252704 Community disorganization from the perspective of the re-entry population: A photovice project with ex-offenders transitioning back into a community with high rates of incarceration

Monday, October 31, 2011

Suzanne M. Dolwick Grieb, PhD, MSPH , Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Denise Baker , Group Ministries Baltimore, Baltimore, MD
Horace Smith , Group Ministries Baltimore, Baltimore, MD
Jonathan Ellen, MD , Division of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Background: “Places” are an important aspect of public health. As a result of the social disparity of incarceration, some communities experience concentrated levels of incarceration. It has been argued that when communities take in larger numbers of returning prisoners than can be adequately accommodated by existing social networks and systems, community norms are affected, disorder increases, and crime rates rise. This social disorganization and its related stresses have important consequences on individual and community health. This study seeks to explore the community consequences of high incarceration from the perspective of the ex-offenders re-entering into one of Baltimore's highest re-entry communities. Methods: In the summer of 2011, ex-offenders re-entering into the Greater Rosemont community of west Baltimore will complete a 10-week photovoice project exploring why support services for ex-offenders are needed in their community. Participants will identify six photo assignments and use their cameras to document and then critically discuss the social disorder that is directly and indirectly related the high rates of incarceration in their community. Discussion sessions will be audio taped and transcriptions will be inductively analyzed. Conclusions: Participants will consolidate their messages and decide on photographs to display publicly. Each photographer is then able to write a commentary to the photograph, discussing its meaning and relevance to the issue of concern. These will be presented in a community art showing and will be used in ways identified by participants in an effort to increase community mobilization, engage policy makers, and encourage research on structural interventions.

Learning Areas:
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the uses of photovoice, a participatory research method 2. Describe issues in communities with high incarceration rates from the perspective of the re-entry population 3. Discuss the uses of participatory research results in community, political, and academic settings

Keywords: Community, Incarceration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am a postdoctoral fellow in a community based participatory research program, and have partnered with an organization that provides transitional housing and job training programs to the ex-offender population in a community with high rates of poverty and incarceration.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.