Lauren K. Gillis, Psy.D., is a 2017 graduate of the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • James Fauth, PhD, Committee Chair
  • Lorraine Mangione, PhD, Committee Member
  • David Hamolsky, PsyD, Committee Member


evidenced-based practice, serious mental illness, correctional settings, special housing units, implementation science, nothing works, what works, disciplinary segregation, rehabilitation

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Like the community, correctional institutions have been ill-prepared in providing care to persons with serious mental illnesses (SMIs) who engage in combative behaviors, in what generally seems to amount to innocuous social interactions. These persons have been increasingly incarcerated over the past several decades because of violent behaviors, severely complicating the effort to provide effective mental health treatment for this population. Even though correctional residential mental health units have been instituted, successfully implementing what works has shown to be, at best, transient in these settings. Through the emergence of implementation science principles, though, there is now a pathway to implement Evidence Based Programs (EBPs) in these correctional residential settings, as implementation science provides guidance for implementing state-of-the-art rehabilitative services. Key implementation drivers (i.e., competency, organizational, and leadership) correlates with the correctional science literatures, supporting the use of implementation science. This dissertation develops a model for implementing EBP in correctional residential mental health treatment units through a systematic review of both the implementation science and correctional literatures. Themes emerged for each of these drivers that provided explicit guidance to implement EBP with fidelity through this systematic review. These themes are described in the Correctional Active Implementation Frame ([CAIF]; Bertram, Blase, & Fixsen, 2015), a model that interfaces implementation science principles with correctional science intervention principles to guide the implementation process and establish a framework of best practices for implementing EBP in these correctional residential mental health treatment units. The CAIF leverages opportunities and addresses barriers that constrain EBP implementation in this complex, stressful correctional setting, thus contributing to a pathway for rehabilitation for inmates with serious mental illness.


Lauren K. Gillis

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0001-7727-4403