In 2014, the IFCD recognized an urgent need for defense centered sentencing plans.  The idea was to provide increased advocacy on behalf of convicted defendants that addressed a client’s particular vulnerabilities and how they came to find themselves in a federal court awaiting sentencing.  We wanted a team gifted in interviewing and investigating each client’s life story to bring to the sentencing judge as full a picture as possible of the person standing before them. And we wanted to create innovative plans for the future that would address a client’s individual needs for rehabilitative resources.  In this way, we hoped to increase community based rehabilitative efforts and decrease prison sentences.

Our mitigation resource team is now four members strong.  All team members have mental health, social work, and/or counseling backgrounds.  They are experienced in interviewing, investigating, and creating the best plans possible to deal with our client’s strengths and vulnerabilities.

Dani Waller is the supervisor of the program.  Dani has masters degree in social work and another masters degree in societal politics.  Her undergraduate studies were in political science.  At the time we hired her, Dani was in private practice running a successful capital mitigation program in Kentucky.  As a nationally renowned capital mitigation specialist, she remains a frequent guest lecturer on issues concerning capital mitigation.  She has also developed an intense interest in creating videos for our client’s sentencing hearings.

For more information on Dani and the other members of her team, Alison Russell, Alex Woods, and John Cocco, please see the “About Us” portion of our website.

In addition to preparing sentencing plans, the mitigation resource team is also available to assist clients pretrial with difficulties adjusting to incarceration or navigating the complex, but limited, labyrinth of resources available to clients who have been released awaiting resolution of their federal cases.