#MacroSW 3-9-2017 Documentary Movie Night “13th” Topic: Mass Incarceration

Update: Chat archive now available!

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for a crime, whereof the party shall  have been duly convicted, shall exist  within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Section 1; Ratified 1865.

We live at a crucial time in the United States characterized by a rapidly changing social, informational, global and political climate.  Social workers and allies in other professions are poised to assume leadership in variety of pressing issues with implications for social change. One such issue is that of mass incarceration.  The documentary 13th by filmmaker Ava Duvernay raises a host of issues on the subject and ties this country’s historical position of institutionalizing racial and economic inequality to present day systems of oppression. Mass incarceration has had severe repercussions for many of our country’s most vulnerable groups.

Presently, on any given day in the United States, over 700,000 people are in jail, the portal of entry to the prison system. In addition, the families, children and communities of those incarcerated also experience wide-reaching effects. In essence, we all pay a price for this loss.

The film 13th, traces incarceration in the United States from the abolition of slavery and the ratification of the 13th amendment in 1865 to how the loophole in the amendment  has been  been exploited for financial gain through today’s prison industrial complex. Currently, in the United States a widening network of for- profit prisons and detention centers has flourished.  According to the writer and director of 13th, Ava Duvernay, the film was created so viewers would have a “revolution within” regarding our thoughts about mass incarceration in this country and to serve as a catalyst for new thinking about how we approach this issue from now on. ” ’13th’ is coming out at a time where it might provide some foundational knowledge for folks as we really make demands of our candidates to go beyond Twitter beefs and get into the real issues that affect our everyday lives,” she said. With incarcerations having increased 5 fold since 1940, this is certainly time for both renewed and ongoing conversations.

Join us March 9, 2017 at 9pm EST for our MacroSW Movie night on Mass Incarceration.  Alongside #MacroSW chat partner and host Sunya Folayan, our guest hosts for this timely discussion are:

Becky Anthony, Ph. D; MSW Online Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Social Work at Salisbury University, Salisbury, Md.

Jennifer Jewell, Ph. D; Director of BSW program and Coordinator of Dual Degree program at Salisbury University, Salisbury, Md.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What role do social workers play in reducing mass incarceration?
  2. What do you think are some of the factors that allowed this system of racial control to evolve?
  3. What was the Omnibus Crime Bill of 1994? What were aspects of the bill that contributed to the rise in mass incarceration?
  4. How does the media influence our viewpoints of people who are currently in prison, specifically men of color?
  5. “13th” highlights the policies that have helped create the devastating mass incarceration problem. What current policies are proposed and how could they affect the current and future prison system in our country?
  6. What further thoughts do you wish to express about social work’s role in addressing mass incarceration?

Additional Resources:

http://www.theatlantic.com//video/index/404890/prison-inherited-trait/

Smart Decarceration Initiative (website): The homepage of the Smart Decarceration Initiative [hyperlink: csd.wustl.edu/OurWork/SocialJustice/Decarceration/Pages/default.aspx]

Social Work and Criminal Justice (website): A website created by the SDI co-founders that promotes social work research and teaching in the area of criminal justice: [hyperlink: http://www.sw-cj.org/ ]

Formerly incarcerated individuals are a crucial element in building a decarceration movement [hyperlink: http://www.safetyandjusticechallenge.org/2015/11/formerly-incarcerated-individuals-are-a-crucial-element-in-building-a-decarceration-movement/

http://www.epi.org/event/mass-incarceration-contributes-significantly-to-the-racial-achievement-gap/

Mass incarceration: How the U.S. Prison System Creates a Cycle of Poverty: http://www.genfkd.org/mass-incarceration-cycle-poverty?/

About #MacroSW:

We are a collaboration of social workers, organizations, social work schools, and individuals working to promote macro social work practice. Macro social work practice focuses on changing larger systems, such as communities and organizations. It encompasses a broad spectrum of actions and ideas, ranging from community organizing and education to legislative advocacy and policy analysis.  Learn more here: https://macrosw.com/about/

#MacroSW chat 4-14-16: Smart Decarceration and Social Work

An edited version of the chat held April 14th can be found here.

New content in this post added after the chat:
Below the sources listed in this post, there are the additional resources that were tweeted during the chat.

On April 14 the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare (AASWSW) – @AASWSWorg and Pat Shelly – @UBSSW will co-host the #MacroSW Twitter Chat about smart decarceration, one of the Grand Challenges for Social Work.

smart decarceration report AASWSW

Smart decarceration is a response to failed mass incarceration and rehabilitation policies, which have contributed to the United States holding 25% of the global prison population.

smart decarceration image of prison walkway with cells bars
image: DUSTIN HOLMES | FLICKR

According to the White House, between 1988 and 2009, annual state corrections spending increased from $12 billion to $52 billion. Since 77% of prisoners are rearrested within five years of release, implementing effective reentry models can dramatically improve outcomes.

What are the Grand Challenges for Social Work?

GRANDchallenges logo

Led by the AASWSW , the Grand Challenges for Social Work is a groundbreaking initiative to champion social progress powered by science. It is a call to action for social work researchers and practitioners to:

  • Harness social work’s science and knowledge base
  • Collaborate with individuals, community-based organizations, and professionals from all fields and disciplines
  • Partner to tackle some of our toughest social problems

We will address the following questions about smart decarceration:

  1. What have been the effects of mass incarceration?
  2. What are alternatives to mass incarceration?
  3. What successful prison reentry models have you seen?
  4. How do we move from mass incarceration to smart decarceration?

Please follow and use the hashtag #MacroSW on Thursday, April 14 at 9:00 p.m EDT.

Sources:(new ones from chat participants added below these original sources)

Here is a link to the Grand Challenge, Promote Smart Decarceration – at this link, click on the cover of the AASWSW Grand Challenges paper, “From Mass Incarceration to Smart Decarceration” to download a copy.

Links for the report’s authors:
Dr. Carrie Pettus-Davis bio
Assistant Professor and Director, Concordance Institute for Advancing Social Justice, George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis

Matthew W. Epperson bio
Assistant Professor, School of Social Service Administration, The University of Chicago

Related articles:

Breaking the cycle of drug use

Alternatives to incarceration

Additional Resources on Smart Decarceration tweeted during chat on 4-14-16

Michelle Alexander on The New Jim Crow (Bill Moyers interviews Alexander in 2010): https://vimeo.com/40261507

The New Jim Crow in the 02-19-13 article by John Light  http://billmoyers.com/2013/02/19/mass-incarceration-and-the-new-jim-crow/

Prison Policy Initiative http://www.prisonpolicy.org
Winnable criminal justice reforms: A Prison Policy Initiative briefing on promising state reform issues for 2016
Link to download this report::
http://www.prisonpolicy.org/searchresults.html?cx=015684313971992382479%3Aa3be84yykbq&cof=FORID%3A11&q=winnable

Prisons for Profit article:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/04/28/how-for-profit-prisons-have-become-the-biggest-lobby-no-one-is-talking-about/

Video: War on Drugs & Mass Incarceration “The House I Live In” http://www.thehouseilivein.org/

Transgender People in Prison Article
Prison is horrifying for transgender people. It’s hell.
http://www.vox.com/2016/4/11/11355702/prison-transgender

Combatting Mass Incarceration ACLU infographic (2011)
https://www.aclu.org/infographic-combating-mass-incarceration-facts

6,000 drug offenders to be released from federal prison starting Friday. (Oct. 2015)
http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-prison-release-20151029-story.html

Blog post on Prison Reform by @StuckOnSocialWork:
THE Question When It comes to #justice and #prison #reform.
https://stuckonsocialwork.wordpress.com/2014/05/07/the-question-when-it-comes-to-justice-and-prison-reform/    also: https://stuckonsocialwork.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/empathy-not-expulsion-for-all-students/

Univ. of Chicago Smart Decarceration Initiative: Reversing Mass Incarceration in America http://ssascholars.uchicago.edu/smart-decarceration-initiative

Creating trauma-informed correctional care: a balance of goals and environment. Niki A. Miller and Lisa M. Najavits 2012
http://www.ejpt.net/index.php/ejpt/article/view/17246

Effective reentry:
4 Elements of Successful Reentry Programs for Inmates
http://www.socialsolutions.com/blog/4-elements-of-successful-reentry-programs-for-inmates/

Center for Employment Opportunities 2013 Annual Report
http://ceoworks.org/about/annual-reports/

Preventing Future Crime With Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
http://www.nij.gov/journals/265/pages/therapy.aspx

HIPAA compliant technology:
VSee – Word’s Largest VideoTelemedicine Platform for HIPAA compliant video visits.
https://vsee.com/     Dr. Joiner of Wayne State describes it: “VSee is a version of videoconferencing (we use it w/ our online students when holding synchronous meetings). VSee is a great tool to continue the conversation and 2 engage beyond the traditional classroom .”

Restorative Justice http://restorativejustice.org/

German Prison System: CBS 60 Minutes April 3 2016
Privacy, weekend leave, keys…This is prison?
Script: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-germany-prisons-crime-and-punishment/

Mental Health Courts
Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ginger-lernerwren/the-top-five-lessons-from_b_8024440.html