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Former graduate student and current Ohio University Professor Ursula Castellano publishes dissertation monograph.

"Outsourcing Justice," published this month, is based on Ursula's ethnographic dissertation project on the role of nonprofits in a local criminal justice system.

Outsourcing Justice: The Role of Nonprofit Caseworkers in Pretrial Release Programs

(First Forum Press) 

Do pretrial release programs, initiated and now operated by a range of nonprofit organizations to redress the inequalities of the bail system, affect the administration of justice? Specifically, do they lessen the barriers to justice often faced by poor and minority defendants? Ursula Castellano's ethnographic study of three pretrial release programs reveals the often unintended consequences of incorporating social service nonprofits in the criminal court process.

Castellano explores the intimate workings of pretrial release programs to show how contract caseworkers now play a critical role at nearly every stage of the criminal justice process—and also how well-intentioned nonprofits can end up compromising the traditional adversarial legal process in the name of treatment, sometimes in ways that are detrimental for defendants. In the process, she  raises new questions about the increasing involvement of nonprofits in the operation of government.


"An important contribution to our discussions of the practical meaning of the term ‘criminal justice’ in the contemporary US."—Gale Miller, Marquette University

"A thought-provoking look at the early stages of the criminal justice process... Castellano aptly shows how pretrial release decisions—even ones designed to keep defendants out of jails—could lead to a more expanded form of social control."—Leslie Paik, The City College of the City University of New York