Social Work & Criminal Justice

Race/Racism

A – F

Elizabeth Allen

Email: eallensocialphd@gmail.com

Website: http://www.drelizabethallen.org/

I bring more than 25 years of clinical experience with justice-involved women and other marginalized groups. I am tenaciously committed to smart decarceration research, policy, and practice and throughout my career aimed to embrace what academia together with activism can offer change-agents and guide and support radical social change.

My dissertation research was an inquiry into redemptive narratives and the distance process for justIce-involved women with the goal of adding to the knowledge base of desistance, advocating for policies and interventions that support the process of distance and promoting a unifying framework to bridge micro and macro approaches with vulnerable and marginalized populations. Currently, I am a PI on a CBPR project using Photovoice with the urban youth with the lived experience of parental incarceration.

The synthesis of my clinical and research experience prepares me for the dual role of researcher and policy-maker and utilizing evidence to advance policy and practice. My research interests are vast and include the intersection of micro and macro issues amplified within criminal justice systems including racial, gender and economic justice and human rights.

Janae Bonsu, UIC

DOCTORAL CANDIDATE

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT CHICAGO

Email: jbonsu2@uic.edu

Bio: I am a doctoral candidate at Jane Addams College of Social Work, activist, and restorative justice practitioner. My work is based in an intersectional and structural analysis. My current work interrogates the intersection of gender-based violence, policing, and survivor empowerment; building and sustaining models of transformative justice; and policies that directly impact incarcerated people and their families.

Brita Bookser, UC Berkeley

DOCTORAL CANDIDATE, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA BERKELEY

Email: britabookser@berkeley.edu

Website: https://socialwelfare.berkeley.edu/people/phd-students

Brita A. Bookser’s research interests include early care and education, education policy, carceral logics in education, feminist anti-carceral studies, womanism, and critical race theory. Her research-praxis agenda is facilitated by varied agency partnerships that explore policies and pedagogies for inclusion and civic engagement. Bookser’s qualitatively-driven mixed-method dissertation explores a typology of exclusionary discipline measures in preschools and examines how structural factors influence exclusionary tactics in early care and education settings.

Wesley T. Church, II, LSU

J. FRANKLIN BAYHI ENDOWED PROFESSOR, LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY

Email: wesleyc@lsu.edu

Websit: https://www.lsu.edu/chse/socialwork/faculty-staff/church.php

My research agenda has been concentrated in two areas. First, I have been examining issues facing children and adolescents and their families. I am interested in the impact of race, socio-economic status, gender, education, crime, and family on the involvement of children and their families as they navigate their way through major systems (i.e. welfare, justice, and healthcare). Second, I have been exploring personal perceptions and attitudes towards offenders, focusing on sexual offenders and mentally ill offenders. I use an interdisciplinary approach in my research and utilize resources derived from criminal justice, psychology, history, minority studies, social work, gerontology, and rural studies.

Phillipe Copeland, Boston University

CLINICAL ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, BOSTON UNIVERSITY

Email: copelanp@bu.edu

My interest is in the policing and punishment systems as mechanisms of racial capitalism and educating people to not only effectively abolish them, but help survivors to recover from their consequences.

Varsha DuBose, LCSW, Southern Connecticut State University

DOCTORAL STUDENT AND TEACHING ASSISTANT, SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT STATE UNIVERSITY

Email: Dubosev1@southernct.edu 

Bio: Varsha Dubose is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 10 years of practice experience in legal and mental health settings. Varsha is currently a doctoral student and teaching assistant at Southern Connecticut State University. Varsha has practical experience working with justice-involved veterans with significant mental health and substance use disorders. One of the theoretical approaches that Varsha is focusing her research on is critical race theory. Varsha is interested in addressing the intersections of racial oppression and social injustices that are prevalent in the United States judicial system. Varsha’s teaching interest are in areas related to veterans, race/oppression, mental health and substance use disorders within the criminal justice system.

Gina Fedock, University of Chicago

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO SCHOOL OF SOCIAL SERVICE ADMINISTRATION

Email: gfedock@uchicago.edu

Website: https://ssa.uchicago.edu/ssascholars/g-fedock

Gina Fedock is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Service Administration. Her work focuses on improving women’s mental health and spans the boundaries of public health, criminal justice, law, and social work. Her research includes implementing, testing, and evaluating interventions that are designed to improve the quality of women’s health in the community and within correctional settings. In addition, her work expands a trauma-informed framework of understanding and addressing women’s health needs. She integrates women’s experiences of gender-based violence, such as sexual violence and intimate partner violence, into her research. Through a human rights framework, her work incorporates advocacy for addressing social injustices in order to improve women’s health and wellbeing.

Currently, she is working on several studies, including examining women’s experiences of staff sexual misconduct in prisons and on parole and investigating racial and gender disparities in suicide attempts by prisoners. Through a faculty grant from the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights, she is investigating how human rights standards influence women’s imprisonment.

Her research is in journals such as: Trauma, Violence, & Abuse; Cognitive and Behavioral Practice; Research on Social Work Practice; Journal of Interpersonal Violence; and the Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research.

G – Z

John Gallagher, Indiana University South Bend

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, INDIANA UNIVERSITY SOUTH BEND

Email: johngall@iupui.edu

Website: https://socialwork.iusb.edu/FacultyAndStaff/profile.php?id=Gallagher_John_johngall

Dr. John R. Gallagher is an Associate Professor in the Indiana University School of Social Work at IU South Bend, where he teaches classes in addiction and mental health counseling. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and Licensed Clinical Addiction Counselor (LCAC) who has practiced addiction and mental health counseling for nearly 20 years. Gallagher’s research agenda is focused on the use of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in treating opioid use disorders; exploring drug court and other treatment court participants’ lived experiences in programming; identifying the factors that may contribute to racial disparities in treatment court outcomes; program evaluation for drug courts and other treatment courts; and implementing evidence-based interventions to promote addiction and mental health recovery.

 

Amanda Geller, NYU

CLINICAL ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF SOCIOLOGY, DIRECTOR OF MA PROGRAM IN APPLIED QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY

Email: amanda.geller@nya.edu

Website: https://as.nyu.edu/content/nyu-as/as/faculty/amanda-beth-geller.html

The focus of my research is twofold: examining the causes and effects of incarceration for men and their families, and examining racial disparities in the administration of justice.

 

Matthew Gilmour, Florida State University

DOCTORAL STUDENT, FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY

Email: mgilmour@fsu.edu

Website: https://csw.fsu.edu/person/matthew-gilmour

My current research interests are focused on correctional and criminal justice system policies and reform, particularly inmate medical and mental health care, inmate rights, privatization of correctional/criminal justice services, reentry and rehabilitation. I am also interested in the utilization of research in advocacy work as it relates to social justice in general, particularly racial disparities and other issues involving the oppression of marginalized populations.

Sulaimon Giwa, Memorial College of Newfoundland

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK, ST. JOHNS COLLEGE, MEMORIAL UNIVERSITY OF NEWFOUNDLAND

Email: sgiwa@mun.ca

Website: https://www.mun.ca/socialwork/about/people/faculty/DrSulaimonGiwa.php

Dr. Giwa’s professional experience includes direct practice; research and policy work at the community and federal level, primarily in youth health promotions, community and organizational practice in diverse communities, corrections (including as a Community Parole Officer and Case Manager for Time for Change, a Crime Prevention Ottawa funded gang exit program), and policing.

His applied research program and professional activities centralize critical race transformative pedagogies and theories as frameworks and analytic tools for social justice and equity. His teaching and research interests are in the areas of race and sexuality; critical social work pedagogy; antiracism/oppression; and the criminal justice system. He has taught in the social work programs at Ryerson University and York University, and in the Police Foundations program at Sheridan College.

 

Sara Goodkind, University of Pittsburgh

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH

Email: sara.goodkind@pitt.edu

Website: https://www.socialwork.pitt.edu/people/sara-goodkind

Dr. Goodkind’s research and scholarship focus on marginalized youth and the inequities they experience. Much of her work examines social service programs and systems that work with young people, concentrating on young people’s experiences in educational, child welfare, and juvenile justice systems and how these systems both construct and meet the needs of the young people they serve. Dr. Goodkind developed her scholarly interests as a result of working with youth, as a teacher, mentor, facilitator, and social worker. She utilizes a critical perspective in her work to examine understandings of gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and age that shape service design and delivery and then to explore the effects of this service provision, with the aim of ensuring that interventions are culturally relevant, gender responsive, fair, and effective. Dr. Goodkind’s research also focuses on institutional biases and systemic inequities, tracing young people’s pathways through systems and providing evidence and advocacy for much-needed policy change. Much of this work is via community-based participatory research projects that engage youth as collaborators in effecting systemic change.

 

Ashley N. Jackson, Washington University, St. Louis

DOCTORAL STUDENT, BROWN SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK, WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY, ST. LOUIS

Email: ashley.jackson@wustl.edu

Website: https://sites.wustl.edu/ajackson/

Ashley Jackson is a doctoral student at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis where her research focuses on police violence and racial and legal socialization. She earned a BS in Administration of Justice from George Mason University in 2009 and an MSW from the University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration in 2011. Ashley was a funded by the 2017-2018 Fulbright U.S. Student Program to conduct research in Cali, Colombia where she explored how local NGOs support vulnerable communities impacted by conflict and violence. Prior to moving to Colombia, Ashley worked at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) in New York. At LISC she provided support to communities across the country helping to address public safety issues and improve community-police relations. During her time at Vera, she conducted mixed-methods criminal justice research focusing on youth experiences during and post- incarceration and youth experiences interacting with the police in New York.

Susan McCarter, UNC Charlotte

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA, CHARLOTTE

Email: smccarter@uncc.edu

Website: https://pages.uncc.edu/smccar17/

Dr. McCarter’s career began as a juvenile probation officer, inner-city mental health counselor, and policy analyst and advocate in Virginia. For over 20 years she has served as a Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) Scholar (now Racial and Ethnic Disparities (RED)) and a forensic practitioner. Nationally, Dr. McCarter serves as an expert juvenile justice forensic witness, on the board of the National Organization of Forensic Social Work, and chairs the Society of Social Work and Research’s Criminal and Juvenile Justice Interest Group. Regionally, she co-chairs the NC RED Subcommittee and the Charlotte Racial Justice Consortium (funded by the AAC&U and dedicated to truth, racial healing and transformation), and serves on the leadership team for Race Matters for Juvenile Justice as well as their Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) Team. Dr. McCarter currently facilitates the UNC Charlotte Racial Equity Skill Building Caucus and leads multiple funded research studies examining the School-to-Prison Pipeline (STPP), Juvenile Diversion, and Racial Equity.

Oluwayomi Paseda, MSW, LMSW, University of Georgia

DOCTORAL STUDENT, UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA

Email: oluwayomi@uga.edu

My research interests include reentry programs, interventions, and services for women transitioning from incarceration to the community.

Taylor Reed, UCLA

MSW/PHD STUDENT, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES

Email: taylorashlyn@ucla.edu

I’m particularly interested in how environmental factors that are at play once individuals are no longer incarcerated affect the success of reentry programs, and how re-entry programs address these exposures. The focus of my research will center around identifying success and weaknesses in existing re-entry programs and highlighting data-backed modifications to these programs to bolster a successful transition back into society. My research will also include studying minority youth in urban neighborhoods and how exposure to violence (both frequency and type) affect their incarceration rates. This work can hopefully be adapted to study other social and environmental factors in order to better understand which experiences are most associated with juvenile incarceration. My work will allow for policy makers and stakeholders to comprehensively understand what occurs in these neighborhoods and identify vulnerable areas that can serve as intervention points to help protect these at-risk youth.

Jacoba Rock, Juniata College

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, JUNIATA COLLEGE

Email: rock@juniata.edu

Website: https://www.juniata.edu/academics/departments/sociology/faculty.php

Jacoba Rock is an Assistant Professor of Social Work and Criminal Justice and the B.S.W. Program Director at Juniata College. She received her Master of Social Work degree, with a clinical concentration in work with High-Risk Youth in 2010, and a graduate certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution in 2008, both from the University of Denver. She received her doctorate in Human Development and Family Studies, with a doctoral minor in Criminology, from Pennsylvania State University in 2021. Dr. Rock’s research focuses on the developmental consequences of childhood trauma, including biological, cognitive, and social contributions, for individuals involved in the juvenile and criminal justice systems, and related intervention opportunities for incarcerated juveniles and young adults. She leads an assessment and intervention study at a Department of Corrections facility which houses young adult offenders, testing the use of a staff empathy training and implementation of a mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral intervention. Prior research has focused on restorative practices in juvenile correctional facilities, and systemic disparities in response to parole violations. Dr. Rock maintains social work licensure in both Colorado and Pennsylvania, where she continues to assess a small number of clients serving life without parole sentences for crimes convicted as juveniles, and provide court testimony in these cases; this work began in 2012, following the Miller v. Alabama Supreme Court ruling which held that mandatory sentences of life without the possibility of parole are unconstitutional for juveniles. Her work has focused on collaborating with attorneys and other criminal justice advocates to encourage the use of social science research which supports resentencing efforts and service access for incarcerated young people. Before 2012, Dr. Rock worked for several years in the child welfare system, as an assessment specialist and caseworker. Between her undergraduate and graduate training, she was also the program coordinator for a restorative justice program based at a police department. She went on to facilitate psychoeducational groups for young adult offenders, primarily those with substance use and anger management related needs. Dr. Rock’s courses include program evaluation, clinical practice courses, cognitive behavioral therapy, group treatment, restorative approaches, child and adolescent trauma, adolescent development, social welfare policy, and juvenile delinquency and youth violence. Dr. Rock serves on the HEAL-PA Trauma Consultation team, Pennsylvania Re-Entry Council, and the Pennsylvania Office of Advocacy and Reform 21st Century Solutions think tank. She also serves Juniata College through participation on the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Council, Bias Response Team, General Education Committee, Health Professions Committee, and Baker Institute board.

Katherine Van Wormer, University of Northern Iowa

PROFESSOR EMIRITA OF SOCIAL WORK, UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN IOWA

Email: katherine.vanwormer@uni.edu

Website: https://csbs.uni.edu/socialwork/faculty-staff-directory/katherine-vanwormer-phd

Blog Posts:

Dr. van Wormer is the author or co-author of 15 books (not counting new editions), including Death by Domestic Violence: Preventing the Murders and the Murder-Suicides. Some of her recent books are: Confronting Oppression, Restoring Justice: From Policy Analysis to Social Action (2nd ed.) (co-authored by L .Kaplan and C. Juby) (CSWE, 2012); The Maid Narratives (LSU Press, 2012); Restorative Justice Today (SAGE, 2013); Women and the Criminal Justice System (co-authored with C. Bartollas) (Pearson, 2014); Social Welfare Policy for a Sustainable Future (SAGE, 2016), Human Behavior and the Social Environment, Micro Level and HBSE, Macro Level (Oxford University Press, 2017) and Addiction Treatment: A Strengths Perspective (4th ed.) (co-authored with D.R. Davis) (Cengage, 2018). Van Wormer is currently working on a 5th edition of Women and the Criminal Justice System.

Mel Wilson, NASW

SENIOR POLICY CONSULTANT, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SOCIAL WORKERS

Email: mwilson.NASW@socialworkers.org

My interest and experience with criminal justice and social work includes being active in criminal justice policy and legislative actions via my affiliation with – NASW, the Justice Roundtable , the Justice Reform Taskforce, and the Criminal Justice Behavioral Health Work Group. I have also written several NASW Social Justice Briefs on topics including bail reform, racial profiling, drug policy, and juvenile justice issues.