2021 Recipients


Refugee Camps or Prisons: Understanding the Impact of Encampment as a form of Institutionalization on Aging Refugees
Dr. Tala Al Rousan

Tala’s project aims at describing the experiences of living in a refugee camp as an older adult from the perspective of older refugees from the Middle East and East Africa who have been resettled in the United States. She will also be examining perceptions of cognitive and physical disabilities related to encampment and barriers and facilitators to healthy aging in previously encamped refugees


A Quantitative Exploration of the Health, Treatment, and Reentry Needs on Aging Veterans in Prison
Dr. Jennifer Bronson and Dr. Andrea Finlay

Aging veterans in prison are overlooked in research, despite evidence that incarcerated veterans are more likely to be older than nonveterans in prison and that older people in prison are more likely to have chronic health conditions than their younger counterparts. The purpose of this study is to better understand the health status and treatment needs of aging veterans (age 50 and older) in state prison as compared to aging nonveterans and younger veterans. The overall goal is to identify the unique medical and mental health treatment needs of older incarcerated veterans and other factors, such as housing and employment, that need to be addressed as they transition from prison to the community. The study will use data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ Survey of Prison Inmates (SPI) to accomplish its aims.


A Multi-Methods Study of Barriers and Facilitators of Compassionate Release During COVID-19
Dr. Jennifer James and Dr. Meghan Novisky

The COVID-19 pandemic created a historic acceleration in the rate of compassionate release requests, as advocates and sentencing courts recognized the tremendous risk of harm the pandemic posed to individuals incarcerated in overcrowded, under-resourced prisons. There is a critical need to understand how this mechanism is being utilized as a part of pandemic risk mitigation strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using quantitive and qualitative methods, we will assess if and how compassionate release programs have been utilized across the US and barriers and facilitators to decarcerating vulnerable individuals during the pandemic.


Building Knowledge and Networks to Improve Health and Social Service Outcomes for Older Justice-Involved Persons: A Pilot Study
Dr. Daina Stanley

Grounded in community-based research, this project explores the re-entry experiences of older adults through participatory qualitative research. The study aims to identify barriers to health and social care services and programs for older persons experiencing community transition in Maine to inform the development of health and social services that better reflect the reentry realities of older justice-involved persons. The project reflects a collaboration with the Maine Hospice Council and Centre for End of Life Care and is an important first step in fostering long-term academic-community connections that will produce critical knowledge and advocacy in the field of criminal justice health in Maine specifically and the U.S., more broadly.