Centenary University Professor Wins Book Award

Photo courtesy of Centenary University

By Steve Sears

Keith Morgen, Ph.D., LPC, ACS, an Associate Professor of Counseling and Director of the Graduate Counseling Programs at Centenary University, was recently recognized along with co-author, Tina Maschi, Ph.D., of Fordham University, by the Society for Social Work and Research, for their book, Aging Behind Prison Walls: Studies in Trauma and Resilience.


The book was published in 2020 by Columbia University Press, and the duo received an email regarding the recognition in December 2021, and the award was presented at the organization’s annual conference in Washington, D.C., in January.


“The book was the culmination of over a decade’s worth of our research together, where over those prior 10 years we had done numerous articles and conference presentations, all addressing the ever growing issue of older adults in prison, primarily non violent, older adults and their mental health, addiction, medical and psychosocial needs,” Dr. Morgen says. “You have so many non-violent, older adults in prison who aren’t getting the care that they need who, when they’re released from prison, after having served their time, aren’t given the psychosocial support they need to be able to effectively live after prison either.”


Courtesy of a Centenary University press release, a crisis is brewing in the American prison system: Today in the United States, more than 200,000 people over age 50 are languishing in prisons, with projections estimating that older adults will account for one-third of the prison population by 2030. In their book, the authors offer concrete proposals at the community and national policy levels for addressing the pressing issue of incarcerated older adults. Meticulously researched, the book presents a compassionate analysis of the lives of elders in prison. Drs. Morgen and Maschi explore the coping strategies used by incarcerated aging adults to create meaning in their lives.


Dr. Morgen adds, “The book addresses the very critical issue of non violent older adults in prison who require mental health, addiction, medical or psychosocial care. The book addresses the issue, why it’s an issue, and we offer some relatively pragmatic recommendations of what we can start to do to remedy the issue. We don’t say, ‘Here’s how to solve it.’ We propose ways to start the process to working towards one day how to solve it.”


Dr. Morgen, who also authored the book, Substance Use Disorders and Addictions, which was published by SAGE Publications in 2016, is the former President of the International Association of Addictions and Offender Counselors (IAAOC), and serves currently on the NAADAC (the Association for Addiction Professionals) older adult practice standards committee.


Dr. Morgen, who has been with Centenary University since 2008, is also currently working on other books he hopes to release within the next few years.


Aging Behind Prison Walls: Studies in Trauma and Resilience is available on the Columbia University Press website, and online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.