SW 628 Social Work in Prisons & Community Reintegration

May 8, 2018 - 7:25am -- Anonymous

Prepare social workers for working with people who are currently or formerly incarcerated. Class participants will consider: 1) ethical, professional, and personal dilemmas that may arise in this work and ways to maintain social work values while working in settings with conflicting values; 2) issues of oppression and intersectionality and their impact on certain groups' likelihood of becoming incarcerated and the social problem of mass incarceration; 3) practice issues, including identifying and critiquing evidence-based practices with people formerly or currently incarcerated and using trauma-informed and restorative justice approaches as innovative social work practices in criminal justice settings. An emphasis is also placed on social work's role in helping to reform places of incarceration and reintegration so they are more responsive to the needs of people who are currently or formerly incarcerated.

Course outcomes:

  • Examine the relationship/intersection between social work and the criminal justice system.
  • Investigate the structure of the criminal justice system and its terminology, functions, theories, and trends.
  • Explore the unique impact of the criminal justice system on specific populations and issues, including (but not limited to):
    • Persons with substance abuse
    • Persons with mental health issues
    • Racial and ethnic groups
    • Women
    • Juveniles
    • Persons with histories of trauma
  • Analyze the effects of criminal justice involvement (i.e. mass incarceration) on multiple levels, including: individual, family, community, and society.
  • Explore innovative programs that interact with the criminal justice system in ways that promote positive results for their participants.
  • Devise ideas for practice and/or policy interventions which may affect problems within the criminal justice and social work interface, particularly interventions that reduce the use of incarceration.
  • Discover the implications of criminal justice knowledge in clinical assessment, service provision, program development, and policy analysis.