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  • Public Defender Social Workers and Mitigation Specialists


    The Pima County Public Defender's Office employs a team of social workers and mitigation specialists who work together with clients involved with felony, juvenile delinquency, or dependency cases.  The team works with clients and their attorneys to assist in accessing resources and by providing client-centered mitigation.  Additionally the team strives to address the underlying issues that lead to a client’s involvement with the legal system by providing support and advocacy on behalf of clients. 

    Jennifer Salem-Russo

    Team Leader

    Jennifer Salem-Russo is a graduate of the Rhode Island College School of Social Work, earning her MSW in 1999.  She is a licensed clinical social worker in Arizona, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  Jennifer has worked in the social work field assisting children and adults for over 30 years in a variety of settings including hospital, residential, and outpatient.  Jennifer most recently worked in Massachusetts for the past 20 years and was the Director of an outpatient trauma focused therapy program for children and families.  Jennifer’s interests and passions include advocating for social justice and promoting trauma informed care.  She has been with the office since January 2020.