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Student organization creates Criminal Justice Reform caucus

By Crystal Randles, MSW Student

The Social Work Student Organization (SoWoSo) is composed of all degree-seeking students in the School. Student-created and directed caucuses within SoWoSo represent the interests of and provide support to the School community. Students are encouraged to attend and contribute to formal committee meetings that occur throughout the academic year.

The Criminal Justice Reform caucus is a new addition to SoWoSo that promotes awareness of social inequity, racial and socioeconomic disparities, punitive policies, and mass incarceration evident in historical and current judicial, correctional, and law enforcement institutions. The purpose of the caucus is for social workers to prevent and eliminate the exploitation of, and discrimination against marginalized and oppressed groups in our community. Their goal is for social workers to utilize holistic interventions that address social, environmental, and political determinants when working with those involved in the criminal justice system.

The caucus will be hosting a free movie screening of “The House I Live In” this semester to shed light on how the war on drugs has negatively impacted our communities and how it is responsible for mass incarceration in our country. The caucus co-chairs hope to also have discussions about current events that call for criminal justice reform and how social workers can become advocates for change in our system. Next semester, they also hope to have a guest speaker that can discuss how our criminal justice system affects children.

For more information about future events, please join their Facebook group UNC SoWoSO Criminal Justice Reform Caucus.