Dismantling the Carceral Ecosystem: Interrogating the Role of “Child Protection” and “Family Policing” in Los Angeles

Dissertation, March 2022

Dissertation in Progress: Dismantling the Carceral Ecosystem: Interrogating the Role of “Child Protection” and Family Policing in Los Angeles

Work, Pay, or Go to Jail: Court-Ordered Community Service in Los Angeles

Role: Graduate Student Researcher | Organization: The UCLA Labor Center

Zink, D., Barchard, K., San Miguel, L., Copeland, V., Allen, D. (2016). Factor Structure of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Fourth Edition Spanish in aClinical Sample of Puerto Rican Children. Poster Presentation at the NationalAcademy of Neuropsychology Conference, Seattle WA

Lee, B., Copeland, V., & Allen, D. (2015). Meta-Analytic Investigation of Neuropyschological Performance in persons with Schizophrenia and Co-OccuringSubstane Use Disorders. Poster Presentation at the National Academy ofNeuropsychology Confernce, AustinTX

Accepted Manuscripts & Presentations

Copeland, V. (in press). “It’s the Only System We’ve Got”: Exploring Emergency Response Decision-Making in Child Welfare. Accepted for the Columbia Journal for Race & Law Special Issue: Abolishing the Child Welfare System and Re-Envisioning Child Well-Being. This paper explores the decision-making processes utilized by emergency response or investigative social workers. Themes discussed in this paper include: Family Policing through Multi-System Partnerships in Decision-Making, Caseworkers as Enforcers of Family Policing, and Re-Imagining the System of Family Policing

Wells, R. & Copeland, V. (in press). “The Real Data Set”: A case study on challenging power dynamics and questioning the boundaries of research production.  Accepted for the Gateways International Journal of Community Research and Engagement Special Call: Power in Engaged Scholarship. This paper presents a case of one community-based organization that has challenged traditional power dynamics during their partnerships with academic researchers. Located in the city of Los Angeles, this CBO is focused on community organizing and power building among low-income community members and has maintained long-term relationships with researchers from several academic institutions in the Los Angeles area.

Allmang, S., Plummer, J., Copeland, V. (2021, Jan). COVID-19 and Youth Engagment in Politics: An Intersectional Approach. Roundtable at the Society for Social WorkResearch Annual Conference, Virtual. This paper utilizes an intersectional lens to improve our understanding of the range of consequences of COVID-19, in order to develop tools to increase youth participation in the political process and mitigate the potential social and economic impacts of COVID-19 on young people in the United States and Mexico.

Tulley, B., Copeland, V., & Mickell, D. (2021, Jan). “I wanna give her her space”: An exploration of how young adults exiting foster care navigate living with family after foster care. Accepted for presentation at the European Scientific Association on Residential & Family Care for Children and Adolescents (EUSARF) Conference & SSWR 2021 Conference. Young people formerly in foster care experience greater housing insecurity than their peers in the U.S. Further, young people who age out of care are at greater risk for experiencing homelessness than youth placed in care who later reunified with a parent. Despite not reunifying with family prior to exiting care, one strategy some young people use to secure housing after exit is to return to live with a biological parent or other family member. Little prior research explores this phenomenon. This qualitative study explores the dynamics between young people and their families as they attempt to secure places to live after foster care.

Harvey, B. & Copeland, V. (2021, April). Co-Conspirators: Interrogating the Role of Schools within the Foster Care Industrial Complex. Accepted for the American Educational Research Association 2021 Annual Meeting. In this paper we explore how individuals might engage in abolitionist practice, uplifting the importance of relationships and community, and focusing on accountability versus punishment. In order to imagine abolitionist futures, we must understand the extent in which agents of surveillance function within the carceral web to punish and control Black and brown families. By centering abolition and utilizing a model of transcarceration, we can better examine the power and control executed throughout this network of colluding systems.

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