ACADEMIC PUBLICATIONS 2021-2023
Examining Case Dismissal Outcomes in Prosecutor-Led Diversion Programs
Epperson, M. W., Sawh, L., Patel, S., Pettus, C., & Grier, A.
Prosecutors’ offices are a critical site for criminal legal reform and decarceration efforts. Prosecutor-led diversion programs (PLDPs) are a prosecutorial innovation that process cases away from punitive prosecution and, instead, offer various services and supports. Successfully completing a PLDP results in the dismissal of the charge, which helps participants to avoid formal entry into the criminal legal system and a range of collateral consequences. This paper reports findings from over 11,000 participants in six PLDPs in three Midwestern jurisdictions, and examines race/ethnicity and charge characteristics associated with successful program completion and case dismissal.
Criminal Justice Policy Review, 34(3), 236-260.
Promoting Smart Decarceration as a Grand Challenge
Pettus, C., Tripodi, S. J., & Paseda, O. K.
America began the dramatic growth of its criminal justice system in the 1970s that led to the United States becoming the world’s largest jailer by the 21st century—a time period commonly referred to as mass incarceration. On any given day, approximately two million people are locked behind prisons and jail bars across the country, and over eleven million people cycle in and out of jails and prisons each year. As of the 2020s, there is widespread recognition that racial and social inequities fuel the constant churn of people in and out of the criminal justice and legal systems, leading to the burgeoning of advocacy groups and researchers calling to not only reform but transform the American way of conducting legal and correctional processing of crime. Promote Smart Decarceration was adopted by the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare (now powered by the Grand Challenges for Social Work) in 2015 as an organizing framework for data-driven and evaluative reforms.
In Oxford Bibliographies in Social Work. Ed. Edward J. Mullen.
New York: Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780195389678-0320.
Validation for Multidimensional Measure of Reentry Well-Being Among Individuals Who Are Incarcerated
Veeh, C. A., Renn, T., Pettus, C., & Petscher, Y.
Thousands release from imprisonment every day but no specialized measures of progress during reentry exist beyond criminal risk. This study investigates a new measure of well-being during the transition to the community called the Reentry Well-Being Assessment Tool (RWAT). The RWAT is designed as an alternative to measures of risk while responding to the challenges of individualizing program services and evaluating effectiveness.
Research on Social Work Practice, 10497315231151238.
Trauma and Prospects for Reentry
Trauma is an almost universal experience for those with incarceration histories. Lifetime traumatic experiences begin in childhood, continue in adulthood, and persist during and after incarceration. For centuries, the capacity for trauma to have a deleterious impact on social, mental, and biological functioning has been a topic of inquiry, and for years empirical work has connected trauma to crime and justice system involvement. Trauma-responsive reentry is the future state of the art for reentry. This review examines the prevalence and consequences of lifetime traumatic experiences for individuals releasing from incarceration and returning home.
Annual Review of Criminology, 6, 423-446
Investigating wearable fitness applications: Data privacy and digital forensics analysis on android
Hutchinson*, S., Mirza*, M., West*, N., Karabiyik, U., Rogers, M., Mukherjee, T., Aggarwal, S., Chung, H., Pettus, C.
Wearable devices are becoming more and more prevalent in our daily lives as people become more curious about how well they are doing in monitoring, improving, or maintaining their health and fitness. Fitness trackers and smartwatches have become almost ubiquitous, so these devices have begun to play a critical role in forensic investigations. In this paper, the authors conducted a forensic analysis of the controlling applications for three popular fitness bands and smartwatches (i.e., Amazon Halo, Garmin Connect, and Mobvoi) on an Android smartphone device to (1) provide forensic investigators with a road-map of forensically relevant data that are stored within these applications and (2) highlight any privacy concerns that the stored data within these applications may present to the applications’ users. Our findings indicate that the three fitness applications store a wealth of user data.
Study protocol paper for the multisite randomized controlled trial of comprehensive trauma informed reentry services for moderate to high risk young makes releasing from state prisons
Pettus, C., Renn, T., Tripodi, S., Tamberi, S.
Nearly half of the individuals who release from state prisons each year are under the age of 35; 89% are men. These young men are highly likely to be re-incarcerated. Research suggests untreated trauma symptoms contribute to high rates of incarceration and re-incarceration. As trauma symptomatology can increase during reentry, implementing trauma treatment during this time is critical. The current study fills an important gap by implementing an evidence-driven trauma intervention with young, incarcerated men and extending treatment post-release in the community.
Contemporary Clinical Trials, 117.
“People make mistakes” Stakeholders and participants’ perception of the acceptability, appropriateness, and feasibility of diversion and deferred prosecution programs
Pettus, C., Pederson, S., Curley, E., Grier, A., Epperson, M.W., Sawh, L.
Deferred prosecution programs (DPPs—also known as prosecutor-led diversion) are a type of diversion program that diverts individuals from traditional court proceedings to participate in specific program requirements in return for dismissal or expungement of their charge(s). Yet, there is no standardized DPP model applied across programs and jurisdictions, and there is little research regarding the implementation outcomes of these varied programs. The current study contributes to the continuing process of DPP program implementation, evaluation, modification, and dissemination of evidence through a multisite investigation of DPP stakeholders’ perceptions of programming. Individual interviews and focus groups with program stakeholders and participants were conducted between November 2016 and May 2017 in three jurisdictions in three Midwestern states.
Psychology, Public Policy, & Law. Advance online publication.