Institute for Justice Research and Development
College of Social Work
The Florida State University
June 2019

Celebrate our Incredible First Year!

The Institute for Justice Research and Development (IJRD) officially began work June of 2018. Our mission is to advance science, policy, and practice to improve the well-being of individuals, families, and communities impacted by criminal justice system involvement. Our signature approach is to accelerate the adoption of scientific innovations into policy and practice to maximize the impact of evidence-driven interventions. 

IJRD began with a team of four faculty members and two employees. One year later, we are a team of 75 with faculty and employees living and working in eight states. 

We have brought in more than $8 million in contracts, grants, and philanthropic gifts and we have active research projects located in Prosecutors' and Public Defenders' Offices, Jails. Prisons, and Communities in 10 states across the nation.

Below, we highlight our accomplishments over the past year to show where we have been and where we plan to go in the future!
With warmest and sincerest thanks for your interest in our work,

Carrie Pettus-Davis

Founder and Executive Director
Institute for Justice Research and Development
Transforming the criminal justice system
Witness history in the making at an exciting narrative spoken word event Thursday, June 27 at the FSU Globe Theatre. Headliner Lamont Carey joins Bill Rone and Carrie Pettus-Davis to talk about how to use data-driven solutions to promote justness in criminal justice innovations and expand opportunity for the 12,000 men and women who are released from prisons every week in the United States.
A Celebration of Freedom with Alice Johnson 
Carrie Pettus-Davis poses with Alice Johnson at an event celebrating Alice Johnson's first freedom birthday in Memphis in May 2019. Johnson was incarcerated for nearly 22 years for conspiracy drug charges. Click the photo to learn more about her story and how her sentence was commuted.
The 5-Key Model: Our Flagship Project
The 5-Key Model for Reentry is currently being tested with more than 1.500 men and women who have released from 50 prisons into 12 urban and rural counties in four states across the country. This innovative intervention is designed to help formerly incarcerated men and women develop well-being and thrive in their communities.
You can learn more about this innovative intervention by clicking on the covers of our three quarterly reports below. 
The Post-Master's Fellowship 

We welcomed our inaugural class of 16 Post-Masters Fellows in June 2019! Fellows hailed from 12 universities and were selected from a pool of nearly 100 applicants. A first of its kind, the Post-Master’s Fellowship is the only fellowship in the nation that provides master’s level social workers in-depth, hands-on training opportunities with criminal justice-involved individuals and families. Fellows develop specialized and highly sought-after skills that provide an excellent foundation for the next steps of their career. IJRD provides fellows with intensive training, workshops and resources over the course of three years to help them develop professionally as both clinicians and researchers

“We are excited to welcome this inaugural group of fellows who are passionate about working with individuals leaving incarceration and looking to deepen their clinical and research skills,” said Pettus-Davis, “We chose to focus on recent graduates in social work because we are committed to training the next generation of workers and thought leaders on smart decarceration approaches to the transformation of our criminal justice system that is on the horizon.”

Click the image below to learn more!


Post-Master's Fellow Spotlight:
Bill Rone 
Carrie Pettus-Davis celebrates with Bill Rone at his graduation from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis in May. Rone identifies as a recovering addict and was incarcerated three times over the course of his lifetime for drug crimes. He recently celebrated nine years of sobriety and was released from prison for the last time on June 23, 2011.

“I am interested in working with justice-involved adults because I am one. I want and need to help those going through what I went through and I see a part of me in each and every person I work with,” Rone explains. “Three tenets guide my life: Help those most in need, be a part of the solution not a part of the problem, and honor the memory of my parents. The Post-Master’s Fellowship allows me to help individuals get out and stay out of the incarceration cycle and honestly, words cannot adequately describe how that feels to me.” 
We feature one of our Post-Master's Fellow's each week for #FellowsFriday. Follow us to learn about our newest team members!
Follow us here!
Open House
The College of Social Work celebrated IJRD at an Open House in April 2019 at the Augustus B. Turnbull Center. A crowd of 100 was in attendance to learn more about the newest multidisciplinary research institute to find a home at FSU. 

Newly appointed Secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections Mark Inch headlined the event. Inch spoke about the recent passage of the First Step Act and how the criminal justice system should take a holistic approach to retribution, incapacitation, and deterrence, with meaningful rehabilitation and restoration of the nearly 12,000 individuals released from prisons each week across our nation. “IJRD is an exciting new force in making meaningful change in our Florida communities,” Secretary Inch stated. Click the images to learn more!

IJRD Associate Director Dr. Stephen Tripodi introduces some of the nearly 80 current IJRD team members.       
IJRD founder Carrie Pettus-Davis is joined by reentry service providers Gregory James and Carlyle Holder.
Featured Presentations
Carrie Pettus-Davis, IJRD Founder and Executive Director, delivered a talk on how to eliminate economic disparities in criminal justice during the "Poverty in America: Critical Perspectives on Causes, Effects, and Possible Solutions" conference co-hosted by the College of Social Work and the Institute for Human Studies at George Mason University in March 2019. Click the image to view the talk and the Q&A session which followed.

Tanya Renn, IJRD Assistant Director, delivered a community lecture as part of the Engage Invest, Respond Research Lecture Series jointly hosted by the College of Social Work and the Center for the Study and Promotion of Communities, Families, and Children at FSU. Her talk was entitled, "Inside Out: Approaches to Combat Substance Use Disorder in the Criminal Justice System from Incarceration to Community Reentry." Click the image to learn more.
Teisha Sanders, IJRD Project Director, joined President Barack Obama and Actor America Ferrera as a featured speaker at the 15th annual Diversity and Leadership Conference in Dallas, Texas in April 2019. Teisha’s talk was entitled, “The Transformative Power of Second Chance Hiring,” and she discussed the tangible benefits of second chance hiring for formerly incarcerated individuals, employers, and all of our communities. Click the image to learn more.
Johnny Kim, IJRD Faculty Co-investigator and Associate Professor at the University of Denver and Amberly Prykhodko, Clinical Training Specialist will co-present an interactive workshop at the Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) Association Conference in Montreal, Quebec November 2019. The workshop will detail the use of SFBT in the 5-Key Model study and help attendees identify strategies for using SFBT to help clients strengthen coping strategies and develop positive relationships. Click the image to learn more and attend the event.
Featured News Coverage
Ending Mass Incarceration Won’t Succeed Without Giving People a Second Chance
Pettus-Davis suggests that those who receive consistent services and plan their exit from prison while still incarcerated will fare better. “Ultimately, we believe a focus on well-being that happens using a continuum of care starting from the beginning of incarceration and ending afterwards is going to produce better outcomes,” Pettus-Davis says. Read more...
Gov. Bevin Touts Research Aimed
at Long-Term Prison Reform
Principal researcher Carrie Pettus-Davis says research focusing on healthy thinking patterns, effective coping mechanisms and positive relationships among former prisoners will help Kentucky inmates get out and stay out. Even after this initial bout of research, Kentucky officials say they will continue to reenergize their research in hopes of helping more people. Gov. Bevin said that a declining prison population in Kentucky is evidence of the research’s influence. Watch the press conference here...
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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