Carrie Pettus

CSD Faculty Director; Justice System Partners
Smart Decarceration: Reversing Mass Imprisonment in America

Carrie Pettus is a CSD faculty director leading the center’s work on decarceration and criminal-justice reform. Founder of the Smart Decarceration Initiative and the Institute for Justice Research and Development at Florida State University, Pettus is a principal with Justice System Partners, and she also co-leads the Network to Promote Smart Decarceration within the Grand Challenges for Social Work initiative.


CSD Projects

Leading the ‘Promote Smart Decarceration’ Grand Challenge

Smart Decarceration

Social work scholars and practitioners join together to identify, develop and implement steps to promote smart decarceration.

Re-entry Community Linkages

Smart Decarceration

We partner with St. Louis Integrated Health Network, City of St. Louis and others to improve health outcomes for minorities in transition from jail to communities.


Smart Decarceration

The Support4Families program is designed to assist families who struggle with the emotional strain of providing support to loved ones releasing from prison.

Innovation Research in Deferred Prosecution

Smart Decarceration

We advance “deferred prosecution” programs. People charged with certain offenses can be diverted from traditional court proceedings and possibly avoid incarceration. 

Smart Decarceration

Social Justice

We build social capacity to reduce incarceration rates in ways that are effective, sustainable and socially just. This requires major shifts in the criminal justice system. 

Promoting Behavioral Health Within Communities to Reduce Criminal Justice Involvement

Smart Decarceration

We engage with community partners in developing a social capacity framework to promote behavioral health for people involved in the criminal justice system.

St. Louis Decarceration Strategy

Smart Decarceration

We collaborate with St. Louis criminal justice entities to research, design, implement, and evaluate evidence-based policies and practices to reduce the incarcerated population.