Brandy Henry



Dr. Henry is a clinician scientist who uses her years of practice experience to inform her research which aims to improve the health of criminalized populations. Her unique combination of research and practice experience led to her appointment by the Governor of Massachusetts to the state's Restrictive Housing Oversight Committee which oversees housing conditions in Massachusetts’ prisons and jails. Dr. Henry also serves on the board of directors of multiple grass roots non-profits which provide direct services to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people. Her work in these roles acts to ground her research in the complexity of translating research to inform policy and practice.

Dr. Henry received her Doctorate in Social Policy (Behavioral Health track) in 2019, and her Master of Arts degree in Social Policy (Behavioral Health track) in 2017 from the Brandeis University Heller School for Social Policy and Management.  While at Brandeis, she was awarded a Brandeis University Heller School Doctoral Fellowship (2018-2019), a Harvard Kennedy School Rappaport Institute Public Policy Summer Fellowship (2016), and a Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (2015-2018). Dr. Henry also received a Master of Social Welfare degree from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2012, and is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) in the state of Massachusetts.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in the field of Psychology, with minors in Statistics and Biology at Boston University (2006). 

Dr. Henry's dissertation research documented social determinants of incarceration, with a focus on the role of trauma for incarcerated people with mental health, and substance use disorders. In this work she used a mixed methods approach which included collecting data via in depth interviews with currently incarcerated people, and big data analysis of a secondary data set using latent class analysis and structural equation modeling. She has also been involved with NIDA funded Juvenile Justice Translational Research on Interventions for Adolescents in the Legal System (JJ-TRIALS) studies. Her work on these studies has examined implementation of organizational supports for screening, assessment, and referral to substance use, mental health & HIV treatment in juvenile justice systems. Dr. Henry has also published in the areas of private prisons, Hepatitis C drug pricing, and drug courts.

At Columbia she will continue her research which examines health disparities related to trauma, mental health, and substance use disorders within criminalized populations.