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The Network to Advance Abolitionist Social Work (NAASW) strives to amplify a practice of social work aimed at dismantling the prison industrial complex (PIC) and building the life-affirming horizon to which abolition aspires. Our efforts include:

  • Ongoing political education

  • Research / knowledge generation around carceral and abolition social work

  • Developing an online hub of abolitionist social work resources 

  • Broader organizing and advocacy efforts to insert abolitionist ideas and practices into social work.

 We recognize “social work” to include all workers who identify with the field — from social service workers to organizers, clinicians to policy makers, and those with and without social work degrees or licenses.

Abolitionist social work partners in the work of ending state and institutional violence, while supporting life- affirming relationships, practices and organizing.  We are committed to working towards a social work rooted in solidarity over charity, one that is decolonized, de-professionalized, anti-capitalist, and is committed to accountability, reparations, and continual transformation. This requires that social work become unrecognizable from its current form.



Data Report

In the spring of 2021, we launched a survey of social work to understand more about how social work(ers) perpetuate and / or are complicit in criminalization, and how social work(ers) are engaging in abolitionist work. We are grateful to the over 400 survey participants. Please read and share our full report published in March 2022 entitled "Challenging Carceral Social Work and the Struggle for Abolition." 


Material from Our Network




Mimi Kim
Vivianne Guevara
Michelle Grier
Sarah Knight
Tiffany McFadden
Sheila Vakharia
Caitlin Becker
Cameron Rasmussen
Durrell Washington
Rosie Ríos
Nikita Rahman
Ben Sadoff