Mass Incarceration, Homelessness, Substance Use

SP2 Initiatives and Faculty focus applied research, psychosocial services, and person-centered approach to better understand how to recover and provide service to vulnerable populations.

Featured Centers

Center for Carceral Communities

Goldring Reentry Initiative


Dennis P. Culhane, PhD

Professor; PhD, Boston College, 1990. Homelessness; housing policy; policy analysis research methods.

Dr. Malitta Engstrom


Malitta Engstrom, PhD, LCSW

Associate Professor; PhD, Columbia University. Substance use and intersections with criminal justice system involvement, victimization, HIV, and mental health, particularly in relation to women across the life course and families; informing, developing, and testing interventions to address co-occurring concerns; enhancing the value of scientific findings for use in practice; multigenerational social work practice with families.

Related News

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SP2 researchers recognized at Society for Social Work and Research conference

Researchers from Penn’s School of Social Policy and Practice (SP2) were recognized for their leadership and scholarship at the 2023 Annual Conference of the Society for Social Work and Research […]

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Penn Today and spotlight SP2’s Social Justice Scholars Program

Now in its second year, the Social Justice Scholars Program at Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) welcomed four scholars in 2022, offering a full-tuition scholarship, mentorship from […]

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Substance Use Disorder Treatment: Trust and Communication are Key

Currently, Johnna Marcus, MSW ’15, LICSW, works at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s Division of Addiction Psychiatry in Boston. There, she serves as a social worker for patients in both […]