Larry (Leo) Davis

The systemic inequities Leo has overcome contribute to his understanding and passion for systemic change in all domains of policy, economic development, and institutional programming. He intends to change the narrative of black fathers impacted by the carceral system and contribute new knowledge as to the significance black fathers have on child mental/health development, social economics, and community stability. The problems Leo seeks to solve are linked to social justice and an effort to develop programmatic solutions, policy, and refined literature that support the growth and development of black fathers, families, and children. Leo’s research embodies the Culture of Health/ social justice framework(s). Research and lived experience will be leveraged to advance the theoretical model(s) he continues to develop (Davis: Fatherhood Support & Recidivism Reduction Model and the Davis: Adolescent Mental Health & Self-Esteem Improvement Model).

Leo is a first-generation college student. He is a servant leader of the community and has overcome both the foster care and mass carceral systems. He has survived homelessness and alcohol dependency, all by the age of 17. Through adversity, he has become an advocate for truth, service, and justice, qualifying him for the HPRS program.

The Role of Fatherhood Interventions in Sustaining Well-being, Mental Health, Child Attachment, and Parenting Relationships for Fathers Impacted by the Criminal Justice System

Mass incarceration of Black fathers and the disruption of father and child relationships is a social inequality that perpetuates health disparities, fractures families, contributes to economic inequality, disrupts paternal relationships, and elevates risk factors associated with poverty. This dissertation research aims to: 1) Advocate for best practices to reduce harm and the fracturing of paternal and child relationships; 2) Challenge scholars, practitioners, and policymakers to create alternative solutions and systems to reduce the harms associated with the deprivation of liberty and the maintenance of paternal relationships between fathers and their children; 3) Discover a practical methodology that can reduce the harm of paternal relationship disruption (i.e., separation) that disproportionately impacts Black fathers and their children in the United States; 4) Advance the knowledge and literature of the social benefits associated with preserving the relationships of Black Fathers and their children through intervention strategies (i.e., fatherhood educational interventions) within the carceral and re-entry context.



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