First Advisor

Maria Talbott

Term of Graduation

Spring 2022

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Social Work and Social Research


Social Work




Black men -- United States -- Psychology, Ex-convicts -- United States -- Psychology, Racism -- Education -- United States, Recidivism -- Prevention, Psychic trauma -- Treatment



Physical Description

1 online resource (xi, 239 pages)


Black Males who have offended face major challenges stemming from their involvement in the Criminal Justice System. Once involved it is hard to get out, as exhibited by high recidivism rates and mass incarceration, issues that have plagued Black Males since slavery. There is little research on interventions to ameliorate the effects of racism on this population.

The aim of this research was to: a) create a training to help Black Males who have been involved in the Criminal Justice System deal with racism and b) evaluate the intervention. This mixed methods research utilized Constructivist Grounded Theory and Afrocentric theory lenses to explore the data. Twenty-two Black Males each participated in one of five different three-hour groups, teaching them to deal with and heal from racism.

Findings, primarily qualitative, demonstrated that intervention content on slavery, implicit bias, internalized racism, labeling, and individual and generational trauma were all highly valued by participants. Learning about racism in their lives is important to Black Males who have offended. Participants learned that starting in slavery they were characterized as criminals to justify their enslavement and the criminal labeling still happens today resulting in generational trauma that can cause them to have self-hatred, or to reject white spaces they need to embrace to have success with re-entry efforts, to reduce recidivism and collectively impact mass incarceration. Participants were anxious to learn strategies to counteract the negative consequences of racism, accordingly they embraced the presented plan to use when having a racial encounter. Participants were able to safely practice using the plan by participating in role plays, and many of the participants felt this was the most valuable part of the second half of the training. Participants learned new skills, felt the training was empowering, and wanted more. Quantitative results showed significant changes from before to after the intervention, and from before to two weeks following the intervention. Finally, research findings indicate that the intervention part of this study evolved over time and currently is the best it can be.


© 2022 Darnell Jackie Strong

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Available for download on Friday, June 07, 2024