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Kim Davidson Awarded NIJ Graduate Research Fellowship Program in the Social and Behavioral Sciences

Kim Davidson, PA Commission on Sentencing Graduate Student Assistant, was recently awarded the NIJ Graduate Research Fellowship Program in the Social and Behavioral Sciences for her project “The Experiences of Men with Substance Use Disorders Exiting Prison at the Height of the Opioid Crisis”. The project will follow a sample of men from prison-based drug treatment to their reentry communities. In-depth interviews will shed light on precursors to and situations of relapse and recidivism, the criminalization of traditional recovery, ability to cope with exposure to drugs and users, criminal justice supervision in reentry, and the vast emotional complexities of offender reentry. These men are tasked with maintaining sobriety in communities devastated by the opioid epidemic while simultaneously confronting the amassed complications of offender reentry. Understanding the complexities of these tasks, and the accompanying impediments, enables the reduction of relapse and recidivism through well-informed policymaking.

In addition to rigorous team-based coding of these interviews, partnerships with Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing will enable quantitative analysis of three full reentry cohorts in Pennsylvania, each followed for three years post-release. Multiple cohorts will clarify how the shifting landscape of the opioid epidemic has impacted reentry, particularly for individuals with substance use disorders and with opioid use disorders. Congratulations Kim!

Read the Penn State News story