DPA Social Worker Program - Top 25 Innovations in Government
Today the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University announced the Top 25 programs in this year’s Innovations in American Government Award competition. These government initiatives represent the dedicated efforts of city, state, federal, and tribal governments and address a host of policy issues including crime prevention, economic development, environmental and community revitalization, employment, education, and health care. Selected by a cohort of policy experts, researchers, and practitioners, four finalists and one winner of the Innovations in American Government Award will be announced in the fall. A full list of the Top 25 programs is available here.
“These Top 25 innovations in government offer real, tangible ways to protect our most disadvantaged citizens, educate the next-generation workforce, and utilize data analytics to enhance government performance,” said Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in Government program at the Ash Center. “Despite diminishing resources, these government programs have developed model innovations that other struggling agencies should be inspired to replicate and adapt to their own communities.”
Included in the programs selected is the Department of Public Advocacy's Social Worker Program.
Alternative Sentencing Social Worker Program Commonwealth of Kentucky
In the Alternative Sentencing Social Worker Program, social workers—with public defenders—develop and present individualized alternative sentencing plans to the court as options other than incarceration. Persons who would normally be jailed or imprisoned stay in the community, receive services, and become less likely to reoffend.
||DPA Social Worker Program: alternative sentencing social workers offer courts developed sentencing options
DPA social workers develop and present evidence-based individualized alternative sentencing plans to the court as options to incarceration. Persons who would normally be jailed or imprisoned instead serve their sentence in treatment in the community with more effective and less costly outcomes. These alternatives to incarceration decrease jail and prison costs and recidivism. They advance a more efficient and effective justice system. DPA represents the vast majority of criminal defendants in the state and is particularly well-suited to lead a collaborative effort to create plans for juveniles and offenders with substance abuse and mental illness.
DPA social workers do what others cannot do
- Use motivational interviewing within the attorney-client privilege, increasing changed client behavior
- Improve coordination and cooperation among criminal justice agencies and treatment providers
- Intervene early for more efficient resolution
- Understand substance abuse, mental illness and the undeveloped minds of juveniles
Judges and prosecutors support this program because
- Sentencing options are provided
- Plans address underlying causes of the criminal behavior
- Clients’ motivation for compliance with treatment plans increases
Jail and prison costs are saved
Each social worker saves counties and the state $100,000+ jail and prison costs according to an independent study done by University of Louisville Kent School of Social Work.
A presentation on alternative sentencing social workers can be viewed by clicking on: Alternative Sentencing Social Worker Click Here to view the: Alternative Sentencing Video. Click here to view the One-Page Social Worker Overview.