Smart Decarceration is a forward-thinking, practical volume that provides innovative concepts and concrete strategies for ushering in an era of decarceration - a proactive and effective undoing of the era of mass incarceration. The text grapples with tough questions and takes up the challenge of transforming America's approach to criminal justice in the 21st century. This timely work consists of chapters written from multiple perspectives and disciplines including advocates, researchers, academics, practitioners, and persons with incarceration histories who are now leaders in the movement.
The primary purpose of this book is to inform both academic and public understanding - to place the challenge of smart decarceration at the center of the current national discourse, taking into account the realities of the current sociopolitical context - and to propose beginning action steps. This is achieved by first outlining and addressing questions such as: What if incarceration were not an option for most?; Whose voices are essential in this era of decarceration?; What is the state of evidence for solutions?; How do we generate and adopt empirically driven reforms?; How do we redefin and rethink justice in the United States? Smart Decarceration offers a way forward in building a field for decarceration through provocative but reasoned challenges to existing approaches to criminal justice reforms, lively focus on potential solutions, and action steps for reform.
About the Editors:
Matthew Epperson, PhD, MSW, is an associate professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and founding co-director of the Smart Decarceration Initiative. His research centers on developing, implementing, and evaluating interventions to reduce disparities in the criminal justice system. Carrie Pettus-Davis, PhD, MSW, is founding director of the Institute for Advancing Justice Research and Innovation and founding co-director of the Smart Decarceration Initiative. Professor Pettus-Davis oversees research to better understand factors and disseminate practices that will dramatically reduce incarceration rates.