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Amy Blank Wilson

Associate Professor
Co-director of the Tiny Homes Village

Amy Blank Wilson headshot



Suite 324-C

325 Pittsboro Street

Chapel Hill, NC 27599

O: 919-962-3598

Amy Wilson, Ph.D., MSW, joined the faculty in 2014. She is currently an associate professor with more than 13 years practice experience working in the mental health and criminal justice systems. She uses her practice experience and research expertise in qualitative research, intervention research, and secondary analysis of large administrative data to explore new ways to support the complex, interlocking problems, of poverty, homelessness, substance use, and criminogenic needs facing people with mental illness involved in the criminal justice system. She is an expert in the development and testing of interventions for people with serious mental illness involved in the criminal justice system.

Her research includes more than a dozen studies focused on different aspects of people with mental illnesses’ involvement in the criminal justice system, including substance use, service accessibility, jail reentry, community participation, and gender responsive interventions for people with serious mental illness in prisons. Her research has recently expanded to include early stage intervention research focused on expanding the stock of affordable housing available to people with mental illnesses and other health conditions living on a fixed income using Tiny Homes. To accomplish this, Dr. Wilson has helped to build public/private partnership between the School of Social Work and Cross Disability Services, Inc. (XDS), a local non-profit organization. She is the co-director of the Tiny Homes Village project.

Degrees and Licenses

Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania
MSW Rutgers University Screen reader support enabled.
BA Kutztown University

Primary Program

Research/Doctoral Education/MSW Education


Safe Zone

Research and Professional Interests

Mental Illness
Dual Diagnosis
Criminal Justice

Principal Investigator

Improving Services for People with Mental Illness in Prison
Tiny Homes Village


Exploring the Causes and Consequences of Restrictive Housing in America’s Prisons and Jails.
Co-leader of the Research Working Group: Smart Decarceration Initiative for the Social Work Grand Challenges

Other Projects

Sequential Intercept Mapping - Facilitator

Recent Publications

Addressing the Complex Needs of Justice-Involved People with Serious Mental Illness within Community Behavioral Health Systems.

Tiny homes are huge for people with serious mental illnesses

How police officers assess for mental illness

Criminogenic interventions for justice involved persons with serious mental illnesses: A targeted service delivery approach.

Translating criminogenic interventions for use in community based mental health settings.

Presentations, Workshops and Media

Tiny homes are huge for people with serious mental illness. Paper presented at the 24th Mental Health Services Research Conference: “Advancing the Science and Impact of Mental Health Services Research. What’s the Next Big Thing?” Washington, DC.

Reducing Behavioral Health Inequalities in the Criminal Justice System. Presented at the Smart Decarceration Initiative 2nd National Conference, University of Chicago, IL.

Convening Experts on Cognitive Behavioral Interventions that Target Criminogenic Risk Factors among Justice involved People with Serious Mental Illness, NEOMED

Love Where You Live: A Housing Affordability Panel on Building Strong and Sustainable Community through Innovative Strategies


SOWO 921




SOWO 810

Evaluation of Social Work Intervention

2016, 2019


SOWO 923

Systematic Review and Meta Analysis



SOWO 540

Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families