Download Full Text (476 KB)


This capstone project addressed the research question: “What are the systemic, societal, and personal barriers and facilitators to occupational participation and engagement that formerly incarcerated women experience in Texas?” The project aimed to advocate for formerly incarcerated women living in Texas by interviewing and collaborating with them to create an advocacy booklet highlighting their lived experiences. Following USAHS IRB approval, recruitment, and screening, 20 participants engaged in a semi-structured interview via Zoom. Insights on their experience post-incarceration in Texas regarding housing, employment, family, healthcare, and change were explored. The data obtained was analyzed and codes and themes were identified. When examining the results of the study, occupational participation and engagement for formerly incarcerated women were influenced by factors on personal, societal, and systemic levels. The Participatory Occupational Justice Framework was used when collaborating with formerly incarcerated women to reflect and collaborate on how to address occupational injustices of occupational imbalance, occupational alienation, and occupational deprivation, as mentioned previously. Through the interview process, the formerly incarcerated women provided incredible insight and reflection on their experience post-incarceration and the changes that need to occur to properly address the occupational injustices they face. The advocacy booklet serves as the mode of collaboration between the participant and the researchers, as it creates an avenue for the voices of the participants to be amplified.

Publication Date

Spring 4-19-2024


University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences


Incarceration, Formerly incarcerated, Formerly incarcerated women, Occupational justice, Participatory occupational justice framework, Advocacy, Social justice

Medical Subject Headings

Humans, Female, Incarceration, Social Justice, Delivery of health care, Occupational therapy


Occupational Therapy | Politics and Social Change | Social Justice


Poster presented at the Virtual OTD Capstone Symposium, held online at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences on April 10-17, 2024.

Voices Beyond Bars: A Qualitative Study Examining Occupational Participation for Formerly Incarcerated Women