APHA Presentations sponsored in part by PGSA funding

ssingh2's picture
New Orleans
United States

On Monday, November 17, 2014, I had the opportunity to present my current research at the American Public Health Association within the Black Caucus of Health Workers session regarding Reentry of offender populations in the New Orleans Area. This area of research is particularly exciting regarding its connection to International Development conversations around post-shock resilience mediated within the context of concentrated disadvantage. Without question, the concentrated disadvantage we see in New Orleans was impacted by recent natural and economic shocks. 

I was asked to present back-to-back sessions. They were titled: 

  1. How do individual psycho-social characteristics of high risk offenders interact with different urban environments to determine reentry outcomes?
  2. Providing wrap-around services to the highest risk ex-offender populations in the most violent crime areas of New Orleans: Re-entry Outcomes of 484 target offenders 

I shared with panel with scientists looking at 'School to Prison Pipeline' and 'Synthetic Cannabinoids'. My conversation was more geared towards identifying the dynamics of vulnerability including Trauma, PTSD, weak family support and intense neighborhood violence along with criminogenic markers to show they amplifying effects on recidivism. In resilience literature, both psycho-social and household economic, this phenomena can be compared to the experiences seen in post-disaster Haiti scenarios where access to positive and negative social and instituational mechanisms deeply impact short and long term outcomes toward or away from resilience.

The second paper works towards exploring intervention mechanisms aimed at being more sensitive to client social and eocnomic vulnernabilities, with a heavy 'case management focus. Temporal issues abound in these outcomes, starting with time incarcerated having a un-recognized impact on the ability for an individual to regain strong human capital in a post-release environment. This is coupled with exposure time with planned social services, which cannot begin to address the fullness of client vulnerability in the time given (3 months) to reenter them in society. Ultimately, those better off did better with this form of additional help. This is a consistent finding when dealing in intense resouce-constrained environoments.

My work in this subject continues as I am exploring how 'place matters' regarding releasing ex-offenders into more violent versus less violent areas, and the impact of that on recidivisim. This builds on theories around social ecology, social disorganization and role accumulation and effacy work. These inquiries may begin to establish an evidence-base for more person- and place-centered vulnerability mediation, particularly building 'resistence' to shocks along with utilizing adaptive learning already gained by those exposed to multiple types of shocks.

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