Pettus-Davis has an active portfolio of research and direct practice experience focused on criminal justice and the needs of prison populations, including recently released prisoners. Her work in this area has earned her several awards including a prestigious Impact Award for conducting research of high significance. Pettus-Davis collaborates with community practitioners to develop practical research trials and apply corrective modeling approaches to program development and evaluation. Her intervention research focuses on social support, social networks, substance use disorders, and mental health problems in justice-involved adults with the aim of interrupting the cycle of incarceration.
New guideposts developed by Carrie Pettus-Davis of the Brown School suggest that smart decarceration may be the answer to reforming America’s prison system, reducing the number of inmates and enabling a more effective approach to public safety.
The cost of incarceration in the United States exceeds $1 trillion, or six percent of gross domestic product. That dwarfs the amount spent on corrections alone, finds a new study from Washington University in St. Louis.
The St. Louis Integrated Health Network, in partnership with the City of St. Louis and two Washington University in St. Louis initiatives of the Brown School — the Evaluation Center and the Center for Social Development’s Smart Decarceration Initiative — has received a $1.8 million RE-LINK grant from the U.S. Department of Human Services Office of Minority Health to assist 18-26-year-olds who recently have been released from St. Louis’ city jail.
A bipartisan groups of United States senators announced Oct. 1 legislation that would overhaul the country’s criminal justice system, giving judges more leeway in sentencing and reducing sentences for some nonviolent offenders. A move in the right direction, said Carrie Pettus-Davis, PhD, an expert on criminal justice system reform at the Brown School, but the bill doesn’t go far enough.