Special Issue "Between Criminalization and Care: Reimagining Social Work's Role in the Carceral State"

A special issue of Social Sciences (ISSN 2076-0760). This special issue belongs to the section "Social Policy and Welfare".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2024 | Viewed by 210

Special Issue Editor

Division of Social Work, College of Health Sciences, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071, USA
Interests: feminist theories; criminalization and gender; disability; carceral state; social justice; critical pedagogy; abolition; anti-carceral social work

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The unique experiences of criminalized women at the intersection of the criminal legal system and social services must be focused on. While the carceral state impacts marginalized communities broadly, it has distinct and often intensified effects on women. These range from gender-specific forms of violence and abuse to the unique responsibilities and challenges of motherhood under state supervision. These obstacles are further amplified by systemic factors such as racism and are often exacerbated by social service systems, intensifying their marginalization and vulnerability.

Despite social work’s commitment to social justice, the discipline faces the critical task of scrutinizing the potential harm and unintended outcomes resulting from current interventions. This invites us to engage in reflective critique, aiming to align our methodologies and pedagogies more closely with the lived experiences of criminalized women.

This Special Issue calls for bold contributions that dissect the complex relationship between criminalization and care. We welcome empirical research, critical theoretical examinations, and reflective practice narratives that can deepen our understanding of this pivotal issue. We are particularly interested in submissions that critically evaluate systemic structures affecting criminalized women and illuminate the far-reaching impacts of the carceral state on women’s lives.

Dr. Sandra Leotti
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Social Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • social work
  • social services
  • criminalized women
  • carceral state
  • social justice
  • transformative practice
  • intersectionality
  • systemic barriers
  • feminist criminology
  • anti-carceral social work

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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