Managing the Successful Societal Reentry of Mentally Ill Ex-offender: A Delphi Study

Managing the Successful Societal Reentry of Mentally Ill Ex-offender: A Delphi Study

Author: 
William J. Hopkins
Program of study: 
D.M.
Abstract: 
The purpose of this qualitative, modified, three round Delphi study was to determine the existence of a consensus regarding programs designed to reduce recidivism among mentally ill ex-offenders. A field test was conducted to determine the content validity and comprehensibility of the first round of questions. The study involved the identification of 25 expert panelist’s chosen from five different areas of expertise including corrections, parole, probation, mental health, and academia. These experts constituted the panelist’s for the study. The on-line survey site Survey Monkey was utilized as a platform for the research. The panelist’s were asked to identify the elements of a successful reentry program, methods that have demonstrated the best results. Ultimately, the use of the Delphi process narrowed down the results so the most effective approaches could be identified and a consensus could result. The results may be helpful to others in the field of criminal justice endeavoring to improve the focus of their reentry programs so as to achieve the best possible outcomes.
Dedication: 
This dissertation is dedicated to my wife, Marijon, for her love, patience, support and sound advice. The dissertation is also dedicated to my children, Melissa, Tiffany and Tamberly, Maren, Siobhan, and all of our grandchildren. I would also like to dedicate this dissertation to my incredible parents, Robert and Alvina Hopkins, whom I wish had lived to see me achieve this accomplishment. Last but not least, this dissertation is also dedicated to my older brother Bob, who has encouraged and supported me throughout my life. Thank all of you for believing in me.
Acknowledgements: 
This project would not have been completed without the assistance of a lot of people. First and foremost, I wish to thank my mentor, Dr. Richard J. DeParis. I cannot express adequately the depth of my appreciation for his patience, guidance, support, humor and knowledge. Secondly, I wish to thank my committee members Dr. Peggy Coplin and Dr. Gail Zwart for their support, for agreeing to work with me, and for their patience while I persevered in this endeavor. I have had the good fortune to become involved with a small upstate New York educational facility named Keuka College, where I completed my second Master’s degree. I have met many good people at this school. There are too many to list, but I need to name a few of them. Dr. Frank Colaprete, Dr. Richard Martin, Dr. Rolf Zergus, Dr. Tom Tremer, Dr. Anne Killen, and other exceptional people at Keuka College have provided me encouragement throughout this lengthy process. I thank them so much for their professional support. I would also like to thank my friend Tina Klein for her assistance early on in the project. In order for a Delphi study to be effectively undertaken, experts who have nothing to gain need to be willing to donate their valuable time for someone they may not even know. I was so fortunate to be able to connect to 25 outstanding, concerned, committed criminal justice, mental health professionals, and academics willing to assist me in my research. Without their help, I would not have been able to complete this dissertation. I am so thankful to them for their contributions to this effort.