OPD’s Social Work Division serves as a national model that is examined by other public defender offices around the country. With specialized training in forensic services, our licensed social workers join with defense attorneys to provide holistic representation by assessing the underlying causes of clients’ behaviors, and developing individualized recommendations for treatment. OPD social workers collaborate with one another, attorneys, investigators, mental health professionals, educators, family members, and anyone else who may provide insight pertaining to the lives of their clients.
By investigating a client’s social history, our social workers unearth the root causes of a client’s decision-making, and develop meaningful plans to remove barriers to success in the future. Social workers meet with clients, family members and other support networks to unearth, scrutinize and evaluate client information, then use that information to offer alternatives to incarceration and expert testimony.