Release Date: Jan 7, 16, 12:00am

Leading Experts to Address “Smart Decarceration” in America
as Part of the Grand Challenges for Social Work Initiative

The United States has the world’s largest proportion of people behind bars, resulting in staggering economic and human costs. National experts will launch a bold new strategy to dramatically reduce the number of people imprisoned and promote a more effective and just approach to public safety. This effort is one of the 12 Grand Challenges for Social Work launching at the annual meeting of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) in Washington, D.C. on January 15, 2016.

Sponsored by the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare, the Grand Challenges for Social Work represent a broad, powerful, and science-based agenda to address the nation’s most pressing social issues, including promoting smart decarceration.

WHO: Matthew Epperson, PhD, of the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, Carrie Pettus-Davis, PhD, of Washington University in St. Louis’ George Warren Brown School of Social Work, and Jeffrey Draine, PhD, of Temple University, will discuss the steps needed to achieve a target of reducing the incarcerated population in the U.S. by 1 million people.

They will be joined by Teresa and Laurin Hodge, the mother-daughter team who co-founded Mission: Launch, a Washington, D.C.-based prisoner re-entry coalition, following Teresa’s experience as a prisoner. 

For more background, review the Grand Challenges for Social Work Smart Decarceration Working Paper. Professors Epperson and Pettus-Davis are the directors of the Smart Decarceration Initiative, based at Washington University’s Center for Social Development.

WHEN: Friday, January 15, 2016: 9:45 - 11:15 AM

WHERE: Renaissance Washington, D.C. Downtown Hotel
999 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Meeting Room Level-Mount Vernon Square A

CONTACT: Reporters and media should contact Elliott Walker at 917.846.6334 to secure media passes and to arrange interviews with speakers and topic experts.

Faculty Association: