Project Title

Straight from Clinicians' Mouths: A Qualitative Exploration of Barriers to Rural Reentry

Authors' Affiliations

Alyssa P. Gretak, MA Jill D. Stinson, PhD Department of Psychology East Tennessee State University

Location

AUDITORIUM ROOM 137B

Start Date

4-4-2018 9:40 AM

End Date

4-4-2018 9:55 AM

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Jill Stinson

Faculty Sponsor's Department

Psychology

Type

Oral Presentation

Classification of First Author

Graduate Student-Doctoral

Project's Category

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract Text

Offenders returning to the community face a multitude of barriers in the reentry process, including limited resources for mental health treatment, restricted employment opportunities, difficulties with housing, and community stigma. Considering the impact of such barriers, it comes as little surprise that approximately two-thirds of returning citizens are rearrested within three years of release. There are unique, but often unexamined, challenges for offenders returning to rural communities, including lack of transportation, limited access to public or private healthcare, and often extreme poverty. It is also possible that exacerbated barriers to successful treatment and reintegration occur for offenders who have committed specific offenses (i.e., sexual crimes). Treatment providers who work regularly with offenders are familiar with challenges that their clients face, offering unique perspectives from their field of work.

Qualitative interviews were conducted with 38 treatment providers in social work, counseling, clinical psychology, marriage and family therapy. Using NVivo 10 software, interview footage was transcribed by trained research assistants. Qualitative data were subjected to a two-stage thematic analysis. Initial themes were identified and then examined for overlap and commonality. Similar themes were then condensed into more distinct themes and subthemes, which were then coded from transcripts. Given the additional barriers for offenders returning to a rural community, the purpose of this study is to qualitatively explore the specific impact of rurality on reentry from the perspective of those providing court-ordered treatment services. This was done via the examination of subthemes that emerged under the general theme of "Rural Needs." Each subtheme will be defined and explored individually, as well as in the general context of rural needs, to provide more in-depth understanding of rural offender reentry. A majority of the research on policy and programming for offenders is based in urban areas; however, translating urban models of care to rural communities is difficult. Implications for the impact of rurality on successful reentry in terms of the criminal justice system and treatment will be discussed.

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Apr 4th, 9:40 AM Apr 4th, 9:55 AM

Straight from Clinicians' Mouths: A Qualitative Exploration of Barriers to Rural Reentry

AUDITORIUM ROOM 137B

Offenders returning to the community face a multitude of barriers in the reentry process, including limited resources for mental health treatment, restricted employment opportunities, difficulties with housing, and community stigma. Considering the impact of such barriers, it comes as little surprise that approximately two-thirds of returning citizens are rearrested within three years of release. There are unique, but often unexamined, challenges for offenders returning to rural communities, including lack of transportation, limited access to public or private healthcare, and often extreme poverty. It is also possible that exacerbated barriers to successful treatment and reintegration occur for offenders who have committed specific offenses (i.e., sexual crimes). Treatment providers who work regularly with offenders are familiar with challenges that their clients face, offering unique perspectives from their field of work.

Qualitative interviews were conducted with 38 treatment providers in social work, counseling, clinical psychology, marriage and family therapy. Using NVivo 10 software, interview footage was transcribed by trained research assistants. Qualitative data were subjected to a two-stage thematic analysis. Initial themes were identified and then examined for overlap and commonality. Similar themes were then condensed into more distinct themes and subthemes, which were then coded from transcripts. Given the additional barriers for offenders returning to a rural community, the purpose of this study is to qualitatively explore the specific impact of rurality on reentry from the perspective of those providing court-ordered treatment services. This was done via the examination of subthemes that emerged under the general theme of "Rural Needs." Each subtheme will be defined and explored individually, as well as in the general context of rural needs, to provide more in-depth understanding of rural offender reentry. A majority of the research on policy and programming for offenders is based in urban areas; however, translating urban models of care to rural communities is difficult. Implications for the impact of rurality on successful reentry in terms of the criminal justice system and treatment will be discussed.