Alumni

Leslie Salas-Hernández

PhD Student, Public Health
Leslie Salas-Hernández
Academic Institution: Emory University Location: Atlanta, Georgia Cohort Start Year: 2017
Research Topics: Behavioral and Mental Health, Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Public Policy, Public, Population, and Community Health, Violence and Trauma
Populations Served: Adolescents (12-20 years), African-American/Black, At-Risk/Vulnerable Populations, Children and Families, Hispanic/Latino/Latinx, Incarcerated or Formally Incarcerated Populations, Low-Income Communities, People with Disabilities, Urban Communities, Young Children (0-5 years)

FOCUS
Mass incarceration is a public health issue that requires continued cross-sector collaboration between community members, policymakers, public health professionals, and the justice system. Leslie plans to further drive research in community mental health and trauma, an oft-overlooked aspect of mass incarceration, in order to implement effective and sustainable community mental health efforts. Community mental health policies or programs that have been informed by multiple stakeholders are more likely to have a lasting impact on creating equitable communities.

MORE ABOUT LESLIE
Having been raised in Inglewood, California, and later working at a community mental health clinic there, Leslie has seen the intersection between mass incarceration and mental health firsthand. For her dissertation research, she plans to study police-public contact and its association with mental health in Los Angeles County.

DISSERTATION GRANT AWARDEE — MAY 2020
Understanding Police-Public Contact: The Role of Police Violence and a Police Training Intervention

My dissertation research identified patterns of exposure to police violence. Additionally, it assessed the relationship between direct and vicarious exposure to police violence and mental health outcomes. The study also explored the relationship between exposure to police violence and the anticipation of police violence, a construct which is considered to be on the pathway to poor mental health outcomes. Lastly, there have been limited evaluations conducted on interventions intended to decrease police violence, particularly in-service police trainings. I have conducted an external evaluation of a training implemented by the Baltimore Police Department, as a result of their consent decree with the Department of Justice, which will have direct internal policy implications.

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE HPRS DISSERTATION AWARDS, CLICK HERE.

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