Title

REoccupy Your Life: Occupational displacement research guides program for criminal justice offenders

Start Time

4-10-2012 8:00 PM

End Time

4-10-2012 9:30 PM

Session Type

Event

Abstract

Purpose: Criminal justice settings significantly restrict an inmate’s occupational opportunities and promote occupational injustice and deprivation (Muñoz & Farnworth, 2009). Including healthy occupational choices and engagement opportunities during incarceration and measures of engagement in outcomes provides a potentially more effective way to measure success in community reintegration of offenders (Molineux & Whiteford, 1999). Using a form of action research, an occupation-based OT pilot program “REoccupy Your Life” was implemented with inmates enrolled in a community corrections facility drug treatment program. The program was based on the outcomes of a previously conducted mixed-method study that examined the utility of occupation-based assessments and examined the connections between occupational engagement, role diversity, and substance abuse (White & Rogers, 2011). The theme of occupational displacement (White, 1999; White & Rogers, 2011) was identified as a common experience of the participants and was a key concept used to develop an intervention designed to prepare participants for transition into crime-/substance-free community living. Intervention begins while offenders reside in the community corrections facility and continues as they transition into the community to support the transfer of skills learned in the facility to community living. Collaborative (Corrections Staff, offenders, & OTs) analysis of the outcomes of this project will guide the development of phase 2 of the study.

Methods:

Participants: 11 men and 10 women from a community corrections facility participated in the group-based educational activity sessions. 12 of 21 participants also had individual evaluations and goal-setting sessions. 10 offenders completed all 5 sessions.

Measures: Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM) (Clarke, 2003); Occupational Self-Assessment (OSA); Semi-structured interviews; Demographic data; Correctional Facility Data.

Analysis: Individual and group goal-setting determined the focus of the interactive educational sessions: 1) Sensory diet, processing, & self-regulation, 2) Occupy yourself: Priorities, time management, & self-identity 3) Basic budgeting (Occupy your finances), 4) Occupy your mind: ADHD & participation, 5) Social skills: Non-verbal communication & intentionality.

Additional topics addressed were sobriety, stable housing, parenting/family relationships, & prison to community as a cultural transition.

Results: Analysis pending May 2012 completion.

Summary: We apply the concept of occupational displacement in action research to a criminal justice setting through a pilot study that will inform the next step of study development contributing to occupational science while supporting successful community reintegration and countering occupational injustices.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How might concepts from occupational science and occupational justice be effective in advocating for more rehabilitative versus punitive programming in criminal justice?
  2. Considering a definition of Occupational displacement as: “when the demands of engaging in one occupation rule out, or at least place obstacles in the way of, engaging in another occupation, formerly pursued on a regular basis.” (White, 1999, p. 163),
  3. What assessment tools (e.g., control of life-circumstances, criminal thinking), research questions, or study methods might be useful in understanding occupational displacement and how it affects successful transition to community living?
  4. What other populations experience occupational displacement for which occupational science research would be beneficial and what would such a study look like?
  5. Assuming that displacement due to substance abuse and related crime has tipped the scales of these offenders’ occupational balance, how might the balance concept be used to help offenders avoid substance abuse and criminal behavior post-release
  6. How might the concept of cultural transition be used to support successful transition to community-living?

References

Clarke, C. (2003). Clinical application of the Canadian Model of Occupational Performance in a forensic rehabilitation hostel. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66(4), 171-174.

Molineux, M. L., & Whiteford, G. (1999). Prisons: From occupational deprivation to occupational enrichment. Journal of occupational Science, 6(3), 124-130. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14427591.1999.9686457

Muñoz, J. P., & Farnworth, L. (2009). An Occupational and Rehabilitation Perspective for Institutional Practice. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 32(3), 192-198. http://dx.doi.org/10.2975/32.3.2009.192.198

White, J. A. (1999). Occupation and adaptation: An ethnographic study of people with disabilities using the ADA to fight employment discrimination. dissertation, University of Southern California.

White, J.A. & Rogers, S. (2011). Occupation Displacement and Community Corrections Offenders: The Usefulness of Concepts of Occupation on Assessment, Intervention, and Policy in Community Corrections. SSO:USA 10th Annual Research Conference. Park City, Utah.

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Oct 4th, 8:00 PM Oct 4th, 9:30 PM

REoccupy Your Life: Occupational displacement research guides program for criminal justice offenders

Purpose: Criminal justice settings significantly restrict an inmate’s occupational opportunities and promote occupational injustice and deprivation (Muñoz & Farnworth, 2009). Including healthy occupational choices and engagement opportunities during incarceration and measures of engagement in outcomes provides a potentially more effective way to measure success in community reintegration of offenders (Molineux & Whiteford, 1999). Using a form of action research, an occupation-based OT pilot program “REoccupy Your Life” was implemented with inmates enrolled in a community corrections facility drug treatment program. The program was based on the outcomes of a previously conducted mixed-method study that examined the utility of occupation-based assessments and examined the connections between occupational engagement, role diversity, and substance abuse (White & Rogers, 2011). The theme of occupational displacement (White, 1999; White & Rogers, 2011) was identified as a common experience of the participants and was a key concept used to develop an intervention designed to prepare participants for transition into crime-/substance-free community living. Intervention begins while offenders reside in the community corrections facility and continues as they transition into the community to support the transfer of skills learned in the facility to community living. Collaborative (Corrections Staff, offenders, & OTs) analysis of the outcomes of this project will guide the development of phase 2 of the study.

Methods:

Participants: 11 men and 10 women from a community corrections facility participated in the group-based educational activity sessions. 12 of 21 participants also had individual evaluations and goal-setting sessions. 10 offenders completed all 5 sessions.

Measures: Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM) (Clarke, 2003); Occupational Self-Assessment (OSA); Semi-structured interviews; Demographic data; Correctional Facility Data.

Analysis: Individual and group goal-setting determined the focus of the interactive educational sessions: 1) Sensory diet, processing, & self-regulation, 2) Occupy yourself: Priorities, time management, & self-identity 3) Basic budgeting (Occupy your finances), 4) Occupy your mind: ADHD & participation, 5) Social skills: Non-verbal communication & intentionality.

Additional topics addressed were sobriety, stable housing, parenting/family relationships, & prison to community as a cultural transition.

Results: Analysis pending May 2012 completion.

Summary: We apply the concept of occupational displacement in action research to a criminal justice setting through a pilot study that will inform the next step of study development contributing to occupational science while supporting successful community reintegration and countering occupational injustices.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How might concepts from occupational science and occupational justice be effective in advocating for more rehabilitative versus punitive programming in criminal justice?
  2. Considering a definition of Occupational displacement as: “when the demands of engaging in one occupation rule out, or at least place obstacles in the way of, engaging in another occupation, formerly pursued on a regular basis.” (White, 1999, p. 163),
  3. What assessment tools (e.g., control of life-circumstances, criminal thinking), research questions, or study methods might be useful in understanding occupational displacement and how it affects successful transition to community living?
  4. What other populations experience occupational displacement for which occupational science research would be beneficial and what would such a study look like?
  5. Assuming that displacement due to substance abuse and related crime has tipped the scales of these offenders’ occupational balance, how might the balance concept be used to help offenders avoid substance abuse and criminal behavior post-release
  6. How might the concept of cultural transition be used to support successful transition to community-living?