Sheryl Kubiak

Sheryl Kubiak

(currently on a research leave) Dean and Professor; Director, Center for Behavioral Health and Justice

Intersection of criminal/legal systems and behavioral health


Sheryl Kubiak


Sheryl Kubiak, Ph.D. is the Dean of and a Professor in the Wayne State University School of Social Work and Founding Director of the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice. Prior to her current position, Dean Kubiak was a professor in the College of Social Science, Department of Social Work, at Michigan State University and a research associate in the Institute for Research on Women and Gender and the Substance Abuse Research Center – both at University of Michigan. Dean Kubiak obtained her graduate degrees from the University of Michigan (M.S.W., 1988; Ph.D. in Psychology, 2002) and a bachelor's in Social Work with a minor in Business Administration from Madonna University (1987).

Dean Kubiak’s interest in the intersections between criminal/legal systems and behavioral health began 30 years ago when she developed and administered a long-term residential re-entry program in Detroit for pregnant women addicted to crack cocaine. Since then, Dean Kubiak has received funding from national (NIMH, NSF, NIDA) and state (MDOC, MDHHS) government, as well as foundations (i.e., Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Skillman, Flinn) to research and evaluate projects such as substance abuse treatment within prisons, mental health courts, and integrated substance abuse and mental health treatment for those involved in the legal system. Professional contributions include involvement as a member of peer review panels for National Institute of Mental Health and Fulbright Awards. Currently, she is the PI on a cross-site evaluation of pilot diversion programs statewide (Michigan Mental Health Diversion Council) and a prison reentry project for those with opioid addictions. Dean Kubiak has served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration and the state’s Criminal Justice Policy Commission.

Click here to view Curriculum Vitae

Degrees and Certifications

  • Ph.D. in Psychology and Women's Studies, Univeristy of Michigan, 2002
  • M.S.W., University of Michigan, 1988
  • B.A., Social Work with a minor in Business Administration, Madonna University, 1987
  • Licensed Social Worker (LSW) Clinical/Macro, State of Michigan
  • Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW) N.A.S.W. Certification

Awards and Honors

  • National Institute of Health, Summer Training Institute. Competitive scholarship for week long training program sponsored by NIH on Cross System Research. July, 2008.
  • National Institute of Drug Abuse and Institute for the Advancement of Social Work Research; Competitive Scholarship for National Blending Conference, Seattle, WA; October 2006.
  • National Institute of Mental Health; Gender and Mental Health Pre-doctoral Fellowship, 2000 – 2002.
  • National Institute of Justice: Women in the Criminal Justice System Training
    Competitive Scholarship – Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). 1999
  • James Marshall Public Policy Fellowship; American Psychological Association, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues; Washington, D.C., May, 2002 (Awarded but declined)

Teaching Interests

  • Evaluation Methods at PhD and MSW levels
  • Inside/Out Courses on Social Welfare Policy

Areas of Expertise


  • Criminal/legal system (jail, prison, courts) and behavioral health


  • Evaluation
  • Survey
  • Secondary data analyses


  • Specialty courts
  • Mental health
  • Substance use disorders
  • Trauma
  • Intersection between criminal/legal system and behavioral health

Recent Publications

  • Comartin, E., Burgess-Proctor, A., Kubiak, S., Bender, K., Kernsmith, P. (2018 on line publication date). Comparing Women’s and Men’s Sexual Offending Using a Statewide Incarcerated Sample: A Two-Study Design. Journal of Interpersonal Violence;1-24. DOI: 10.1177/0886260518772110
  • Kubiak, S.P., Bybee, D., Campbell, R., Darcy*, K. & Fedock, G., & Cummings* C. (under review). Processes and practices associated with reporting and investigation of sexual misconduct within prison: A novel case study constructed through litigation documents. Criminal Justice Policy Review.
  • Kubiak, S.P. & Milanovic*, E. (in press). Prison as a site of experiential learning in social work education. Journal of Social Work Education.
  • Kubiak, S.P., Comartin, E., Milanovic*, E., Bybee, D., Tillander, E., Rabaut, C., Dunn, L., Hill, T. & Schneider, S. (in press). Countywide implementation of Crisis Intervention Teams: Multiple methods, measures and sustained outcomes. Behavioral Science and the Law, Special Issue on Diversion (Invited Paper).
  • Burgess, A., Comartin, E., Kubiak, S.P. (in press) Comparing female- and male-perpetrated child sexual abuse: A mixed-methods analysis. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse.
  • Comartin, E., Burgess, A., Kubiak, S.P. & Kernsmith, P. (in press). Factors Related to Co-offending and Coerced Offending Among Female Sex Offenders: The Role of Childhood and Adult Trauma Histories.
    Violence and Victims.


  • Principal Investigator. Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Stepping UP Technical Assistance. $1,000,000 2018 – 2019.
  • Co-Investigator. Combatting Opioid addiction in Michigan. SAMHSA STR award to MDHHS for $16 million. Kubiak primary evaluator on Michigan Reentry Project (MI-REP); $460,000, 2017-2018.
  • Consultant. Examining the impact of a theoretically driven women-focused program for women serving time in prison for a violent offense. Department of Justice, Office of Violence Against Women, 2016-2019. Nena Messina, UCLA, PI. $400,000.
  • Co-Investigator. Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women perpetrators of violence: a trial of a prison-based intervention (Beyond Violence). Funded by the Australia’s National Health and Mental Health Research Council (APP1108115), PI. Tony Butler, $1,411,825. 2016-2019. (Note: Australia does not pay faculty on grants, funds allotted to Kubiak include travel to Australia for meetings).
  • Co-Investigator. Suicide Prevention for at-Risk Individuals in Transition (SPIRIT). Funded by NIMH, the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ); $6.8 million. CO-PI Jennifer Johnson & Lauren Weinstock. 2015 – 2019. Kubiak 7.5% FTE.
  • Principal Investigator. Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Statewide cross-site evaluation of mental health diversion programs funded through the Governor’s Diversion Council. January 2015 – October, 2019, $1,726,400.

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