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Bringing Abolitionist Principles to Social Work Practice

July 20 @ 1:00 pm - 4:15 pm

$65 – $85

Live Interactive Webinar

Instructors: Caitlin Becker, M.S.W., Cameron Rasmussen, LMSW, and Durrell M. Washington, M.S.W.

Level: Intermediate

CEs: 3 CEs are available for $10 fee.

Review CE accreditation and approvals for this course on tab above.

This workshop will introduce social workers to the principles and political framework of the prison industrial complex (PIC) and family regulation system abolition. Through lecture, exercises and discussion we will examine and uplift pathways to bring abolitionist principles to social work practice.

In the midst of global reckonings with the legacies and ongoing injustices of white supremacy, colonialism and anti-Black racism, more attention is justly being paid to the institutions that maintain these harmful ideologies. Carceral systems have been a significant focus of these efforts, and increasingly social work has been forced to contend with both our historical support for criminalization, policing punishment and incarceration, as well as the many ways our work is currently enmeshed in carceral logics, practices and systems. Scholars like Mimi Kim have provided the framework of carceral social work allowing for more possibilities to identify and interrupt carceral social work practices.

More recently, a growing number of people and organizations in the social work community have taken up PIC abolition as a guiding framework for liberatory social work. This vision of abolition mirrors many of the organizing principles of social work, including human flourishing, social justice and right to self-determination. Social workers are increasingly joining in abolition efforts and insisting that abolitionist ideas inform their work. This workshop is an opportunity and an invitation to reflect on the convergence of abolition and social work, to understand the guiding principles and political framework of PIC abolition and to explore pathways to realize abolitionist principles in social work practice.




Smith College School for Social Work

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