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.

Mark Hebert
Following a 28-year career as a radio and television reporter, Mark Hebert joined the University of Louisville as the Director of Media Relations in 2009, serving as the main spokesperson. In 2015, Mark was named Director of Programming and Production. He’s now producing and hosting a radio show about “all things UofL”, overseeing the university’s video and TV productions and promoting UofL’s research operation. Mark is best known for his 22 years as the political and investigative reporter for WHAS-TV in Louisville where he won numerous awards for breaking stories, exposing corruption and objectively covering Kentucky politics. In 2014, Mark was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame.