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Prison Research Meets Practice: A Conversation on Correctional Staff Wellness

Join the Urban Institute for a conversation on wellness for correctional employees and how social science research and lessons from on-the-ground implementation can promote mental and physical health within this profession. Studies have highlighted pervasive mental and physical health conditions spurred by the unique challenges of this job, including long-term stress and high incidence of posttraumatic stress disorder. Research and practice must converge to improve environmental conditions and reduce the stigma of seeking help for those working in America’s prisons and jails.

This discussion pairs Lisa Jaegers, an associate professor who codirects a project about trauma and organizational stress among correctional workers, with Andy Potter, a 30-year veteran of the Michigan Department of Corrections who leads a national campaign on correctional officer wellness. The conversation will focus on how research and practice can come together to promote positive mental and physical health and wellness practices among correctional officials.



  • Lisa Jaegers, Associate Professor and Co-Director of the National Corrections Collaborative, Saint Louis University
  • Andy Potter, Founder and Executive Director, One Voice United
  • David Pitts, Interim Associate Vice President and Senior Research Fellow, Urban Institute (moderator)



The Urban Institute’s Prison Research and Innovation Initiative makes efforts to build evidence and spur innovation to make prisons more humane, safe, and rehabilitative environments. With support from Arnold Ventures, this Initiative leverages research and evidence to shine a much-needed light on prison conditions and pilot strategies to promote the well-being of people who are confined and work behind bars. In this series, Prison Research Meets Practice, Urban will draw on the expertise of researchers and practitioners to bridge communication divides, draw national attention to the problem of prisons in America, and ignite change. Please join the Urban Institute for these conversations between practitioners and researchers to better understand the issues we face in the quest to #TransformPrisons.


Funding for this event was provided by Arnold Ventures. For more on Urban’s funding policies, go to

We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully. Please email [email protected] if you require any accommodations or have any questions about this event.

Date & Time Tuesday, April 18, 2023

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