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Jacoba Rock, Ph.D., LCSW

Clinical Assistant Professor

Jacoba Rock

Contact Information:

Phone: (303) 834-5893
Office Hours: Video or Phone, by appointment

Jacoba Rock (she/they) is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Social Work at Boise State University. She holds a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies, with a doctoral minor in Criminology, from the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Rock received her M.S.W. from the University of Denver, where she also earned a graduate certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution. She has been a licensed social worker since 2011.

Dr. Rock’s primary experience as a forensic social work practitioner and scholar focuses on pathways, and treatment opportunities with incarcerated juveniles and young adults. She has provided consultation and testimony as a legal expert on over 50 cases of Juvenile Life Without Parole and other cases of juvenile sentencing in adult court, as well as cases where clients are facing or serving sentences of capital punishment. Dr. Rock is also a leader in state- and national- level policy initiatives and program development opportunities that initiate or enhance trauma-informed care, mental health service access, family involvement, and re-entry opportunities for incarcerated populations.

Dr. Rock is also invested in progressing social work education through a focus on equity, innovation, and collaboration. She is an advocate for making a social work degree accessible and optimally valuable for students and their communities. Dr. Rock teaches across the social work practice, policy, and research curriculum, and has taught at B.S.W., M.S.W., and D.S.W. levels since 2012.

Areas of Interest:

  • Forensic and Criminal Legal Social Work
  • Crossover and System-Involved Youth
  • Criminal / Juvenile Legal System Reform and Prison Abolition
  • Trauma-Informed Approaches
  • Restorative Approaches
  • Mixed Methods and Translational Research
  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion


  • Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies, with a doctoral minor in Criminology, 2021, Pennsylvania State University
  • M.S.W., 2010, University of Denver
  • Graduate Certificate, Alternative Dispute Resolution, 2008, University of Denver
  • B.A. in Sociology, and Peace and Conflict Studies, 2007, University of Colorado at Boulder