Date of Award
Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
occupational therapy, prison, community, transition services, cognitive disabilities, recidivism
Individuals with cognitive disabilities face unique challenges in their transition and integration from prison settings. Occupational therapy offers tailored, client-centered reentry services to address their needs and the evidence on impact is limited. The purpose of this project was to examine the efficacy of strengths-based, occupational therapy-led reentry services on the reentry of individuals on probation and parole with a cognitive challenge into society following incarceration. I used a retrospective, mixed methods design to complete this project. Community-based reentry services were provided post-release in the local St. Louis community. Participants included both occupational therapy practitioners tracking process and impact measures, and individuals on probation and parole receiving group occupational therapy services. Skilled occupational therapy services were provided for this population in both individualized and group settings. The Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM) was used to assess occupational performance problems and associated goals, and client files were analyzed to understand facilitators and barriers to participation, employment and housing status, and recidivism. A post-intervention survey was administered to learn more about client perceptions. 19 adults (16 male, 3 female) participated in the program. There was a statistically significant clinical improvement for participation in priority occupations and satisfaction with performance for over 50% (n=11) of participants as measured on the COPM. After participation in the program, 100% of individuals maintained stable housing, and only one individual was rearrested. Findings support the feasibility of the Occupational Therapy Transition and Integration program as an efficacious method of facilitating the successful re-entry of formerly incarcerated individuals.
Foster, Kathryn E., "Occupational Therapy's Role in Helping Individuals in the US Justice System Transition from Incarceration to the Community" (2023). Occupational Therapy Capstone Presentations. 103.