Course Number: 
47452

The United States has the highest rate of incarceration in the world, and inequities in the use of incarceration yield a high burden on people of color, people in poverty, and people with behavioral health conditions. Evidence indicates that mass incarceration has reached a tipping point, and that the U.S. is entering an era of decarceration. The grand challenge of this new era will be to move away from incarceration-based thinking and toward an array of proactive policy, practice, and research innovations that will not only substantially reduce the incarcerated population, but also ameliorate social disparities and maximize public safety and well-being. This course, which is connected to the “Promote Smart Decarceration” Grand Challenge for Social Work, will provide opportunities for students to: 1) Explore the political, social, and empirical context for decarceration; 2) Examine emerging decarceration policies and practices; 3) Develop interventions at multiple levels to achieve smart decarceration outcomes.