The Occupational Therapy Transition and Integration Services facilitate the development of healthy habits, roles, and routines in daily activities to promote increased opportunities for personal, educational, and vocational engagement using an evidence-informed interprofessional model.
Our mission is to provide transformational experiences to facilitate supportive transitions and lifelong community integration.
Occupational therapists facilitate participation in meaningful activities that individuals want, need, and/or are expected to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). At the core of occupational therapy is a belief that “doing” promotes health. This action of “doing” encompasses participating in practical and leisure activities, realizing goals, empathizing and managing emotions.
Occupational therapists assist the individual with the development of skill sets for:
- Planning for transition
- Seeking and managing employment
- Attaining housing and sustaining tenancy
- Connecting with supportive networks
- Managing personal finances
- Community mobility
- Coping and parenting skills
- Regulating emotions and resiliency
- Managing mental and physical health
- Engaging in healthy leisure activities
- 2.3 million individuals reside in 1,719 state prisons, 102 federal prisons, 1,852 juvenile facilities, 3,163 local jails (11 million people cycle through jails each year), and other types of detention facilities across the United States. (source)
- An additional 3.7 million people are on probation. (source)
- 97% of the incarcerated population will be released to their communities. (source)
- 67% of those released reoffend and are rearrested within 3 years of their release. (source)
- Individuals in transition face more adverse labor market outcomes, including less employment and lower wages. (source)
- Employee turnover is high and is a burden to employers.
OTTIS addresses the existing challenges of mass incarceration and employment in order to aid individuals in their transition after incarceration. Success stories of participants within the program drive the continued effort of the occupational therapy team.
Individual Evaluation and Interventions
- Assessment: We use a variety of occupational performance and health screening tools to provide baseline awareness of individual needs for supporting activities of daily living.
- Goals: Tailored goals and a vision plan are developed together with individuals in order to ensure occupational therapy is focused on their interests and needs.
- Interventions: Applied activities facilitated by occupational therapy occur in real situations in order to support individual goals.
Occupational therapists work with individuals pre-release, helping connect them with employers and community service providers. We work with both individuals and employers to identify potential challenges due to a record of incarceration and/or social and environmental barriers in order to maximize occupational performance and reduce turnover. Community service providers help ease these challenges by providing additional resources.
Occupational therapists with OTTIS can also address workplace health and workforce development needs at the organization level. Informed by the Total Worker Health approach, a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health strategy, the holistic process involves needs assessment, evidence-informed interventions, and program evaluation.
Meet Our Team
In addition to the co-founders and the community occupational therapists, OTTIS utilizes the skills of:
- Clinical Trainees: Doctoral, masters, and associates degree students in occupational therapy, social work, and public health.
- SLU departments: The Office of Mission and Identity, School of Law, Family and Community Medicine, The Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business, Career Services, Workforce Development Center, the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, the School of Social Work, and the criminology and criminal justice program.
- Collaborative network: Includes a wide variety of community service providers, local and state government agencies, and volunteers to support housing, employment and community engagement.
Students and Volunteers
Students and volunteers work with SLU OTTIS practitioners at local justice settings and in the community. Capstone students also carry out a research project.
We accept applications on a rolling basis for the following
- Level II occupational therapy (OT and OTA) fieldwork
- Master's and doctoral capstones (related fields)
- Dissertation research (related fields)
- Volunteer experiences
Application materials include the following:
- Two references
- Brief essay describing your interest and experience (if any) related to this work
- Timeframe of your learning experience
- Area of interest, if any (e.g. workplace health, transition programming)
Email your application to: Program Director, Lisa Jaegers, PhD, OTR/L at Ljaegers@slu.edu.
Events, Training and Education
Meetings and Conferences
3400 Pershall Road, St. Louis, MO 63135
March 26 - 29, 2020
Series of justice-based OT meetings. Find news about the conference on Twitter by following #JusticeOT.
221 North Grand Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63108
November 4-6, 2020
SLU Justice-based Occupational Therapy Transition and Integration Services (OTTIS)
Learn about the history of mass incarceration and utilizing principles of public health and occupational science to inform your practice in JBOT. At the end of this training, practitioners will be able to articulate the distinct value of JBOT, perform assessments, identify interventions, and implement program evaluation. We welcome OT and OTA practitioners and students to participate in this training. Proceeds from the course go directly back to the SLU OT Transition & Integration Services (OTTIS) program to support the development and delivery of our services. Contact Christine Hayes at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.