Associate Director and Research Professor, SSRC
Coordinator of Research and Development for MASEP, DUI Intervention for First Offenders, SSRC
Affiliated Faculty, Department of Sociology, Mississippi State University
Ph.D., Sociology, Mississippi State University
M.A., Clinical Psychology, East Carolina University
Since 1994, Dr. Robertson has been conducting multi-site and longitudinal research on adolescents and adults with behavioral health problems and involvement in the justice system. She has been the Principal Investigator (PI) on five National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)-funded projects that targeted individual-level risk behaviors, including HIV/STI risk reduction, and behavioral change interventions. She was also the PI of the MSU Research Center of the NIDA funded Juvenile Justice Translational Research on Interventions for Adolescents in the Legal System (JJ-TRIALS) Cooperative Research Initiative, a multi-site, multi-research center implementation intervention initiative charged with bolstering the ability of juvenile justice agencies to address unmet client needs related to substance use while enhancing inter-organizational relationship between juvenile justice and local behavioral health partners.
Dr. Robertson is an expert on the mental health service needs of justice-involved youth. Before coming to Mississippi State University, she worked in community mental health and substance use treatment for 16 years. She developed and directed the ARK, the first state funded residential substance abuse treatment program for adolescents in Mississippi. Beginning in 2000, she conducted state funded studies that a) documented the prevalence of mental health and substance use disorders among incarcerated youth in Mississippi, b) evaluated the provision of training and technical assistance to juvenile detention centers to promote the adoption of a tool for juvenile screening and the linkage to care for youth in need of suicide prevention and other mental health services, and c) monitored juvenile detention center compliance with several state laws that resulted from her research.
Another area of research focus is recidivism. Since 2007, Dr. Robertson and her Research and Development team conduct research and program evaluation of MASEP with the aim of reducing DUI recidivism (i.e., a subsequent arrest for impaired driving). This work has resulted in revisions to the MASEP curriculum and the offender assessment as well as a gender-specific model for recidivism prediction. Dr. Robertson has also developed methods for measuring recidivism among youth involved in the juvenile justice system.
Dr. Robertson has published in Implementation Science, Child Abuse & Neglect, Journal of American College Health, Journal of Applied Measurement, American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Health Education and Behavior, Substance Use & Misuse, Criminal Justice and Behavior, AIDS Education and Prevention, Journal of Adolescent Health, Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, and Accident Analysis and Prevention.