Why Correctional Service Providers and Researchers Should Focus on Intersectionality and Recommendations to Get Started


Across disciplines, there has been increased attention to understanding and addressing compounded oppression and marginalization associated with intersecting identities. We argue that involvement with the criminal justice system can, in itself, represent an identity (self-ascribed or not) that interplays with other demographic and systemic variables, making it more difficult for these clients to disconnect from the system. We offer our perspective on integrating conversations and tools focused on intersectionality into assessment and interventions that address criminogenic risks, recommendations for adopting a mixed-methods approach to researching intersectionality in correctional settings that better accounts for individual variability, as well as suggestions for advocacy, policy reform, and graduate-level training. With its emphasis on diversity and multiculturalism, health service psychology and related professions are uniquely poised to help correctional agencies move in a more inclusive direction that will likely improve client well-being and prosocial reengagement as well as reduce continued systemic oppression.

Publication Title

Criminal Justice and Behavior