Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP, Chair, Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Celine I Thompson, PhD, Chairperson

Second Advisor

Stephanie H Felgoise, PhD, ABPP

Third Advisor

Jeffrey Draine, PhD


This qualitative study was conducted with ex-offenders who are currently in reentry programs and professionals who have contact with them in order to explore experiences of stigmatization, as well as access and adherence to mental-health and substance abuse treatment. A better understanding of what works and does not work, from the viewpoint of individuals actively engaged in the process of reentry, is needed in order to assist them with successful reentry. A total of 11 participants were in the study; six were in the ex-offender group and five were in the professionals group. All individuals were interviewed using a semistructured interview and completed demographic forms. The interviews were coded for emerging themes using grounded-theory research design. The themes found included (a) the barriers ex-offenders faced post release to access and adherence to mental-health and/or substance abuse treatment; (b) positive experiences with mental-health and/or substance abuse treatment while incarcerated on accessing and adhering to treatment post release; (c) impact of having a positive support system, including family, friends, and professionals, during the reentry process on recidivism and treatment adherence; and (d) the impact that stigmatization has on the treatment decision-making process.

Included in

Psychology Commons