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Abolition and Social Work

Abolition and Social Work

Possibilities, Paradoxes, and the Practice of Community Care

Mimi E. Kim, Cameron Rasmussen, Durrell M. Washington
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A critical anthology exploring the debates, conundrums, and promising practices around abolition and social work in academia and within impacted communities.

Within social work--a profession that has been intimately tied to and often complicit in the building and sustaining of the carceral state--abolitionist thinking, movement-building, and radical praxis are shifting the field. Critical scholarship and organizing have helped to name and examine the realities of carceral social work as a form of "soft policing." For radical social work, abolition moves beyond critique to the politics of possibility.

Featuring a foreword by Mariame Kaba, Abolition and Social Work offers an orientation to abolitionist theory for social workers and explores the tensions and paradoxes in realizing abolitionist practice in social work--a necessary intervention in contemporary discourse regarding carceral social work, and a compass for recentering this work through the lens of abolition, transformative justice, and collective care.

Contributors include Autumn Asher BlackDeer, Ramona Beltran, Danica Brown, Charlene A. Caruthers, Angela Y. Davis, Alan Dettlaff, Tanisha "Wakumi" Douglas, Annie Zean Dunbar, Angela Fernandez, Kassandra Frederique, María Gandarilla Ocampo, Claudette L. Grinnell-Davis, Sam Harrell, Justin S. Harty, Shira Hassan, Leah A. Jacobs, Nev Jones, Joyce McMillan, Network to Advance Abolitionist Social Work, Dorothy Roberts, Sophia Sarantakos, Katie Schultz, and Stéphanie Wahab.


Mimi E. Kim is assistant professor of social work at California State University, Long Beach and founder of Creative Interventions. Kim continues her political work through promotion of transformative justice and abolitionist visions and practices of community care and safety.

Cameron Rasmussen is a social worker, educator and facilitator. He is an Associate Director at the Center for Justice at Columbia University, a lecturer at Columbia Social Work, a PhD student at the Graduate Center, and a Collaborator with the NAASW.

Durrell M. Washington is an author, social worker, educator, facilitator, and socio-legal scholar from the Bronx, New York. He is a collaborator with the Network to Advance Abolitionist Social Work and PhD Candidate at the University of Chicago.


  • Publisher: Haymarket Books
  • Publish Date: April 30, 2024
  • Pages: 264
  • Dimensions: 6.0 X 8.9 X 0.9 inches | 0.7 pounds
  • Language: English
  • Type: Paperback
  • EAN/UPC: 9798888900918
  • BISAC Categories: Social Work, Public Policy - Social Services & Welfare, Discrimination & Race Relations
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