National Alliance of Sentencing Advocates and Mitigation Specialists

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NASAMS Statement on Current Racial Violence

We will not be silent. NASAMS stands against racism. We see now more than ever that allies need to work toward and promote anti-racism. NASAMS was founded almost 30 years ago to provide support and training to our members. We believed then, as we do now; that the work we do is at the heart of representing our clients. Our mission, core values and work uplift the unheard stories of Black American communities, and we ensure the experiences of those victimized by historic oppression will never be forgotten. Our social workers, lawyers and mitigation specialists all share a common history of advocacy and are duty bound to advance our understanding of the impact factors such as tyranny, systematic oppression and police brutality have on our communities of color.

As mitigation specialists, social workers, investigators, psychologists, psychiatrists and more; we tell the stories every day of Black men, women, children, and families. We knock on their doors and call their phones. We are allowed to spend time in their homes and with their families listening to their experiences and journeys. We learn about the worst days of their lives and their better days as well. We then share their stories with the world. We know better than anyone what they face and what we face in fighting against oppression. NASAMS will not sit idly by while racism is front and center. We will not sit idly by while Black citizens are murdered by those charged with protecting them.

We will speak out against systemic racism, overt racism, and implicit biases that harm the African American community. Black Americans — including George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and uncountable others, cannot die in vain on our watch. Their deaths must be consistent reminders that we have a duty to stand up, speak up, and to lift up the voices of our clients and their communities. We want you to stand beside us and pledge to be a part of the solution; not just for the people we serve, but for the people we work with, and the people we live beside in our communities. We will take a stand for racial justice alongside NLADA and work to produce expertise that helps transcend the scourge of racism. The members of NASAMS stand in solidarity with the supporters of George Floyd, Black Lives Matter, and communities around the world engaged in the struggle for justice and racial equality. We will continue to lead meaningful discussions, trainings and opportunities to address the issues impacting Black and brown people in America. We will not be silent! We will say their names!

Upcoming Events

Please join us for a webinar on Restorative Justice! Bring your case-specific questions and prepare to brainstorm with colleagues around the country. Current NASAMS membership is required to participate in mentorship calls. Learn more and register here: http://www.nlada.org/node/33046

Who We Are

Founded in 1992, the National Alliance of Sentencing Advocates & Mitigation Specialists (NASAMS) is the only national organization devoted to the educational and professional development of sentencing advocates and mitigation specialists. NASAMS publishes professional standards, provides specialized training, and makes referrals to experts in its national network. NASAMS became a practice section of NLADA in 2005.a

Contact the NASAMS Executive Committee to learn more about our organization and our profession. If you are searching for a sentencing advocates or mitigation specialist to join your defense team, contact [email protected] to find the right person to meet the needs of your team.

 

NLADA and NASAMS present "360 Degrees of Smarter Sentencing: Mitigation, Risk Assessments, Advocacy & Fairness," at the Aleph Institute's 2016 Alternative Sentencing Key Stakeholder Summit,.

Our Work

Sentencing advocates explore the histories of criminal defendants to create individualized sentencing plans. Their proposals often focus on substance abuse and mental health treatment, victim restitution, community supervision, avoidance of future misconduct, and appropriate and constructive consequences. This approach allows courts to sentence people to community-based programs that address their needs, while reserving expensive prison and jail space only for those who threaten the safety of the community.

Mitigation specialists speak for the dignity and value of those who have committed even the worst criminal acts. When a criminal defendant faces a death sentence, a mitigation specialist will tell his story to the jury in order to advocate for his life. Mitigation specialists also provide expert insight into criminal culpability, helping courts to understand a defendant’s mental health or developmental disorders.

Benefits of Membership

  • Specialized training. Network and sharpen your skills with top trainers at conferences and on webinars. Members enjoy reduced rates and are eligible for the annual Melissa Kupferberg Scholarship.
  • Members-only listserv. Learn about career opportunities, discuss your work, and seek confidential help for cases.
  • Individual consultation. Talk to experts in the field about cases and careers.
  • Public policy advocacy.  Make your voice heard in our nation’s capital through NLADA.

Click here to become a member, or contact [email protected] with questions.