Promoting Smart Decarceration: Research Colloquium on September 8

How can decarceration interventions have real world impact? In this research colloquium, Promoting Smart Decarceration through Research, Practice, and Policy Partnerships, our guest speakers will discuss their current research designed for decarceration outcomes and their work to prepare the profession of social work for decarceration leadership.

Free and open to all, the event is Friday, September 8, at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Community Studies Center Room 108 on the campus of Case Western Reserve University.

  • Noon: Complementary lunch is served
  • 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.: Colloquium presentation and Q&A
  • Guests are welcome to attend in person or via livestream
  • 1.5 social work CEUs are available ($10 for alumni; $25 for non-alumni; no CEUs for livestream viewers)
  • 1.5 PD hours are provided to student attendees

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“Promote Smart Decarceration” is one of the Grand Challenges for Social Work. It entails the development, implementation, and testing of innovations to reduce incarceration rates in ways that are effective, sustainable, and socially just. In order for decarceration interventions to have real world impact, collaborative research, practice, and policy partnerships must be forged.

Colloquium presenters are Matthew W. Epperson, PhD, Associate Professor at the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago, and Carrie Pettus-Davis, PhD, Assistant Professor at Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. They are the founding co-directors of the Smart Decarceration Initiative and are the co-leads of the Promoting Smart Decarceration Grand Challenge Network.

In this colloquium, they will:

  • Discuss their current multi-site study of deferred prosecution programs, with a focus on implementation and rigorous testing of an intervention with high potential for decarceration outcomes.
  • Describe their work to prepare the profession of social work for decarceration leadership via the organization and integration of efforts in social work practice, policy, research, and education.
  • Conclude with a discussion of lessons learned and future directions in the formation of cross-sector partnerships to advance research impact.

Doctoral students can meet with the speakers prior to the colloquium at 10:45 a.m. in Mandel Center Room 107. Master’s students are invited to A Forum on Smart Decarceration hosted by the school group Collective Action for Social Justice with the speakers at 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. in Mandel Center Room 107.

About the presenters:

Matthew W. Epperson, PhD, Associate Professor, School of Social Service Administration at University of Chicago

Dr. Epperson studies adults in the United States who are under some form of criminal justice supervision and their vulnerabilities to a myriad of issues, including HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, drugs and alcohol disorders, and mental illness. His particular interests lie at the interface of social work and criminal justice.

Carly Pettus-Davis, PhD, Assistant Professor, Brown School at Washington University

Dr. Pettus-Davis is the director of the Institute for Advancing Justice Research and Innovation. She focuses her research on decarceration of American prisons and jails through policy reform and behavioral intervention development, with particular interest in the ways in which policies can be transformed to reduce racial and economic disparities within the criminal justice system.

This event is co-sponsored by the Mandel School Office of Research Administration and the Doctoral Program. Informal talks with students will precede the colloquium. Questions? Email