At Insight Mitigation, LLC, Vickie Piontkowski utilizes social work theories to give context to a person’s criminal charges. Incorporating a strengths-based perspective, person-in-environment understanding, culturally responsive practice, and trauma-informed approach, Ms. Piontkowski’s presentations of the lived experience of criminally charged people have resulted in reduced charges, lower sentences and alternatives to incarceration. Ms. Piontkowski has also been trained by the Federal Death Penalty Resource Counsel Project to serve as a Defense Victim Outreach Specialist.
Vickie Piontkowski, JD, MSW, LCSW worked as a Mitigation Investigator for the Federal Public Defender office in Pittsburgh from 2009 – 2021. In that capacity, Ms. Piontkowski worked on federal criminal cases in the pre-trial, trial, appeals and habeas stages. In 2021, she was awarded the Cessie Alfonso Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Profession by the National Association of Sentencing Advocates and Mitigation Specialists. In 2017, she was named Outstanding Federal Defender Investigator by the National Association of Federal Defenders. From 2006 – 2009, Ms. Piontkowski worked as a Forensic Social Worker for the Neighborhood Defenders Northwest division of the Maryland Office of the Public Defender. Ms. Piontkowski provided holistic defense services to her clients, assisting with pre-trial and sentencing preparation, substance abuse and mental health treatment coordination, housing and employment needs, and family-related concerns. While in this position, she received the Jane Addams Social Work Award in 2009. Prior to working with public defender offices, Ms. Piontkowski provided civil legal services to incarcerated adults and re-entry services to women in Maryland through the non-profit Alternative Directions, Inc. She also taught literacy and GED preparation classes to incarcerated men at the River City Correctional Center.
Ms. Piontkowski completed a dual degree graduate program in social work and law, receiving her Master of Social Work and Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Ohio Wesleyan University. While in graduate school, she provided individual counseling to incarcerated men at the Patuxent Institute Youthful Offenders program, became a trained mediator through Baltimore Community Mediation Center, and received an Albert Schweitzer Fellowship to assist women with criminal records in finding employment. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work, and an invited presenter at regional and national mitigation and sentencing advocacy workshops.
Ms. Piontkowski has worked with individuals charged with drug offenses, sex offenses, firearms offenses, fraud, bank robbery, supervised release violations, assault and homicide. She has worked with several adults resentenced under the Miller v. Alabama ruling and the Incarceration Reduction Amendment Act . Her clients have been neurodivergent and neurotypical, disabled and able bodied, transgender and cisgender. Ms. Piontkowski has worked with people diagnosed with both developmental disabilities and mental health disorders including Intellectual Disability, Autism, Schizophrenia, Major Depressive Disorder, Panic Disorder, Substance Use Disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Dissociative Identity Disorder, and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Insight Mitigation, LLC accepts state and federal cases. Each case requires individualized services, but may include any of the following:
- Client bio-psycho-social-cultural-spiritual assessment
- Family and collateral witness interviews
- Request, review and analysis of applicable records
- Expert recommendation
- Release/treatment plan
- Written report
- Sentencing video or PowerPoint presentation
Defense victim outreach services
In 2022, Ms. Piontkowski completed training through the Federal Death Penalty Resource Counsel Project to serve as a liaison between defense teams and victims of violent crime and their family members in federal and state criminal case proceedings.