Title of Abstract

Social Work and Criminal Justice Reform

Submitting Student(s)

Kayla ThomasFollow

Faculty Mentor

One WU mentor: Wendy Sellers, Ph.D.; sellersw@winthrop.edu

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Social Work

Faculty Mentor

Wendy Sellers, Ph.D.

Abstract

Inequality and injustice in the criminal justice system in America have been prevalent since its origin. Recently, there have been more violent police encounters and police brutality against people of color, specifically African Americans. Some notable instances include Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor. This injustice is mainly due to overt racism and racial profiling. The “Achieve Equal Opportunity and Justice” policy from the 2021 Blueprint of Federal Social Policy focuses on these racial injustices within the legal system. The policy highlights the criminal justice system’s numerous problems, including discrimination, racial profiling, overcriminalization, and systemic racism. This paper will demonstrate how the “Achieve Equal Opportunity and Justice” policy correlates to social work’s purpose of promoting human and community well-being. Recommendations for advocacy related to this policy will also be addressed. Lastly, the paper will identify and discuss one social work agency/organization that addresses reform and equality in the criminal justice system.

Additional Fields About Your Abstract

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Course Assignment

SCWK 200 - Sellers

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Social Work and Criminal Justice Reform

Inequality and injustice in the criminal justice system in America have been prevalent since its origin. Recently, there have been more violent police encounters and police brutality against people of color, specifically African Americans. Some notable instances include Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor. This injustice is mainly due to overt racism and racial profiling. The “Achieve Equal Opportunity and Justice” policy from the 2021 Blueprint of Federal Social Policy focuses on these racial injustices within the legal system. The policy highlights the criminal justice system’s numerous problems, including discrimination, racial profiling, overcriminalization, and systemic racism. This paper will demonstrate how the “Achieve Equal Opportunity and Justice” policy correlates to social work’s purpose of promoting human and community well-being. Recommendations for advocacy related to this policy will also be addressed. Lastly, the paper will identify and discuss one social work agency/organization that addresses reform and equality in the criminal justice system.