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UofL has ties to top government innovations

by Mark Hebert, communications and marketing last modified May 09, 2013 11:35 AM

Two programs with ties to the University of Louisville are ranked among the “Top 25 Innovations in Government” by the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government .

UPS’ Metropolitan College and the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy’s Alternative Sentencing Social Worker Program are on the list from the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation, which sponsors the rankings.

More than 800 UofL students are enrolled in Metropolitan College. The program provides a workforce for UPS. In return, students receive a salary, benefits and free tuition to UofL.

Kent School of Social Work studied Kentucky’s pilot Alternative Sentencing Social Worker Program and found that each social worker it hired saved taxpayers about $100,000 per year in jail and prison costs. The study helped the state model a program which brings social workers and public defenders together to craft alternatives to jail sentences to reduce imprisonment and recidivism rates.

“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.”

A winner and four finalists for the “Innovations in American Government Award” will be selected later this year.

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