Ph.D.: University of Pittsburgh, PA (2007)
M.S.W.: University of Pittsburgh, PA (2003)
M.A.: University of San Diego, CA (1983)
Her primary research interests are the effects of reentry services and environmental factors associated with male criminal recidivism and improved child well-being—with a growing focus on the father-child relationships of former inmates. Her broader interests include jails and criminal justice, and the criminal justice policy.
Her publications have appeared in journals such as Social Work, Social Work Research, Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, and Marriage & Family Review. Some of Dr. Spjeldnes's articles include "Positive family social support: Counteracting negative effects of mental illness and drug abuse to reduce jail ex-inmate recidivism rates" in the Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, "Male county jail inmates: A profile and self-reported human service needs" in the Journal of Evidenced-Based Social Work, and "Saving our criminal justice system: The efficacy of a collaborative social service" (2011) in Social Work.