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What is SWIM?


Social Workers and social service staff, Investigators, and Mitigators (what we call the SWIM community) all play an invaluable role in Public Defender offices in Pennsylvania, across our community and for our clients. On this page, you'll find information about PDAP's offerings for folks working in these roles - mitigation resources, social service and investigative referral information, virtual and in-person events and a SWIM specific listserv. Past SWIM programming has included external training scholarships, Ask an SSA/Ask an Investigator sessions and virtual meetups with community-wide discussions on effective PD social service programs and best practices for witness interviews.

If you have any feedback or questions, would like to join the SWIM listserv, or have updates for our resources, please e-mail Julie Hyman at

Virtual SWIM Meet Ups

March 30, 2023 from 12-1 PM

Topic: What makes an effective PD social worker or social service program?

June 29, 2023 from 12-1 PM

Topic: What are best practices for witness interviews for both mitigation and investigation?


September 28, 2023 from 12-1 PM

Topic: Discussing challenges and celebrating victories

January 17th from 2:30-3:30 PM

Topic: Using Cellebrite

March 28, 2024 from 12-1 PM

Topic: Wellness

SWIM Offerings

SWIM Mental Health Training Conference: Advocating for Mentally ill and Neurodivergent Clients


  • FOR: All public defender social service advocates/social workers, investigators, and mitigators

  • WHEN: June 7, 2024, 9AM-4PM

  • WHERE: In-Person – Delaware County Government Center, Media PA



Ask An Investigator – Jessica Johnson, Capital Public Defender Investigator and Mitigation Specialist

Join us for Ask an Investigator on June 12th at 1 PM. Jessica Johnson has been a capital Public Defender investigator and mitigation specialist for 16 years. She will be talking about her work and answering your investigative questions. PD staff in all roles are welcome to attend!


Interviewing Kids: Strategy and Ethics


When you have a child in your case, whether a witness or a victim, there is a lot to consider before you interview them. Come learn about the ethics and strategy of these types of interviews and how to age appropriately engage with kids for the best outcomes. The session will include an opportunity to practice interviewing skills.


FOR: All PA Public Defenders

WHEN: June 27, 2024, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

WHERE: Online

CLE: For PA barred attorneys, this training will come with 1 hour of substantive and .5 hours of ethics CLE credits. These are provided free to PA Public Defenders.


Virtual SWIM Moots


SWIM is offering to virtually moot any social service staff, investigator or mitigator who needs to testify and wants to practice! Bring the attorney who will be doing your direct examination and we will recruit an attorney to practice your cross examination. In addition to the practice, you will receive feedback.

If interested, please e-mail a brief about the case, any relevant discovery and your CV to

SWIM Resources

Resources by Topic

Resources by County/Area

Downloadable Resources

Photos from recent SWIM trainings and meet ups

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