Society is trapped
in a cycle

of labeling, demonizing, and keeping down any person or group subject to categorization, whether by race, gender, class, or insider or outsider status,” writes Dr. Kimberly Westcott, #FullParticipation conference producer and associate counsel at CSS, in her essay on criminal record #expungement and the history of #punishment in America.

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Kimberly Westcott, PhD, JD, MSW

Kimberly Westcott, PhD, JD is Associate Counsel in CSS’s Legal Department and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at
the Columbia University School of Social Work (CUSSW). A former labor and employment attorney with the New York City Transit Authority, her work with CSS includes: developing in-prison education and training opportunities to transform the nature of prison; removing barriers to employment for the formerly incarcerated; and creating living wage career pathways that resource communities of color. Ms. Westcott serves on several reintegration project development teams.

A graduate of Yale University and Rutgers University School of Law-Newark, Ms. Westcott also has a substantive background in social welfare policy, receiving her MSW and PhD from Columbia University. Ms. Westcott developed and teaches CUSSW’s “Race, Representation, Criminalization and Exclusion: Black Americans in the United States Criminal Punishment System,” writes opinion pieces on race and social justice, and has published several articles that advance a life course development-human rights approach to changing the punishment paradigm, including Westcott, K. (2015). “Race, Criminalization and Historical Trauma in the United States: Making the Case for a New Justice Framework,” Traumatology 21(4), 273-284.


The Community Service Society of New York

The Community Service Society of New York (CSS) is an informed, independent, and unwavering voice for positive action representing low-income New Yorkers. CSS addresses the root causes of economic disparity through research, advocacy, and innovative program models that strengthen and benefit all New Yorkers.