Now Accepting Submissions. Read our Call for Papers!


Abolitionist Perspectives in Social Work is now accepting manuscripts for publication. We hope you will consider submitting a manuscript for publication. All accepted manuscripts will be published online immediately following acceptance and later assembled into a journal issue. Please review our aims and scope below as well as our submission policies for additional information.

Aims and Scope

Abolitionist Perspectives in Social Work is dedicated to the development and dissemination of abolitionist values, theory, and praxis within the profession of social work, including research, education, policy, and practice. The journal explores the role of social work in challenging the systems and structures that perpetuate and maintain injustice and oppression through the carceral state, including prisons, policing, child welfare, immigration detention, and mental health services. The journal also critically examines the role of social work within carceral systems and the contradictions and conflicts this presents to the profession’s purported ethical values. The journal is also committed to exploring the challenges that result from raising abolitionist perspectives in social work, and supporting social work scholars, educators, and practitioners in confronting these challenges. 

Abolitionist Perspectives in Social Work seeks articles that explore:

  • Defining and conceptualizing abolitionist social work practice
  • Social work’s historical or current relationships with carceral systems, and tensions associated with these relationships and social work values
  • Critiques of social work’s role in supporting or maintaining carceral systems
  • Individual and community consequences that result from carceral systems and strategies for addressing these consequences
  • Social work’s role in creating alternatives to punishment and incarceration
  • Efforts to address and reduce pipelines to carceral involvement
  • Innovative practices to shift power and leadership to those impacted by carceral systems 
  • Strategies for reducing the size and scope of carceral systems, and social work’s role in these strategies
  • Social work’s role in restorative and transformative justice
  • Innovative policies and practices that provide responses to social problems without the need for intervention by carceral systems
  • Strategies that engage communities in creating the conditions in society that eliminate the need for carceral systems
  • Uplifting Black and Indigenous social work practices that have been ignored or delegitimized by the academy
  • Theoretical frameworks of ways of knowing and research approaches toward developing evidence that challenge the status quo
  • The advancement of abolitionist perspectives in social work education
  • Institutions of higher education as part of the carceral state and strategies for navigating and challenging these spaces

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