National Social Work Scholar Frederic Reamer to Lecture, March 1
Author: David Santen, Office of University Communications (503-725-8789)
Posted: February 19, 2007

Dr. Frederic Reamer, a nationally renowned scholar in the areas of mental health, criminal justice and social work ethics, will deliver the inaugural Charles Shireman Memorial Lecture, “Reflections on the Real Consequences of Justice,” Thursday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m.

Frederic Reamer

The lecture is presented by Portland State University’s Graduate School of Social Work and the School’s alumni association, in tribute to the contributions to social work education and criminal justice by Prof. Charles Shireman (1915–2006), who taught for 15 years at the Graduate School of Social Work. Frederic Reamer was a student of Charles Shireman's during his doctoral studies at the University of Chicago.

In a recent essay for the National Public Radio series “This I Believe,” Reamer said, “I believe that justice can’t be shaped by simplistic formulas. Rather, justice happens when real human beings sort through a jumble of laws, rules, conflicting stories and plain old instinct” ( Reamer will expand on this theme and consider the role of the social work profession and the contributions of Charles Shireman in the development of the justice system.

Since 1983, Frederic Reamer has served as professor in the graduate program of the School of Social Work at Rhode Island College. He has also taught at the University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration, and the University of Missouri-Columbia, School of Social Work. For the past 15 years Reamer has served on the Rhode Island Parole Board. Author of numerous articles and books on criminal justice and social work ethics, his most recent works include Criminal Lessons: Case Studies and Commentary on Crime and Justice (2003), Heinous Crime: Cases, Causes, and Consequences (2005), and Ethical Standards in Social Work: A Review of the NASW Code of Ethics (2nd ed.; 2006).

The PSU lecture is a free event, open to the public, and will be held in Hoffmann Hall (1833 SW 11th Avenue) in Portland. Please contact Crystal Froembling, 503-725-8961 or to RSVP by Monday, February 26, to reserve a seat. Free parking for the lecture is available in PSU parking structures after 7 pm. A reception immediately follows the lecture.

While in Portland, Frederic Reamer will also present an all-day workshop on March 2, “Boundary Issues and Dual Relationships in Social Work: Ethical and Risk Management Challenges,” sponsored by the Oregon Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. For more information on the workshop, which will be made available across Oregon via Web cast, please visit

About Charles Shireman
Charles Shireman was a beloved teacher of research and courses on juvenile and criminal justice at Portland State.
Prior to coming to Portland, Charles Shireman joined the faculty of the University of Chicago in 1958 in the School of Social Service Administration, which he served until 1985. He moved to Portland State University with his wife, Professor Joan Shireman, herself a distinguished scholar in child welfare and for 15 years taught research methods, juvenile justice and introduction to social work. He inspired colleagues and students alike, with whom he was enormously popular.

With special interest in probation, outreach to delinquent youth, and gang work, Dr. Shireman believed that the lives of juvenile delinquents could best be reclaimed through rehabilitation instead of severe punitive sentences. He was responsible for the development of graduate training in county and federal probation and was an outstanding teacher.

Shireman published extensively on topics related to juvenile justice co-authoring Rehabilitating Juvenile Justice, published in 1986, and co-editing Social Work Practice and Social Justice, published in 1973. From 1976 to 1977 Professor Shireman was a Fulbright scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Criminology at the University of Freiburg in Germany, praising their work in handling juvenile offenders as a child-welfare issue.

Prior to his passing in February 2006, Shireman and his wife, Professor Emerita Joan Shireman, established an endowed scholarship program benefiting social work students with a demonstrated interest in a career in public child welfare or juvenile justice. Opportunities to make a contribution to this scholarship fund in honor of Charles Shireman will be available at the lecture.

The Graduate School of Social Work at Portland State University
The Graduate School of Social Work at Portland State University is among the top schools of social work in the nation, and the only accredited Master of Social Work program in Oregon. The School’s mission is to prepare social work professionals to meet the critical education, research and service needs of children and families in the region and state. The School trains and prepares social work professionals to address issues including homelessness, substance abuse, mental illness, child abuse and neglect, unemployment, disability, chronic and terminal illness, poverty, and challenges associated with aging. In addition, the School’s outstanding research helps advance social work knowledge and practice locally and nationally.

For more information on the lecture, donating to the scholarship fund, or about the Graduate School of Social Work, please call Beckie Lee at 503-725-8020.

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Beckie Lee (503-725-8020)
Graduate School of Social Work