Session: Measurement Development to Increase Rigor of Research on Corrections and Criminal Justice Interventions (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

All in-person and virtual presentations are in Mountain Standard Time Zone (MST).

SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

222 Measurement Development to Increase Rigor of Research on Corrections and Criminal Justice Interventions

Saturday, January 14, 2023: 9:45 AM-11:15 AM
Encanto B, 2nd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
Cluster: Crime and Criminal Justice
Symposium Organizer:
Elizabeth Curley, MSW, Florida State University
Aaron Gottlieb, University of Illinois at Chicago
Over 1.4 million people are housed in correctional settings, with approximately 550,000 released each year. Yet, recent, validated measures for use in correctional settings, with incarcerated or returning individuals remain starkly lacking in the field of social work research. When measures are available for this setting and population, they often represent impartial, outdated, or potentially harmful conceptualizations of psychosocial constructs and research processes. This symposium focuses on the development and validation of measures as a response to new frameworks for understanding and engaging in social work criminal justice research. For example, current practices of measurement during release and re-entry focus on risk for reincarceration which prioritizes unidimensional goals of reducing recidivism in common interventions without holistic consideration for human factors of re-entry. Current conceptualizations of social support for incarcerated individuals, similarly, dichotomize social support figures in interventions as either "good" or "bad" for the individual without acknowledgment of a multifaceted understanding of support. Even in our qualitative research processes, we haven't established reliable methods of investigating the experiences and justification of our participants in research processes, despite valid reasons that individuals with incarceration histories may be hesitant to engage. As social work has progressed in its understanding of criminal legal issues, new needs have been identified for the measurement of participant experiences and outcomes which have pragmatic implications for our research and the populations that it serves. The goals of this symposium are to use data and lessons learned to promote more rigorous research and interventions for individuals with incarceration histories through advanced knowledge about the measurement of research constructs and processes. Critical discussion of the practical impact on participant populations will be highlighted in relation to the most progressive understanding of these concepts and the frameworks in which they are implemented. Symposium members will present empirical evidence on the processes of measurement development, validation, and implementation for improving understanding of the needs of individuals in the criminal justice system as it relates to wellbeing while incarcerated, during research involvement, and through re-entry. Presenters detail findings from 1) a qualitative pilot of a measure developed to verify the accuracy, utility, and cultural responsiveness of qualitative interviewing content and processes with fathers in reentry and mothers partnered with fathers in re-entry; 2) a pilot trial of a prison reentry program resulting in the pilot and validation of a re-entry wellbeing measure for participant outcomes after release; 3) a measurement validation of a multidimensional social support measure developed for use during a pilot trial of a prison re-entry program with participants from 50 prisons across four states. Implications for social work research and practice will be discussed including the need to update frameworks for how we conceptualize psychosocial outcomes and research processes for individuals impacted by incarceration, dissemination of information on three newly developed measures for use with correctional populations, and increasing the accuracy of social work research to measure and respond to the needs of research participants.
* noted as presenting author
Increasing Participant Collaboration in Social Work & Criminal Justice Research: Development of the Post-Interview Validity Check
Pajarita Charles, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Jessica Lipaz, Bachelors, Columbia University
Validation for a Multidimensional Measure of Reentry Well-Being Among Individuals Who Are Incarcerated and Will Soon be Released
Chris Veeh, PhD, University of Iowa; Tanya Renn, PhD, Florida State Univeristy; Carrie Pettus, PhD, Florida State University; Yaacov Petscher, PhD, Florida State University
Validation of a Multidimensional Social Support Measure for Individuals Who Are Incarcerated
Elizabeth Curley, MSW, Florida State University; Christopher Veeh, PhD, University of Iowa; Tanya Renn, PhD, Florida State Univeristy; Carrie Pettus, PhD, Florida State University; Michael Killian, PhD, Florida State University
See more of: Symposia