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+ Victoria Goldberg, MA The Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence (ACE!) George Mason University The Use of Peer Navigation in the Criminal Justice.

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Presentation on theme: "+ Victoria Goldberg, MA The Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence (ACE!) George Mason University The Use of Peer Navigation in the Criminal Justice."— Presentation transcript:

1 + Victoria Goldberg, MA The Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence (ACE!) George Mason University The Use of Peer Navigation in the Criminal Justice System

2 + Peer Navigation Individuals who work in a service-provider setting who share a specific identity with the clientele they are working with Traditionally used in mental health service providers for individuals with mental illness and/or substance abuse disorders Draws on theories of: Social support Experiential knowledge Helper-therapy principle Social learning theory Social comparison theory 2

3 + Previous Empirical Findings Fill gaps in service provision Tentative but positive support in early studies Challenges Boundaries Distinct roles Accountability Stress Growth and adoption around the world 3

4 + Returning Citizens in DC Approx. 6,000 DC residents serving felony sentences in FBOP custody DC DOC reports 54% have Axis 1 Disorder and 22% have a SPMI (2007) 70% of the 16,000 adults under parole supervision in DC have a substance abuse history and 30% have a mental health diagnosis (2008) Residents sent to FBOP facilities around the country 4

5 + Methods and Analysis 3 modes of data Field observations and informal interviews with staff Focus groups with past and current clients Administrative data from clients 5

6 + General Themes Challenges of being a peer advocate Legitimacy Programmatic Challenges 6

7 + Challenges to being a peer advocate Liminality - the state of being in between two distinct identities Social worker/ Peer supporter “Survivor” of the mental health and criminal justice systems CJ history as an impediment to doing your job Advocates for clients wants over what may be best for them 7

8 + Legitimacy 8 “It’s good to have them in your corner because they have similar experiences and give good advice.” “He can’t get away from me. Being a peer advocate, he understands what this is about with the inmate aspect and the mental health aspect of it. Don’t ask him anything if you don’t want the truth. He’s very direct. And that’s good because it gives me a perspective.”

9 + 9 “Just knowing that when you slip, he’s there to grab you. He’s gonna tell you you’re wrong and a lot of us can’t handle that. A lot of us need a babysitter. He won’t do that. He’ll tell you what you did wrong and how to fix it. We need that. Other people who haven’t been where I’ve been, people will spoon-feed you on that. When you’re ready, he’s ready. I don’t need anybody telling me not to worry about it. Reality check. You need to do x, y, and z. That’s why I get up everyday and go to work. He’s an example. It’s not only what he says, but what he does.”

10 + Discussion Is the legitimacy the peer advocates bring to an organization enough? Client outcomes - social capital vs. human capital Added challenge of having a CJ background Implications Added legitimacy and mentorship opportunities for organizations who work with CJ populations Increased client satisfaction with service providers 10

11 + Thank you Victoria Goldberg, M.A. Graduate Research Assistant Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence (ACE!) 11

12 + DCRISES Overview 94 cases over the two-year period 25 cases were never formally opened 88% Male 78% Black (Not Hispanic/Latino in origin), 19% Black or African American (Ethnicity Unknown), 1.5% Black or African American (Hispanic/Latino), 1.5% Not specified Most clients >30; 1 / Over ½ had multiple mental health diagnoses 66% did not have housing at first contact Approx. 80% of clients were incarcerated when they began services Approx. 50% of clients referred from clinicians (FBOP or community) 12


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