Event Calendar

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Course: Mitigation Mechanics for Mitigation Specialists and Sentencing Advocates

Start Date: 7/11/2023 5:00 PM EDT
End Date: 8/15/2023 7:00 PM EDT

Venue Name: Online through NAPD's LMS System

Organization Name: National Association for Public Defense

Jeni Benavides
Email: events@publicdefenders.us
Phone: (502) 219-6149


JULY 11-AUG 15, 2023
PRICE $390




This course is an introductory fundamentals course for new mitigation specialists and sentencing advocates. It is different from the online course Mitigation from the Start, and also different from The Critical Examination of Mitigation and Our Role in Uncovering It!


1. What will I learn in Mitigation Mechanics for Mitigation Specialists and Sentencing Advocates?
  • This course will focus on the fundamental aspects of mitigation work by mitigation specialists and sentencing advocates new to the field. An overview of mitigation including the history of mitigation, interviewing skills, requesting and digesting records, addressing system failures, and how to outline a mitigation report (or memo) for writing will be covered as part of this course.
2. How is this course different from The Critical Examination of Mitigation and Our Role in Uncovering It?
  • The Critical Examination course focuses on aspects and themes of mitigation including report writing and storytelling. The Critical Examination course is for those new to the field or returning to the field of mitigation, but does not cover the fundamental aspects of mitigation. If The Critical Examination course were a college course, it would be a 200 while Mitigation Mechanics would be a 100. Mitigation Mechanics is considered the foundational course, to be followed by The Critical Examination.
3. How is this course different from Mitigation from the Start?
  • Mitigation from the Start is tailored to mitigation development by attorneys, investigators, and paralegals – it is not a course specific to mitigation specialists. Mitigation specialists (social workers, sentencing advocates, etc.) new to mitigation practice are encouraged to take Mitigation Mechanics instead.
4. Who is Mitigation Mechanics for Mitigation Specialists and Sentencing Advocates for?
  • New practitioners (new to mitigation defense work) who are mitigation specialists, sentencing advocates, dispositional advocates, social workers, and similarly positioned to perform mitigation work in public defense settings.
5. How long is this course?
  • Six weeks.
6. What is expected from this course?Course length and time expectations for participants
This course will last six weeks meeting on Tuesday each week for 1.5 hours. The course will involve:
  • Some course videos and reading to be done at your convenience (~ 1 hour).
  • Participate in course online forum (~ 30 minutes).
  • Live instruction and small groups ( ~ 90 minutes - 6 meetings each - see below).
  • The final work product for this course is outline of a mitigation report or mitigation memo.
  • This course has online self-study and review of articles, videos, presentations,and other reading that is to be done prior to the weekly virtual class. Online obligations run from 1-2 hours, and the weekly class is 90 minutes once a week. Each 90-minute class features a lecture and small group discussion. The final work product for the course is creation of an outline for a mitigation report or mitigation memo.
    • This six-week course will have weekly virtual meetings on Tuesdays beginning July 11 from 5:00-6:30 pm Eastern | 2:00-3:30 pm Pacific (with the last class held August 15).

Each weekly virtual meeting will include a large group presentation and small group discussion.
Led by Stephanne Thornton
Stephanne Thornton
Stephanne Cline Thornton is the Clinical Director for the West Virginia Judicial and Lawyer Assistance Program, and owner of Transform Legal, a consultancy focused on mitigation, training, and sustainability. She is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and Master Addiction Counselor focusing on access to trauma and substance use disorder treatment to ensure the health and well-being of affected individuals. Recognizing the prevalent intersection of stress, substance use, and mental health conditions with some practitioners of the law, Stephanne believes in health, sustainability, and mindful practices to ensure those in the helping professions care for themselves to better care for those they are serving. She approaches her work with clients, lawyers, social workers, and mitigation specialists through a mitigation lens of contextualizing. 

Stephanne earned a Master of Divinity degree from Emory University Candler School of Theology, and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Georgia. She has been clinically licensed as a social worker and addictions counselor since 2004 and additionally holds certificates as Certified Addiction Counselor Level III, Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, and Certified Sex Offender Treatment Provider. Stephanne’s clinical training background is in trauma, and she is on the Trauma-Informed Care Network Speakers Bureau and presents on trauma, substance use, and self-care across the state and at national conferences.  

Cancellation Policy 

NAPD doesn't apply for CLE or track attendance to provide certifications for our live webinars, conferences and online courses. This helps us keep the price as low as possible and avoids the disruption of the flow of the training required by many states to verify attendance.

Online Registration

Registration is Closed
Closed: 6/28/2023 9:00 PM

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