A Feminist Call for Transforming the Criminal Justice System

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In the past 30 years, the number of incarcerated women in the United States has increased at a faster rate than that of men. This article outlines the ideologies and mechanisms of the “Prison Nation” and calls on social workers to conceptualize the effects of mass incarceration of women as an urgent social justice issue. We call for feminist social workers to adopt an anti-oppressive orientation to justice-involved women, build social work responses around national reform measures, and advocate for decarceration and restorative justice as a paradigm for responding to women’s involvement in systems which criminalize them.

Original Citation

Willison, J.S. & O’Brien, P. (2017). A Feminist Call for Transforming the Criminal Justice System. Affilia, 32(1), 37-49. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886109916658080