Expert in behavioral health and diversion interventions across the criminal/legal system and sex offender management policies.
5447 Woodward Avenue, Rm 029
Dr. Comartin joined the WSU School of Social Work faculty in 2016, after leaving a four-year faculty position at Oakland University in Rochester, MI. She received her Ph.D. and M.S.W. degrees from Wayne State University. Her research focuses on social welfare policies and interventions for vulnerable populations in the criminal/legal system. Her early work focused on individuals convicted of sex crime perpetration and the laws that manage their re-entry into the community. Her past work also evaluates interventions designed to divert individuals with behavioral health needs from the criminal/legal system. Most recently, Dr. Comartin is working with community partners to evaluate the implementation and outcomes of Behavioral Threat Assessment and Management teams, which attempt to prevent mass violence events. Prior to her research career, Dr. Comartin worked in residential facilities for runaway and homeless youth and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. She has worked as a crisis-line worker, an intervention specialist, a case manager, and a director within these programs. Her research has been published in Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, Psychiatric Services, American Journal of Public Health, and Criminal Justice & Behavior.
Degrees and Certifications
- Ph.D., Social Work, Wayne State University
- MSW, Wayne State University
- Post-Graduate Diploma of Arts in Community & Family Studies, University of Otago, New Zealand
- BA, Sociology, Oakland University
- Social Welfare Policy
- Advanced Policy Analysis & Social Action
- Macro Theory & Practice
- Program Design & Evaluation
- Advanced Systems Analysis
Areas of Expertise
- Jail and prison diversion interventions
- Problem-solving courts
- Behavioral health interventions for law enforcement
- Individuals convicted of sex crimes
- Sex offender management policies
- Qualitative data analysis
- Quantitative data analysis
- Mixed-Methods analysis
- Program evaluation
Swanson, L., Nelson, V., Comartin, E., Kubiak, S., Putans, L., Hambrick, N., Ray, B.,
Tillander, L., Washington, A., Butkiewicz, R., & Costello, M. (in-press). Assessing
county-level behavioral health and justice systems with the Sequential Intercept
Model Practices, Leadership, and Expertise Scorecard. Journal of Community
Mental Health. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10597-022-01042-5
Kheibari, A., Hedden, B., Comartin, E., Kral, M., & Kubiak, S. (in-press). Law
enforcement and suicide calls for service: A mixed-methods study of suicide
attempts and deaths. OMEGA Journal of Death & Dying.
Ray, B., Aalsma, M., Zaller, N., & Comartin, E. (2022). The perpetual blind spot in public health
surveillance. Journal of Correctional Healthcare, 26(2), 391-395.
Comartin, E., Victor, G., Ray, B., Nelson, V., Whitehead, T., & Kubiak, S. (2022). County jails’
responses to COVID-19: Practices, procedures, and provisions of behavioral health services.
Psychological Services, Special Issue on Psychological Services to Extend Public Health and
Disease Management Approaches in Criminal Justice Settings, 19(4), 621-629.
Comartin, E., Burgess-Proctor, A., Hicks, M., Putans, L., & Kubiak, S. (2022). A state-wide evaluation of
jail-based mental health interventions. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 28(3), 433-
Ray, B., Victor, G., Cason, R., Hamameh, N., Kubiak, S., Zettner, C., Dunnigan, M., Comartin, E., &
Costello, M. (2022). Developing a cascade of care for opioid use disorder among individuals in
jail. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 138. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsat.2022.108751
Victor, G., Comartin, E., Willis, T., & Kubiak, S. (2022). Factors of recidivism among individuals with
co-occurring conditions in rural mental health jail interventions. International Journal of
Offender Therapy & Comparative Criminology, 66(6/7), 758-773. https://doi.org/10.1177/0306624X211013521
Hicks, D., Comartin, E., & Kubiak, S. (2022). Transition Planning from Jail; Treatment Engagement,
Continuity of Care, and Recidivism. Community Mental Health Journal, 58, 288-299.
Comartin, E., Dunnigan, M., & Nelson, V. (2021). Lost in transition: The behavioral health needs of
Veterans in eight county jails. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health
Services Research, 49, 104-115. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10488-021-01151-5
Bailey, K., Lee, G., Victor, G., Sightes, E., Comartin, E., Grommon, E., & Ray, B. (2021). Crisis event
dispositions following a crisis response team intervention. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal,
44(4), 310-317. http://dx.doi.org.proxy.lib.wayne.edu/10.1037/prj0000501
Comartin, E., Burgess-Proctor, A., Harrison, J., & Kubiak, S. (2021). Gender, geography, and justice:
Behavioral health needs and mental health service use among women in rural jails. Criminal
Justice & Behavior, 48(9), 1,229-1,242. https://doi.org/10.1177/00938548211017588
Hedden, B., Comartin, E., & Kubiak, S. (2021). Racial disparities in access to and utilization of jail-
and community-based mental treatment. American Journal of Public Health, 111(2), 277-285. https://ajph.apublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2020.305992
Willis, T., Comartin, E., Victor, G., Kern, L., & Kubiak, S. (2021). Individuals with mental illness who
have multiple encounters with law enforcement. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 60(2), 117-137. https://doi.org/10.1080/10509674.2020.1863298
Comartin, E., Nelson, V., Hambrick, N., Kubiak, S., Ray, B., & Sights, E. (2021). Comparing for-profit
and non-profit mental health services in county jails. Journal of Behavioral Health Services &
Research, 48, 320-329. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11414-020-09733-1
Comartin, E., Milanovic, E., Nelson, V., & Kubiak, S. (2021). Mental health identification practices in
jails: The unmet needs of the 'silent' population. American Journal of Community Psychology,
Special Issue on Criminal Justice and Community Psychology: Our Values and Our Work, 67(1/2), 7-20.
Comartin, E., Burgess-Proctor, A., Kubiak, S., Bender, K., & Kernsmith, P. (2021). Comparing women’s
and men’s sexual offending using a state-wide incarcerated sample: A two-study design.
Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 36(7/8). https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260518772110
Comartin, E., Nelson, V., Smith, S., & Kubiak, S. (2021). The criminal/legal experiences of individuals
with mental illness along the sequential intercept model: An eight site study. Criminal
Justice & Behavior, Special Issue on Smart Decarceration, 48(1), 76-95.