Brandon Garrick

MSW, LSW, DSW Candidate

Smart Decarceration: Integrating a Bio-Psycho-Social application to the treatment of criminal cognitions.


This presentation explores the pivotal practice issue of criminal cognitions and their direct impact on recidivism, situated within the broader context of smart decarceration. It will explore interventions and strategies aimed at addressing criminal cognitions, culminating in a comprehensive understanding. The presentation will highlight three distinct papers, each contributing to a comprehensive understanding of interventions for criminal cognitions. The first product acts as the cornerstone, meticulously dissecting existing interventions and assessment tools employed in addressing criminal cognitions within a correctional setting. Central findings along with the methods taken to extract pertinent literature will be discussed. Further, the limitations and gaps discovered in the review will be presented. The second product reflects on the literature review and presents a new way of thinking about treatment, especially when it comes to thinking about biological and social factors that influence criminal cognitions. This include the application of Rational Choice Theory, Differential Association Theory, and Interactionism. Further, the paper sets the stage for the final product, the practice application paper. The third product provides a practice application integrating key findings from the first two products. A case study is presented to demonstrate clinical practice with a dual diagnosis individual with criminal ideation. Application analysis will be explored shaping a foundation for future research and practice. Key findings from the capstone will be discussed along with significance for the field of clinical social work. The presentation will conclude with an opportunity for questions.


Brandon J. Garrick is an enthusiastic licensed social worker with a solid academic background and extensive experience in criminal justice and social work. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from NC State University in 2016 and completed his Master of Social Work degree there in 2020. Currently pursuing his doctorate at the University of Kentucky, Brandon specializes in advanced clinical practice.

With prior roles as a mental health clinician at three different federal correctional settings and as a mental health unit-based correctional officer at a state correctional facility, Brandon has acquired a comprehensive knowledge base. Presently, he serves as a Specialty Treatment Program Specialist at the Federal Medical Center Butner, focusing on delivering specialized care to individuals with complex mental health needs within the criminal justice system.

Moreover, Brandon shares his expertise as a part-time instructor in the Master of Social Work Program at the University of Kentucky and contributes to course development for the new criminal justice program there. His research interests span forensic social work, mental health, group therapy dynamics, criminal thinking, and recidivism.

Brandon’s capstone project concentrates on treating criminal cognitions to advance smart decarceration, reflecting his dedication to evidence-based practices and innovative approaches in mental health practice. His steadfast commitment to his profession and clients makes him a valuable social work asset. Additionally, Brandon is a caring family member and pet owner.