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Photo of McLeod, Branden A.

Branden A. McLeod, PhD

Associate Professor

Pronouns: He/Him/His


Building & Room:

ETMSW 4218


1040 West Harrison Street, Chicago, Illinois 60607

Office Phone:



Dr. McLeod joined the University of Illinois Chicago's Jane Addams College of Social Work in August 2016, where he currently serves as associate professor and co-founder of the Lab for Empowerment and Advancement Through Dad-Driven Research (LEADR). Branden teaches social welfare policy, policy practice, and research. His research examines how social policies and systems shape Black men's well-being and their relationships with their families. Prior to joining UIC, Branden practiced macro social work at the Child Welfare League of America in Washington, D.C., Maryland Center for Economic Policy, Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations, and the Center for Restorative Change at the University of Maryland School of Social Work.

Professional Interests

Fatherhood among Black fathers and families
Reentry into society from incarceration
Criminal justice reform

Teaching Experience

SocW 420 Social Welfare and Social Policy I
SocW 460 Research I: Social Work Research
SocW 531 Policy II: Organization and Community Practice
SocW 591 Social Policy Analysis and Development

Selected Publications


Tadros, E., Jhuremalani, A., & McLeod, B., (2024). The effect of peer influence and neighborhood quality on incarcerated fathers’ attachment. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology

McLeod, B.A., Charles, P., Gottlieb, A. Muentner, L. (2024). Father-child contact during prison and its association with fathers’ parenting self-efficacy. Families in Society.

Day, A., McLeod, B., Hawkins, R. L., & Mogro-Wilson, C. (2023). The Importance of Policy Advocacy in Social Work. Families in Society, 104(3), 243-244.

Lea III, C. H., Mohr, G., McCarter, S. A., Coughlin, S. B., Gottlieb, A., Partlow, B. S., … & McLeod, B.A. (2022). Promote smart decarceration and eliminate racism grand challenges for social work: Reimagining marijuana policy. Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare49(27).

Doyle, O., Cryer-Coupet, Q., & McLeod, B.A. (2022). “All about how you couch it:” African American fathers’ visions of interventions for their sons.” Journal of Child and Family Studies.

McLeod, B.A. (2021). The effect of multiple forms of father-child contact during imprisonment on fathers’ reports of relationship quality. Corrections: Policy, Practice, and Research.

McLeod, B.A. (2020). “Hello group, I need advice”: A Textual Analysis of Black Fathers’ Help‐Seeking Posts on Facebook. Family Relations.

Gottlieb, A., Charles, P., McLeod, B.A., Kjellstrand, J., & Bonsu, J. (2020). Were California’s Decarceration Efforts Smart? A Quasi-Experimental Examination of Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Disparities. Criminal Justice and Behavior.

Gottlieb, A., McLeod, B.A., & Barutell, K. F. (2019). The impact of health insurance on problematic substance use among justice-involved individuals. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation. https://10.1080/10509674.2019.1697785

McLeod, B.A., Johnson, Jr., W.A., Cryer-Coupet, Q.R. & Mincy, R.B. (2019). Examining the longitudinal effects of paternal incarceration and coparenting relationships on sons’ educational outcomes: A mediation analysis. Children and Youth Services Review, 100, 362-375.

McLeod, B.A., & Gottlieb, A. (2018). Examining the relationship between child support arrears and incarceration among low-income nonresident fathers. Children and Youth Services Review. https://10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.09.022

Van Sluytman, L. G., Torres, D., McLeod, B.A., & Coleman, D. (2018). When they return: Framing the argument for inclusion. Journal of Human Rights and Social Work.

McLeod, B.A., & Bonsu, J. (2018). The benefits and challenges of visitation practices in correctional settings: Will video visitation assist incarcerated fathers and their children? Children and Youth Services Review, 93, 30-35.

McLeod, B.A., Gilmore, J., Daughtery, L. G., & Jones, J.T. (2018). A nonprofit organization’s approach to cognize community responses to historic and perpetuated structural racism in Baltimore city. Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs, 4(2).

McLeod, B. (2017). Fathering Despite Perpetual Penalties: Examining Fathers’ Involvement amidst the Collateral Consequences of Previous Criminal Justice Involvement. Urban Social Work, 1, 2, 144-164.

McLeod, B.A. & Tirmazi, M. T. (2017). Paternal dimensions and complexities: Understanding the relationship between parental dyads and fathers’ involvement among Black fathers with criminal records. Journal of Family Social Work. doi. 10.1080/10522158.2017.1283653

McLeod, B.A., Gilmore, J., & Jones, J. (2017). Solutions to structural racism in Baltimore City: One organization’s community-engaged approach in the aftermath of civil unrest. Social Work, 62(1), 77-79. doi: 10.1093/sw/sww067.

Egleton, M. C., Banigo, D. M., McLeod, B.A., & Vakalahi, H. F. O. (2016). Homelessness among formerly incarcerated African American men: Contributors and consequences. Contemporary Social Science, 11(4), 403-413. doi:10.1080/21582041.2016.1258590

Book Chapters

Charles, P., Wilson, A. B., McLeod, B. A., Gottlieb, A., & Villodas, M. (2022). Incarcerated parents and their children: Perspectives from the smart decarceration social work grand challenge. In N. Rodriguez & Krysik, J. (Eds.) Children of incarcerated parents: Impact, support, and collaboration, First Edition (pp. 241–256). Springer Publishing Company.

McLeod, B.A. & Greif, G., (2022). Group Work with Fathers in Federal Pretrial Detention and a Community-Based Residential Setting: Reflections on Practice and Policies Across Contexts. Social Work with Fathers: Engagement, Assessment, and Intervention.

Editorial Reviews

Social Work Journal
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation
Journal of Family Social Work
Families in Society – Editorial Board member


BS, Lincoln University
MSW, University of Maryland
PhD, Morgan State University

Professional Memberships

Council on Social Work Education
Racial Democracy Crime and Justice Network
Society for Social Work Research