Kevin Knight

Kevin Knight headshot in front of a TCU building

Director, TCU Institute of Behavioral Research
Professor, TCU Saul B. Sells Endowed Chair of Psychology
Professor, TCU School of Medicine

Ph.D., Experimental Psychology
Texas Christian University


Since joining the IBR faculty in 1991, Kevin Knight’s career has focused on researching substance-using criminal justice populations. He has served as the Principal Investigator (PI) on several research projects funded by NIDA (the National Institute of Drug Abuse), the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), and the National Institute of Corrections. He has also served as the TCU PI on a major NIDA Cooperative Agreement called Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies (CJ-DATS); a multisite project spanning over 12 years and focused on testing strategies to improve the implementation of evidence-based practices within a criminal justice setting. He currently serves as one of the Multiple PIs on one of two HEAL projects – the Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network or JCOIN project. Dr. Knight served with Dr. Patrick Flynn as one of the Multiple PIs on a fiveyear project for HIV-positive prisoners from North Carolina and Texas being released back into the community. This project involved conducting a randomized clinical trial of an augmented test, treat, link, and retain model. Additionally, as a Co-PI on the IBR’s 6-year NIDA-funded Disease Risk Reduction Project (DRR), Dr. Knight developed, adapted, and tested intervention strategies designed to reduce the frequency of on-going risky behaviors for HIV-positive individuals released from custody. Dr. Knight has spearheaded studies involving the development, implementation, and psychometric testing of brief screening tools for substance use disorders, psychosocial functioning, client motivation, and treatment engagement. He co-authored the TCU Drug Screen 5—Opioid Supplement and serves on multiple journal editorial boards. He participates in advisory activities for organizations addressing criminal justice, substance use, and related policy issues. His primary research interests include screening and assessment strategies, targeted and adaptive interventions, and implementation strategies for evidence-based practices within justice-involved organizations. Dr. Knight assumed the role of Director in June of 2020.

Selected Advisory and Service Activities

Publication reviewer for Offender Programs Report (Editor), Journal of Offender Rehabilitation (Editorial Board), Criminal Justice & Behavior, Criminology & Public Policy, Drug Court Review, Journal of Drug Issues, Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, Journal of Interpersonal Violence Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, Journal of Addiction Medicine, Substance Abuse Treatment Prevention and Policy

Grant reviewer for US DOJ Bureau of Justice Assistance, US DOJ National Institute of Justice, US DOJ Office of Justice Programs, NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse, SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Treatment

Faculty mentor for the University of Texas Southwestern Clinical Research Scholars program and the University of South Florida’s Department of Mental Health Law and Policy department

Advisor for the Southeast European Network of Social Empowerment network, Council of State Governments, National Reentry Resource Center, Illinois Treatment and Safer Communities, Texas Public Policy Foundation, Center for Effective Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons, multiple state and county Department of Corrections, and multiple non-profit treatment providers.

Selected Publications

Sease, T.B., Joe, G., Pankow, J., Lehman, W.E.K., & Knight, K. (2022). A psychometric reevaluation of the TCU criminal thinking scales (CTS), Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 61:3, 135-147, DOI: 10.1080/10509674.2022.2045528

Springer, S.A., Nijhawan, A.E., Knight, K., Kuo, I., Di Paola, A., Schlossberg, E., Frank, C.A., Sanchez, M., Pankow, J., Proffitt, R.P., Lehman, W., Pulitzer, Z., Thompson, K., Violette, S., Harding, K.K., & ACTION Cooperative Group (2022). Study protocol of a randomized controlled trial comparing two linkage models for HIV prevention and treatment in justice-involved persons. BMC Infect Dis 22380,

Knight, D.K., Yang, Y., Joseph, E.D., Tinius, E., Young, S., Shelley, L., Cross, D.R., & Knight, K. (2021). Preventing opioid use among justice involved youth as they transition to adulthood: Leveraging safe adults (LeSA) protocol paper. BMC Public Health. 21(1). DOI:

Lehman, W. E. K., Pankow, J., Muiruri, R., Joe, G. W., & Knight, K. (2021). An Evaluation of StaySafe, a tablet app to improve health risk decision making among people under community supervision. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 130, 108480. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsat.2021.108480

Taweh, N., Schlossberg, E., Frank, C., Nijhawan, A., Kuo, I., Knight, K., Springer, S. A. (2021). Linking Criminal Justice-Involved Individuals to HIV, Hepatitis C, and Opioid Use Disorder Prevention and Treatment Services Upon Release to the Community: Progress, Gaps, and Future Directions. International Journal of Drug Policy, 96. DOI: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2021.103283

Papamalis, F. E., Dritsas, I., & Knight, K. (2021). The Role of Personality Functioning on Early Drop out in Outpatient Substance Misuse Treatment. Substance Use & Misuse, 56(8). DOI: 10.1080/10826084.2021.1908358

Cunningham, W. E., Nance, R. M., Golin, C. E., Springer, S. A., Flynn, P. M., Knight, K., Beckwith, C. G., Kuo, I., Spaulding, A., Taxman, F. S., Altice, F., Delaney, J. A., Crane, H. M. (2019). Self-reported antiretroviral therapy adherence and viral load in criminal justice-involved populations. BMC Infectious Diseases.

DiPrete, B. L., Pence, B. W., Golin, C. E., Knight K., Flynn, P. M., Carda-Auten J., Groves, J., … Wohl, D. A. (2019). Antiretroviral adherence following prison release in a randomized trial of the imPACT Intervention to maintain suppression of HIV Viremia. AIDS and Behavior, 23(9), 2386-2395. PMID: 30963321 doi: 10.1007/s10461-019-02488-7. abstract

Hussong, A. M., Gottfredson, N. C., Bauer, D. J., Curran, P. J., Haroon, M., Chandler, R., Kahana, S. Y., … Springer, S. A. (2019). Approaches for creating comparable measures of alcohol use symptoms: Harmonization with eight studies of criminal justice populations. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 194, 59-68. PMCID: PMC6312501 doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.10.003. abstract

Joe, G. W., Lehman, W. E. K., Rowan, G. A., Knight, K., & Flynn, P. M. (2019). Evaluating the impact of a targeted brief HIV intervention on multiple inter-related HIV risk factors of knowledge and attitudes among incarcerated drug users. Journal of HIV/AIDS & Social Services, 19(1), 61-79. PMID: 25126420 doi:10.1186/2049-9957-3-26.

Joe, G. W., Lehman, W. E. K., Rowan, G. A., Knight, K., & Flynn, P. M. (2019). The role of physical and psychological health problems in the drug use treatment process. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 102, 23–32. doi:10.1016/j.jsat.2019.03.011. abstract

Knight, D. K., Blue, T. R., Flynn, P. M., & Knight, K. (2019). The TCU Drug Screen 5: Identifying justice-involved individuals with substance use disorders. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 57(8), 525-537. doi: 10.1080/10509674.2018.1549180. abstract

Knight, K., Lehman, W. E. K., Knight, D. K., & Flynn, P. (2019). Substance abuse treatment research and outcomes related to recovery and desistance for individuals involved in the legal system in the United States: Years of progress. In D. Best & C. Colman (Eds.), Strengths-based approaches to offending and substance use: From drugs and crime to recovery and desistance (pp. 178–194). London, UK: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group Publishers.

Knight, K. & Knight, D. (2019). Substance Use and Justice-Involved Individuals: Improving Practice. Federal Probation Journal, 83(2), 3-4.

Lehman, W.E.K., Rowan, G.A., Pankow, J., Joe, G.W., & Knight, K. (2019). Gender Differences in a Disease Risk Reduction Intervention for People in Prison-based Substance Abuse Treatment. Federal Probation Journal, 83(2), 27-33.

Pankow, J., Lehman, W.E.K., Muiruri, R., & Knight, K. (2019). Facilitating self-exploration and behavioral change associated with HIV risk reduction: A qualitative study of individuals on probation and their experiences using a decision-making app. Federal Probation Journal, 83(2), 34-38.

Valdes, R., Boggs, J. B., Redfield, P. A., Kijanczuk, K. A., Fretz, R. J., Schofield, D. D., & Knight, K. (2019). An Evaluation of an In-prison Therapeutic Community: Treatment Needs and Recidivism. Federal Probation Journal, 83(2), 9-14.

Wiese, A. L., Blue, T. R., Knight, D. K. & Knight, K. (2019). The Validity of TCU Drug Screen 5 for Identifying Substance Use Disorders among Justice-Involved Youth. Federal Probation Journal, 83(2), 65-70.
Yang, Y., Gray, J. S., Joe, G. W., Flynn, P. M., & Knight, K. (2019). Treatment retention, satisfaction, and therapeutic progress for justice-involved individuals referred to community-based medication-assisted treatment. Substance Use & Misuse, 54(9), 1461-1474. PMID: 31030611 doi: 10.1080/10826084.2019.1586949

Knight, K. & Flynn, P. (2012). Clinical trials involving prisoners: a bioethical perspective. Clinical Investigation, 2(12), 1147-1149.

Knight, K., Simpson, D. D., & Flynn, P. M. (Guest Eds.). (2012). Special Double Issue: Brief addiction interventions and assessment tools for criminal justice. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 51(1-2), 1-114.

Knight, K., Dockins, G., & Bradford, B. (2010). A model for adapting treatment to the needs of addicted offenders. Resources Links, 9(1). 11-12.  [Abstract]

Simpson, D. D., & Knight, K. (Guest Eds.). (2007). Offender needs and functioning assessments (Special Issue). Criminal Justice and Behavior, 34(9), 1105-1234.

Knight, K., Garner, B. R., Simpson, D. D., Morey, J. T., & Flynn, P. M. (2006). An assessment for criminal thinking. Crime and Delinquency, 52(1), 159-177.  [Abstract]

Knight, K., & Farabee, D. (Eds.). (2004). Treating addicted offenders: A continuum of effective practices. Kingston, NJ: Civic Research Institute.

Knight, K., Simpson, D. D., & Hiller, M. L. (2002). Screening and referral for substance-abuse treatment in the criminal justice system. In C. G. Leukefeld, F. Tims, & D. Farabee (Eds.), Treatment of drug offenders: Policies and issues (pp. 259-272). New York: Springer.

Knight, K., Hiller, M. L., Broome, K. M., & Simpson, D. D. (2000). Legal pressure, treatment readiness, and engagement in long-term residential programs. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 31(1/2), 101-115.  [Abstract]

Knight, K., Simpson, D. D., & Hiller, M. L. (1999). Three-year reincarceration outcomes for in-prison therapeutic community treatment in Texas. The Prison Journal, 79(3), 337-351.  [Abstract]

Selected Presentations (last 5 years)

Knight, K. (2021, September). Institute of Behavioral Research. Presentation made to the Dean of the College of Science and Engineering at Texas Christian University.

Knight, K., (2019, April). Principals of effective treatment with justice-involved populations. Invited plenary presentation at Mediterranean College’s Psychopathology, Crime & Criminal Profiling Conference. Thessaloniki, Greece.

Knight, K. (2018, January). Drug addiction and criminality; providing treatment services within the criminal justice system. Invited keynote presentation given at KETHEA, Therapy Center for Dependent Individuals, Athens, Greece.

Knight, K. (2017, March). Addiction treatment and judicial decision making. Invited keynote presentation at Justice Leaders Systems Change Initiative (JLSCI), Tehama County, Red Bluff, CA.

Knight, K. (2017, July). 4 principles for improving reentry for justice-involved individuals with a history of substance use. Invited presentation at The International Academy of Law and Mental Health (IALMH) 35th Congress, Prague, Czech Republic.

Knight, K. (2017, September). Principles of addiction treatment and their application in judicial decision making. Invited keynote presentation at Justice Leaders Systems Change Initiative (JLSCI), Reno, NV.

Knight, K. (2017, November). 3+ principles of behavioral change for substance use disorders. Invited keynote presentation, John Peter Smith Psychiatry Grand Rounds, Fort Worth, TX.

Knight, K. (2016, March). Principles of behavioral change in addiction science. Invited panel presentation at the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration Summit, Driving Behavioral Change in Traffic Safety, Fort Worth, TX.

Knight, K. (2016, August). Fundamental of substance use disorders and principles of effective treatment with justice-involved populations. Invited presentation at California Center for Judicial Education and Research (CJER) conference, San Diego, CA.