Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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Humane, cost-effective systems for formerly incarcerated people

By Leonard A. Jason and Ron Harvey
A recent New York Times article, reports on a study that found private, corporate-run transitional half-way houses were less effective in preventing recidivism than releasing inmates directly into communities. For those interested in understanding and improving outcomes among ex-offenders, these results are discouraging.

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World Social Work Day: Against neoliberal social work?

By John Harris and Vicky White
Social workers around the world are being invited to celebrate World Social Work Day on 19 March under the banner “Promoting Social and Economic Equalities”, taken from the Global Agenda (2010). Such a call to arms is sorely needed in the face of the growing influence of neoliberalism on global social work, an influence manifested in marketisation, consumerisation, and managerialisation.

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‘Grooming’ and the sexual abuse of children

By Dr Anne-Marie McAlinden
The word “grooming” has become synonymous with child sexual abuse. It is often used to describe situations of extra-familial abuse–where “predatory strangers” befriend children who were previously unknown to them. Two of the most prominent social connotations of the term are “on-line grooming” committed via the internet and “institutional grooming” and abuse committed by those in positions of power and trust.

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“Her home contains tens of thousands of pieces of clothing…”

By Christiana Bratiotis

Sharon is a 53-year-old white woman who is unmarried and lives alone in a multi-family home in a northeastern suburb. Sharon recently lost her job due to her multiple mental and physical health disabilities. Because of her job loss, Sharon is unable to afford her rent. She is now 3 months in the rears and her landlord is demanding payment. He recently stopped by to talk with Sharon. She was home but did not answer the door.

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A fairer future for social care?

By Tom Dening
Social care remains high on the political agenda as the Commission on Funding of Care and Support has this week presented its report to the Chancellor and to the Secretary of State for Health. The Commission comprised the commendably small number of three members – Andrew Dilnot, an economist and Principal of St Hugh’s College, Oxford; Dame Jo Williams, Chair of the Care Quality Commission; and Lord Norman Warner, former Health Minister and erstwhile head of Kent Social Services. In their report, Fairer Care Funding, the Commission has proposed major changes to the current system.

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This Week in History: Happy Birthday, Jane Addams

By Katherine van Wormer
She had no children, but for those of us who are social workers, she was the mother of us all. The social action focus, empathy with people in poverty, campaigning for human rights—these priorities of social work had their origins in the work and teachings of Jane Addams. Unlike the “friendly visitors” before her, Addams came to realize, in her work with immigrants and the poor, that poverty stems not from character defects but from social conditions that need to be changed…

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“I am Troy Davis”

Troy Davis has been on death row since 1991 for the alleged 1989 murder of a police officer in Savannah, Georgia. Now, key prosecution witnesses have come forward and admitted that their original testimonies were not truthful. On June 23, an evidentiary hearing began, and a ruling on Troy Davis is expected not long after legal briefs are filed on July 7th. Here, Elizabeth Beck and Sarah Britto remember the death row sentencing of Troy Davis, the ongoing controversies, and consider what it means to be the man accused of a crime he may not have committed.

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Head Start: Management Issues

Edward Zigler is a developmental scientist and a pioneer and leader in the field of applied developmental psychology. He served on the committee that planned Head Start and was the federal official responsible for the program during the Nixon administration. Sally J. Styfco is a writer and social policy analyst specializing in issues pertaining to children and families. Together they wrote, The Hidden History Of Head Start, which looks at this remarkable social program that has served 25 million children and their families since it was established 44 years ago. We get an insider’s view of the program’s decades of services and an idea of what the future may hold.

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