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Smart Decarceration Rubric The United States has the highest rate of incarcerati

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Smart Decarceration Rubric
The United States has the highest rate of incarceration in the world, and inequities in the use of
incarceration yield a high burden on people of color, people in poverty, and people with
behavioral health conditions. Evidence indicates that mass incarceration has reached a tipping
point, and that the U.S. is entering an era of Decarceration. The grand challenge of this new era
will be to move away from incarceration-based thinking and toward an array of proactive
policy, practice, and research innovations that will not only substantially reduce the
incarcerated population, but also work against structural oppression and racism, ameliorate
social disparities and maximize public safety and well-being.
Smart Decarceration Assignment: The Smart Decarceration Assignment should define a
problem or issue within the criminal justice and social work interface in which you have a
particular interest, keeping in mind that part of this assignment will entail developing a smart
Decarceration programmatic or policy intervention to address the problem. The paper can be
related to one of the course topic areas (i.e. mental illness in the CJ system, racial disparities,
women, infectious disease, etc.) or it can be on a separate issue of your choosing (with prior
approval). The topic must be one that has mass incarceration and Decarceration implications.
As you develop your intervention, be creative, but also be practical. (i.e. do not propose
something that is so cost prohibitive that it is not feasible). Your intervention should be
described in sufficient detail so that it is clear how your intervention will address the key
components of the problem/issue.
Make sure you are specific enough in focus to be able to adequately discuss the problem in a
brief paper/PowerPoint/YouTube video. The assignment should include the following:
1. A thorough description of the problem/issue, its significance to social work and
criminal justice. Why is this problem/issue important? How does the problem relate
to mass incarceration?
2. What current or past interventions (programs or policies) have attempted to address
this problem/issue? How have the criminal justice and social work worlds typically
viewed this problem/issue?
3. An outline of your proposed idea (outline does not count towards page limit)
1. Traditional paper in APA format (5-page minimum with 10-page maximum limit- not
including title page, reference page, or outline)
2. PowerPoint presentation (10 slide minimum with 15 slides maximum)
3. YouTube video (5-minute presentation minimum with 10 minutes maximum)
4. Other formats at my discretion (please reach out to me individually for approval)
I. A description of the problem/issue, its significance, and any relevant literature review (revised
from Part I)
II. What current or past programs or policies (on either the criminal justice or social work side)
have attempted to address this problem/issue. Or, how have the criminal justice and social
work systems typically viewed this problem/issue? What is the logic behind these
interventions? (revised from Part I)
III. A detailed description of your program/policy smart Decarceration intervention that will
begin to address this problem, including:
A. Who will carry out the intervention? Will it be persons/entities in the criminal justice
or social work world, both, or neither?
B. Intervention Model: What are the key characteristics of the intervention, based on
your problem theory? Describe these in sufficient detail so that the intervention can be
clearly understood.
C. How does this program/policy build on current knowledge of the problem and past
attempts to solve it?
D. How does the intervention work toward reducing the use of incarceration –
specifically the outcomes outlined in the Smart Decarceration concept paper? (see
readings in Module 14 <>
E. Explain how the intervention incorporates one or more guiding concepts from the
Smart Decarceration concept paper (Changing the narrative; Making criminal justice
system-wide innovations; Implementing transdisciplinary policy and practice
interventions; and Employing evidence-driven strategies).
F. How does the intervention promote social justice and other social work values at the
criminal justice and social work interface?
G. How will effectiveness of the intervention be determined?
***Again, the focus of this paper is loosely defined, so be creative in exploring your smart
Decarceration topic in a way that will be informative and enriching for you

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