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.
The Southern Legislative Conference is seeking applications for its newly formed State Transformation in Action Recognition (STAR), the SLC adaptation of the CSG Innovations Awards Program, started in 1975 and recently transitioned to a regional level.
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 will be invited to present at the SLC annual meeting in Little Rock, Arkansas, July 29, 2014, and two exceptional programs will be selected by a panel of experienced policy professionals as models of efficiency and effectiveness in state governments in the Southern region. Finalists will be notified of their selection by June 16, 2014.
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?
Applications for 2014 will be available January 6, 2014.
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 Vet 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 the country.
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 evidence by a decrease in use of sick leave.
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