Our Research
Pubs! Pubs! Pubs! Print E-mail

Publications that is!  TGI is proud to be continuing its commitment to knowledge creation and information sharing with three new publications in 2014. These publications were developed by TGI’s community-based participatory research team and reflect our work in the classroom and in the community.  Descriptions for each publication are below.  If you are interested in learning more about these publications or would like a copy, please contact Elizabeth Marlow at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Nurses, Formerly Incarcerated Adults, and Gadamer: Phronesis and the Socratic Dialectic, published in Nursing Philosophy (2014)

This paper describes the first phase of an on-going education and research project guided by three main intentions: 1) to create opportunities for phronesis in the classroom; 2) to develop new understandings about phronesis as it relates to nursing care generally and to caring for specific groups, like formerly incarcerated adults; and 3) to provide an opportunity for formerly incarcerated adults and graduate nursing students to participate in a dialectical conversation about ethical knowing. Gadamer’s writings on practical philosophy, phronesis, and the Socratic dialectic provide the philosophical foundation and framework for the project.  The first phase in the project was a four-hour class within a graduate-level health promotion course during which 30 nursing students and 3 formerly incarcerated panelists engaged in a dialectic conversation about what it means to care for formerly incarcerated adults in a meaningful way. After the class, two focus groups were conducted, one with the students and one with the formerly incarcerated panelists.  Findings articulated participants’ prejudices and assumptions prior to the class, expanded sense of phronesis, and ability to consider nursing practice within a larger ethical framework.  Panelists and students left the class with a deeper understanding of one another and expressed an openness towards continued dialectic conversations together. Use of the Socratic dialectic within nursing curricula reflects a current and critical trend in nursing education to bring non-epistemologic forms of knowledge into the classroom.

Peer Mentoring for Male Parolees: A CBPR Pilot Study, accepted for publication in Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action (2015)

Background: Formerly incarcerated adults are impoverished, have high rates of substance use disorders, and long histories of imprisonment. This paper describes the development of a peer mentoring program for formerly incarcerated adults and the pilot study designed to evaluate it. The research team, which included formerly incarcerated adults and academic researchers, developed the peer-mentoring program to support formerly incarcerated adults’ transition to the community after prison.  Objectives: The purpose of the pilot evaluation study was to: 1) assess the feasibility of implementing a peer-based intervention for recently-released men developed using a Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) approach; 2) establish preliminary data on the program’s impact on coping, self-esteem, abstinence self-efficacy, social support, and participation in 12-step meetings; and 3) establish a CBPR team of formerly incarcerated adults and academic researchers to develop, implement, and test interventions for this population. Method: This pilot evaluation study employed a mixed-methods approach with a single group pre/post test design with 20 men on parole released from prison within the last 30 days. Results: Quantitative findings showed significant improvement on two Abstinence Self-Efficacy subscales, Negative Affect and Habitual Craving. Qualitative findings revealed the relevance and acceptance of peer mentoring for this population. Conclusions: This study demonstrated the feasibility and import of involving formerly incarcerated adults in the design, implementation, and testing of interventions intended to support their reintegration efforts.

“But, now, you're trying to have a life”: Family Members’ Experience of Reentry and Reintegration, accepted for publication in And Justice for All: Families and the Criminal Justice System (in press)

The purpose of this qualitative study was to: 1) understand the experience of reentry and reintegration after a prison term from the perspective of formerly incarcerated adults’ family members; 2) identify the practices and processes that occur within the family when an adult returns home from prison; and 3) articulate the impact of the family on an individual’s reintegration efforts. Six pairs of one paroled adult and one family member were interviewed, a total of 12 participants. Family members were identified and chosen by the paroled adult and did not have to be blood relations. Participants took part in three interviews. The pairs were first interviewed together and then individually. A total of 16 interviews were completed. Data was analyzed using hermeneutic phenomenology. Findings revealed that family members often took up the role of coach providing their loved ones with valuable life skills, critical analyses of detrimental attitudes, actions, and behaviors, and salient guidance in negotiating obstacles that might have derailed reentry and reintegration efforts. Family members also supported their loved ones’ evolution from rigid and ineffective roles within the family to ones that were sustainable and supportive of their long-term reintegration. Finally, family members worried about their loved ones before, during, and after their incarceration. This study demonstrated the vital role family members play in promoting the successful reentry and reintegration of formerly incarcerated adults.

Street Scholars Celebrates its One-Year Anniversary Print E-mail

earthy young marcus austin ron moss yema lee victoria perez

On June 14, 2013, the Street Scholars Peer Mentoring Program celebrated its one-year anniversary together. We have a lot celebrate!

Peer Mentoring Study - A Success! Print E-mail

yema and earthy

The Gamble Institute's (TGI) pilot study of a peer mentoring program for newly released men on parole was a success!  The study, funded by the UCSF School of Nursing, was developed and led by TGI's co-founders, William Grajeda, Yema Lee, Elizabeth Marlow, and Earthy Young.

Street Scholars Present at Scientific Conference Print E-mail

at ccrec 092912

On Saturday, September 29, 2012, Street Scholars, Marcus Austin, Victoria Perez, Ron Moss, and Elizabeth Marlow participated in the Center for Collaborative Research for an Equitable California’s First Annual Scientific Research Conference. 

TGI's Publishes First Report on NVC and Male Parolees Print E-mail


We were ecstatic when the report from our study, "Nonviolent Communication and Empathy in Male Parolees" was published in the Journal of Correctional Health Care earlier this year.  The report describes an NVC intervention developed in collaboration with men on parole.  The intervention was delievered to 30 male parolees living a substance abuse treatment program.  Study results found a significant increase in participants' level of empathy after the NVC intervention and the participants were able use the NVC skills in a variety of settings and situations.

Click here to read the abstract from exciting and seminal research report!

Don't feel like reading, click here to listen to an interview with Dr. Elizabeth Marlow discussing this important study.

If you would like a full copy of the report, contact Elizabeth at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


On September 28, 2010, Dr. Elizabeth Marlow was honored to represent TGI's Participatory Action Research Group at the 2010 State of the Science Congress on Nursing Research held at the historic Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.  The conference, sponsored by the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science, celebrated its 10th anniversary with over 500 attendees!


All of the 1.6 million individuals incarcerated in the U.S. today belong to a family.  While the deleterious effects of incarceration on the family are well known, there is little understanding of the role family plays in the reintegration process after prison. Therefore, TGI's Participatory Action Research Group was thrilled to begin the study, "What Does Family Mean to You? The Reintegration Experience of Parolees and their Families", in Summer 2010. Participatory Action Research (PAR) employs a method of inquiry that works directly with community members to develop research projects that address their specific concers.  "What Does Family Mean to You?", developed in partnership with 16 paroled adults and their family members, explores the reintegration process from both parolees' and family members' perspectives. This is one of the first studies to examine the role that family relationships and structure play in the reintegration efforts of paroled adults. Initially funded by the UCLA School of Nursing, where Dr. Marlow was a post-doctoral fellow, the study is now supported by TGI. 


In June 2009, TGI completed its first successful research project, NVC Live!.  The purpose of the project was to determine the impact of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) training on male parolees' level of empathy.  NVC teaches conflict resolution via empathic communication skills. Empathy is the capacity to understand another person's experience.  A lack of empathy is associated with antisocial and criminal behavior.


team-nvcThere were two phases to this project.  During phase one, 8 current and former parolees met weekly for ten weeks with TGI staff, and an NVC expert facilitator to learn NVC and design the education program, NVC Live!. This was project for parolees, by parolees!  During the second phase, NVC Live! was presented to the residents of Medford House, a residential drug and alcohol treatment facility fo rmen on parole.  More than 40 men recieved 15 weeks of NVC training and 30 men participated in the evaluation of NVC Live!  The evaluation included and empathy questionnaire completed before and after the program, focus groups, and indivdual interviews.