Collaboration with police divides social workers across US
Ayers said collaboration between police and social workers risks perpetuating the systemic racism she has seen in the social work field. "Putting social workers in to heal all the wounds as a Band-Aid is just going to blow up in everyone's face," she said. Social workers contribute to the criminalization and mass incarceration of people of color, said Julia Lyon, a Pennsylvania social worker and member of Social Service Workers United. “Otherwise, social workers are just going to be police without guns.”But advocates of collaboration between social workers and police point to how ingrained law enforcement is into American society as evidence of the need for acting within that framework. AdInstead of perpetuating what they see as punishment-based approaches, opponents of police and social workers recommend more investment in community-based intervention.