Applying the Theory of Social Good to Mass Incarceration and Civil Rights

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Research on Social Work Practice, Ahead of Print.
This article illustrates how the underproduction of social goods and services within the domain of diversity and inclusion bolstered mass incarceration in the United States and further marginalized historically oppressed groups, specifically African Americans. The article begins with a discussion of the importance of the social good framework and how it relates to the social problem of mass incarceration. Then, it provides a brief history of racial exclusion within the American context to demonstrate the centrality of race in the social exclusion of African Americans. This is followed by a discussion of the macro-, mezzo-, and micro-roots of mass incarceration, and how the U.S. tolerance for racially based social exclusion helped to propel mass incarceration, especially the overincarceration of African Americans. Finally, this article concludes with suggestions for rectifying this substantial social injustice and the role that social work must play in addressing this issue.  

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