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2 Parts: Assignment and Powerpoint: A COPY OF THE ASSIGNMENT IS ATTACHED

PART I

Using the Grand Challenges for Social Work Statement “Policy Recommendations for Meeting the Grand Challenge to Smart Decarceration”, choose one of the four policy recommendations suggested to answer the following sections listed below. Please use additional research and resources to support your argument.

Chosen Recommendation:

Recommendation 3: Remove Civic and Legal Exclusions (copy of document attached)

Coinciding with the era of mass incarceration has been the proliferation of civil disability policies, also known as collateral consequences policies, which revoke or restrict legal rights and privileges because of a criminal conviction. Examples include ineligibility for housing assistance, student loans, professional licensure, and employment, as well as denial of voting and parental rights. There are now an estimated 40,000 such laws nationwide. This patchwork of policies severely limits the rights and daily behaviors of people with criminal convictions. Many civil disability policies stand in direct tension with rehabilitative aims such as educational attainment, employment, social support, and reunification with family. As decarceration efforts proceed, it is imperative to investigate how to align public policies and rehabilitative practices to support reforms and ensure that people with criminal convictions have the greatest possible chance of success. Civil disability policies that do not directly advance public safety and well-being should be revoked or curtailed to eliminate their counterproductive effects.

Please cover the following in your assignment:

A. Understanding the problem

1. What is the problem the policy aims to address? Try to break the problem down into its most fundamental parts, and provide a one-sentence problem statement.

2. How are any relevant terms defined? Are there different definitions of any of the terms? How might differing definitions shape the extent of the problem or solutions to the problem?

3. What is the history of the problem in the U.S.? When was it first seen as a problem? Has our understanding of the problem changed over time?

4. What are the various theories about the central causes of the problem? What do you think are the most important causes and why?

5. What is the extent of the problem? How big is it?

6. Who defines this as a problem?

7. Who believes that this is not a problem?

8. What are the conflicting social values and beliefs of those who believe this is a problem and those who think it is not a problem? Is one side or the other better supported by social work values and ethics? Explain why you think so.

9. What is likely to happen with this problem if we make the policy choice to “do nothing?”

B. Power imbalance or struggle

1. Who loses, or is suffering, from this social problem?

2. Who gains from keeping the problem the way that it is?

3. Who seems to have power around this issue and who lacks power? What is the basis for the power that one side has?

C. Policy recommendation analysis

1. What are the stated or overt objectives of the policy? What do you think might be any unstated or covert objectives of the policy?

2. Who is the direct target of this policy, meaning who will it most affect? Do members of the direct target population come from any specific demographic groups (for example racial, ethnic, gender, age, class, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity groups)? Will this policy help people from some groups while it hurts people from other groups? Who are the indirect targets of the policy?

3. Do you know who supports and who opposes the policy?

4. What are the possible unintended consequences of the policy? Can you think of things that might happen because of this policy that was not what lawmakers intended?

5. Will there be any changes in the distribution of material resources, services, and/or rights as a result of this policy for either the direct or indirect target groups?

6. Your final thoughts and recommendations on why you think this policy recommendation is needed for smart decarceration efforts.

This assignment will need to be typed, double-spaced with a cover page, font should be Times New Roman size 12, and inclusive of traditional (normal) one-inch margins. 

For this assignment: (1) APA style must be used correctly, (2) All required relevant course readings and materials must be used, and (3) At least 6 scholarly sources used (beyond course materials). The assignment must be clear, well organized, and should be 5-7 pgs not including the cover pg, references, and any other attachments.

Part II: Presentation of the assignment

For the second part of this assignment, students will be responsible for presenting their smart decarceration grand challenges assignment as a presentation using PowerPoint. The last slide of your presentation will need to pose two (2) questions to be answered by your classmates to facilitate class discussion in future discussion boards regarding your topic matter.

Policy Brief No. 9 | September 2016

Policy Recommendations for Meeting the Grand Challenge to
Promote Smart Decarceration
Forty years of mass incarceration have resulted in a bloated
criminal justice system that levels damaging effects on some
of the most vulnerable and oppressed individuals, families,
and communities in the United States. The unprecedented
American phenomenon of mass incarceration has been
fueled by an array of incoherent policies that, despite stated
goals, have not fostered public safety or public well-being.1
What lies before us is a historic opportunity to promote
smart decarceration by building social capacity to reduce
incarceration rates in ways that are effective, sustainable, and
socially just. To succeed, smart decarceration requires policy
innovations that substantially reduce the use of incarceration,
redress existing disparities in the criminal justice system, and
maximize public safety and well-being.

Recommendation 1:
Use Incarceration Primarily for Incapacitation of the
Most Dangerous
Evidence indicates that incarceration is not effective at
achieving public safety through rehabilitation or deterrence
but that it is most effective at incapacitation, or removing
dangerous individuals from society.2 However, the majority of
currently incarcerated individuals are not immediate threats
to public safety; rather, they are incarcerated as a default
response to their undesirable behaviors.3 Criminal justice
policies should reflect the evidence and utilize incarceration
primarily when an individual poses such a threat to public
safety that community-based options cannot be considered as
a first course. This approach can be supported by sentencing
policies that, rather than setting a mandatory minimum, are
responsive to an individual’s needs and level of risk to public
safety. Legislation must articulate the types of charges for
which incarceration simply should not even be an option.
Bail reform efforts can help to ensure that people do not
spend unnecessary time behind bars simply because they
cannot afford to pay. Policies should also seek to identify
and facilitate effective exit points along various stages of
the criminal justice continuum. Examples of these exit
points include law-enforcement-assisted diversion, deferred
prosecution programs, problem-solving courts, effective
reentry programming, and responsive community-supervision
strategies.

Recommendation 2:
Make Reduction of Disparities a Key Outcome in
Decarceration Efforts
The uneven effects of mass incarceration on people of color,
people in poverty, and people with substance use and mental
health disorders have been documented for years.4 There

must be an intentional effort to assess whether and how
emerging decarceration policies improve or exacerbate these
disparities. Reductions in racial, class, and behavioral-health
disparities should be reconceptualized as key outcomes in
smart decarceration policies. Decarceration efforts by federal,
state, and local governments should include a commitment to
develop innovations that actively target the reduction of racial,
economic, and behavioral-health disparities. Legislation and
policies that mandate racial impact statements and articulate
racial equity goals are two strategies that could be used by
state and local governments to assure that reducing disparities
is a focal point of decarceration work.5

Recommendation 3:
Remove Civic and Legal Exclusions
Coinciding with the era of mass incarceration has been
the proliferation of civil disability policies, also known as
collateral consequences policies, which revoke or restrict
legal rights and privileges because of a criminal conviction.
Examples include ineligibility for housing assistance,
student loans, professional licensure, and employment, as
well as denial of voting and parental rights. There are now
an estimated 40,000 such laws nationwide.6 This patchwork
of policies severely limits the rights and daily behaviors
of people with criminal convictions. Many civil disability
policies stand in direct tension with rehabilitative aims such
as educational attainment, employment, social support, and
reunification with family. As decarceration efforts proceed, it
is imperative to investigate how to align public policies and
rehabilitative practices to support reforms and ensure that
people with criminal convictions have the greatest possible
chance of success. Civil disability policies that do not directly
advance public safety and well-being should be revoked or
curtailed to eliminate their counterproductive effects.

Recommendation 4:
Reallocate Resources to Community-Based Supports
The United States spends over $52 billion annually on
incarceration despite evidence that mass incarceration’s
positive effects on public safety have been minimal.7 Although
hopes to reduce state and local spending may drive some
motivations to reduce incarceration rates, decarceration should
not be viewed primarily as a revenue building measure.
Instead, decarceration efforts must be accompanied by a
concurrent commitment to reinvest the savings from lessened
incarceration on programs aimed at reducing crime and
recidivism. Justice reinvestment initiatives have shown some
promise in providing public safety approaches that are more
cost effective than incarceration. However, policies must go

American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare
Sarah Christa Butts, Assistant to the President
[email protected]

beyond reinvesting in the formal criminal justice system and
move toward reallocating resources to build the social capacity
of communities most affected by incarceration.8 A sustainable
approach to decarceration calls for investment in behavioral
health services, public education, economic infrastructure,
and other forms of community supports. Such an approach
would strengthen community vitality and provide a range
of opportunities for communities to prevent and respond to
neighborhood crime.

Authors
Matt Epperson, University of Chicago
Carrie Pettus-Davis, Washington University in St. Louis

End Notes
1. Epperson and Pettus-Davis (2015).
2. Travis, Western, and Redburn (2014).
3. Snyder (2012).
4. Pettus-Davis and Epperson (2015).
5. Mauer (2011).
6. Laird (2013).
7. Durose, Cooper, and Snyder (2014).
8. Austin et al. (2013).

References
Austin, J., Cadora, E., Clear, T. R., Dansky, K., Greene, J., Gupta, V.,

Mauer, M., Porter, N., Tucker, S., & Young, M. C. (2013). Ending mass
incarceration: Charting a new justice reinvestment. Washington, DC:
The Sentencing Project.

Durose, M. R., Cooper, A. D., & Snyder, H. N. (2014). Recidivism of
prisoners released in 30 states in 2005: Patterns from 2005 to 2010
(Special Report, NCJ244205). Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice
Statistics.

Epperson, M. W., & Pettus-Davis, C. (2015). Smart decarceration:
Guiding concepts for an era of criminal justice transformation (CSD
Working Paper No. 15-53). St. Louis, MO: Washington University,
Center for Social Development.

Laird, L. (2013). Doing time extended: Ex-offenders face tens of
thousands of legal restrictions, bias and limits on their rights. ABA
Journal, 99(6), 50–55.

Mauer, M. (2011). Addressing racial disparities in
incarceration. The Prison Journal, 91(3, Suppl.), 87S–101S.
doi:10.1177/0032885511415227

Pettus-Davis, C., & Epperson, M. W. (2015). From mass incarceration
to smart decarceration (Grand Challenges for Social Work Initiative
Working Paper No. 4). Cleveland, OH: American Academy of Social
Work and Social Welfare.

Snyder, H. N. (2012). Arrest in the United States, 1990–2010 (Patterns
& Trends, Publication No. NCJ 239423). Washington, DC: Bureau of
Justice Statistics.

Travis, J., Western, B., & Redburn, S. (Eds.). (2014). The growth
of incarceration in the United States: Exploring causes and
consequences. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

This brief was created for Social Innovation for America’s Renewal, a policy conference organized by the Center for Social Development at Washington University in
collaboration with the American Academy of Social Work & Social Welfare, which is leading the Grand Challenges for Social Work initiative to champion social progress.

Assignment #3: Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Policy Assignment and Presentation

2 Parts: Assignment and Powerpoint

A COPY OF THE ASSIGNMENT IS ATTACHED

PART I

Using the Grand Challenges for Social Work Statement “Policy Recommendations for Meeting the Grand Challenge to Smart Decarceration”, choose one of the four policy recommendations suggested to answer the following sections listed below. Please use additional research and resources to support your argument.

Chosen Recommendation:

Recommendation 3: Remove Civic and Legal Exclusions (copy of document attached)

Coinciding with the era of mass incarceration has been the proliferation of civil disability policies, also known as collateral consequences policies, which revoke or restrict legal rights and privileges because of a criminal conviction. Examples include ineligibility for housing assistance, student loans, professional licensure, and employment, as well as denial of voting and parental rights. There are now an estimated 40,000 such laws nationwide. This patchwork of policies severely limits the rights and daily behaviors of people with criminal convictions. Many civil disability policies stand in direct tension with rehabilitative aims such as educational attainment, employment, social support, and reunification with family. As decarceration efforts proceed, it is imperative to investigate how to align public policies and rehabilitative practices to support reforms and ensure that people with criminal convictions have the greatest possible chance of success. Civil disability policies that do not directly advance public safety and well-being should be revoked or curtailed to eliminate their counterproductive effects.

Please cover the following in your assignment:

A. Understanding the problem

1. What is the problem the policy aims to address? Try to break the problem down into its most fundamental parts, and provide a one-sentence problem statement.

2. How are any relevant terms defined? Are there different definitions of any of the terms? How might differing definitions shape the extent of the problem or solutions to the problem?

3. What is the history of the problem in the U.S.? When was it first seen as a problem? Has our understanding of the problem changed over time?

4. What are the various theories about the central causes of the problem? What do you think are the most important causes and why?

5. What is the extent of the problem? How big is it?

6. Who defines this as a problem?

7. Who believes that this is not a problem?

8. What are the conflicting social values and beliefs of those who believe this is a problem and those who think it is not a problem? Is one side or the other better supported by social work values and ethics? Explain why you think so.

9. What is likely to happen with this problem if we make the policy choice to “do nothing?”

B. Power imbalance or struggle

1. Who loses, or is suffering, from this social problem?

2. Who gains from keeping the problem the way that it is?

3. Who seems to have power around this issue and who lacks power? What is the basis for the power that one side has?

C. Policy recommendation analysis

1. What are the stated or overt objectives of the policy? What do you think might be any unstated or covert objectives of the policy?

2. Who is the direct target of this policy, meaning who will it most affect? Do members of the direct target population come from any specific demographic groups (for example racial, ethnic, gender, age, class, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity groups)? Will this policy help people from some groups while it hurts people from other groups? Who are the indirect targets of the policy?

3. Do you know who supports and who opposes the policy?

4. What are possible unintended consequences of the policy? Can you think of things that might happen because of this policy that were not what lawmakers intended?

5. Will there be any changes in the distribution of material resources, services, and/or rights as a result of this policy for either the direct or indirect target groups?

6. Your final thoughts and recommendations on why you think this policy recommendation is needed for smart decarceration efforts.

This assignment will need to be typed, double-spaced with a cover page, font should be Times New Roman size 12, and inclusive of traditional (normal) one-inch margins.

For this assignment: (1) APA style must be used correctly, (2) All required relevant course readings and materials must be used, (3) At least 6 scholarly sources used (beyond course materials). The assignment must be clear, well organized, and should be 5-7 pages not including the cover page, references and any other attachments.

Part II: Presentation of the assignment

For the second part of this assignment, students will be responsible for presenting their smart decarceration grand challenges assignment as a presentation using PowerPoint. The last slide of your presentation will need to pose two (2) questions to be answered by your classmates to facilitate class discussion in future discussion boards regarding your topic matter.

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