Rosemary C. Sarri, Ph.D.is a tireless and celebrated social worker and scholar whose research and activism in the field of social work has made a substantial difference in juvenile justice and children’s rights. Dr. Sarri received her Ph.D. in Social Work and Sociology from the University of Michigan in 1962. She joined the U of M faculty in 1959 as a lecturer, was promoted assistant professor in 1962 and made full professor in 1966.
Dr. Sarri has done extensive research in the field of social work especially in regard to children, families, women, and the justice system. In 1973, she testified in front of Congress regarding the use of adult jails to house juvenile offenders, which led to the passing of the 1974 Juvenile Justice Act. Traveling all over the world, Dr. Sarri has worked with various organizations and universities in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Ethiopia, Australia, and South Korea. Appointed by the Minister of Education to the Russian Social Welfare Commission, she helped develop educational standards and curriculum guidelines for social work education.
She has published over 15 books and 180 chapters and articles in her lifetime with her work cited in papers all over the world. In 1995, she was named Michigan Social Worker of the Year and is a Gerald K. Smith Humanitarian Award recipient. Dr. Sarri continues her work today, including consulting on a project to address youth who are concurrently in the foster care and juvenile justice systems.