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Smart Decarceration Initiative

About the Smart Decarceration Initiative (SDI)

Led by Matthew Epperson, at the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration and Carrie Pettus-Davis, from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. SDI's mission is to build social capacity in order to reduce incarceration rates in ways that are effective, sustainable and socially just.


SDI is guided by three goals

  1. Substantially reduce the jail and prison population

  2. Redress existing social disparities among the incarcerated 

  3. Maximize public safety and well-being


SDI is also directing one of the social work profession's most significant efforts. Through the American Academy of Social Work & Social Welfare, SDI is leading the Promote Smart Decarceration Grand Challenge, one of the 12 Grand Challenges for Social Work.

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