The Southern Office of

State Transformation in Action Recognition (STAR)

Creativity | Effectiveness

Impact | Transferability

2014 Brochure

The SLC  recognizes that state employees work hard, not only to provide outstanding services to their citizens, but also by striving to develop and adapt new and improved programs to make their states a better place to live.  Such efforts should be recognized and rewarded, and innovative ideas should be shared among colleagues.

The SLC STAR program represents an opportunity to highlight successful programs implemented within your state, especially those that can be replicated across state lines to improve the region as a whole.

Program Liaison

Seth Bailey, Research and Publications Associate 

Thank you

The submission period for the 2014 SLC State Transformation in Action Recognition (STAR) has passed. All applicants will be notified about their submission by June 16, 2014.

The STAR program identifies and promotes innovative ideas and programs from the Southern region’s best problem solvers: the states themselves. The SLC welcomes applications from a wide array of state agencies, departments, and institutions operating within the executive, legislative, and judicial governmental branches. Following a review process, finalists are invited to present at the SLC annual meeting in Little Rock, Arkansas, July 29, 2014, and two exceptional programs will be selected by a board of experienced policy professionals as models of efficiency and effectiveness in state governments in the Southern region.

State programs are evaluated and graded by the following criteria:

Creativity – Does the program represent a new and creative approach to solving common problems or issues?
Effectiveness – To what extent is the program successful at addressing an issue, and how efficiently does it operate?
Impact – How far-reaching are the benefits and solutions of the program?
Transferability – From a logistical and fiscal standpoint, could the program or practice easily be transferred to other states?

We encourage you to shine a spotlight on your state!

2013 Winners

Kentucky | Veterans’ Connect Program

During its 2010 regular session, the Kentucky General Assembly passed House Bill 377 and, in conjunction with the Administrative Offices of the Courts, established the Kentucky Veterans' Connect program. The program requires pretrial investigations and services to ask whether an individual has been in combat and, if so, provide contact information to services available for combat veterans. Vets are connected to a wide range of services available to veterans through the United States Veterans Administration, the state Department of Veterans Affairs and other sources.

The program only required amendment of the form used by Pretrial Services Officers during their initial interview; no additional equipment or software was needed. What was required was the willingness of the Pretrial Services Officers to do the extra work to identify and assist veterans. The Pretrial Services Officers' supervisors also conducted training for the new program online at no or minimal cost. Kentucky Pretrial Services Officers have displayed a willingness and enthusiasm to perform this service for those who have served our nation.

Summary | Application | Presentation

Virginia | Step Down program for Administrative Segregation

The Virginia Department of Corrections’ (DOC) Segregation Step Down program utilizes evidence-based practices (EBP) to provide a safe and secure way for offenders in Administrative Segregation to earn their return to the general population. The Virginia DOC is the first state correctional agency to apply the principles and practices of EBP research to an Administrative Segregation super-max prison population, and the program has significantly reduced the number of offenders in Administrative Segregation by 53 percent; increased safety by reducing prison incidents by 56 percent; and reduced staff stress and improved morale as evidenced by a decrease in use of sick leave.

Summary | Application | Presentation

The Southern Legislative Conference, Southern Office of the Council of State Governments (CSG), has a long history of highlighting exceptional state government programs. The CSG Innovations Awards Program recognized and promoted creative and successful state government programs and initiatives for nearly 40 years. Begun in 1975 as the Innovations Transfer Program, refined and renamed the CSG Innovations Awards in 1986, the program transitioned to the regional level in 2013. The SLC STAR Program is the Southern regional continuation of the former, national CSG Innovations Awards program.

Eligible Program Categories

Agriculture & Natural Resources

Ag Education
Conservation & Land Use
Land Preservation
Parks & Recreation
Natural Resources

Economic Development, Fiscal Affairs & Transportation

Business & Commerce
International Trade
Public-Private Partnerships
Transportation Infrastructure


Training & Development
Workforce Development



Health & Human Services

Children & Families
Health Services
Human Services

Government Operations & Technology

Information Systems
Public Information

Public Safety & Corrections

Criminal Justice
Substance Abuse
Emergency Management
Public Safety