Davis, Founding Executive Director, called Dallas a "natural test site." She has said the city was well ahead of the curve on providing reentry services for its large population of individuals with incarceration histories.

Click the image to read the full story!

Click the image to read an article about a $1.9 million grant awarded by the National Institute of Justice to Founding Executive Director Carrie Pettus-Davis and colleagues from Purdue University, Florida State University, and the University of Alabama-Huntsville. The researchers are developing and testing an AI-based support system to explore whether it can help individuals faced with the stressful situations that often lead them back to incarceration.

The project also addresses obstacles faced by overburdened caseworkers. “This solution can get us on a path to substantially reduce the size of our criminal justice system, which is desperately needed in our country,” said Carrie Pettus-Davis.

Featured High-Impact Publications

Stephen Tripodi, Faculty Director of Academic Dissemination, College of Social Work colleague Michael Killian, and three College of Social Work doctoral students published a paper entitled, "Trauma-Informed Care Groups with Incarcerated Women." This article compares the effectiveness of two evidence-based programs - Seeking Safety and STAIR - on incarcerated women's trauma symptoms and well-being.

Click the image to learn more!
Tanya Renn, Faculty Director of Academic Dissemination, Christopher Veeh, Faculty Associate, Carrie Pettus-Davis, Founding Executive Director, and colleagues published an article entitled, "The Role of Preparatory Programming in Increasing the Effectiveness of a Sex Offender Treatment Intervention." The paper details the association between specialized programming and an individual's return to incarceration after release.

Click the image to read more!

Carrie Pettus-Davis, Founding Executive Director, and Stephanie Kennedy, Director of Research Dissemination, published a chapter entitled, “Building on Reentry Research: A New Conceptual Framework and Approach to Reentry Services and Research.”

The edited volume, Moving Corrections and Sentencing Forward: Building on the Record, was issued by the American Society of Criminology’s Division on Corrections & Sentencing and published by Routledge. 

Click the image to learn more!
Join Our Team
Join IJRD as Research Faculty for Behavioral Health & Criminal Justice!
We are hiring a 12-month research faculty position to implement, supervise, contribute to, and oversee our research project projects!

Click here to link to the position description.

Apply on the FSU careers website (search Job ID: 48144)!
Take Action
Support for IJRD’s research is crucial to enacting our mission to use science to improve lives, communities, and institutions by developing and researching innovations that reduce unnecessary reliance on the criminal justice system and by offering solutions that produce equity and prosperity across race, socioeconomic class, and behavioral health status.

Learn how you can join us as a Pathfinder, Luminary, or Trailblazer.
You can learn more about our policy impactmedia coverage, access podcasts and interviews, link to press conferences, and read all of our scholarship on our website

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