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Joseph J. Harper

Joseph J. Harper, Assistant Lecturer

Social Work, Non-Tenure Track Faculty

Mr. Harper joined the social work program in 2021. He previously held positions with the Illinois Department of Human Services Division of Mental Health including Executive Director of the Southern Region and Hospital Administrator of Chester Mental Health Center. He has served as the program administrator for mental health services at Menard Correction Center which is the state’s largest maximum-security correctional facility. 

He has prior practice experience in child welfare, employee assistance programs, and outpatient mental health services. He has been a long-term member of the National Association of Social Workers and former First Vice-President of the Illinois Chapter. He also served as the Chair of NASW-IL’s statewide Political Action Committee. He has previously served as the Chair of the Metro East St. Louis District and has represented the Illinois Chapter at the past Delegate Assemblies.

Joseph J. Harper

Phone: 618-453-3925

Mr. Harper has presented on the topic of services to forensic patients at several conferences including those held by the Illinois Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, the National Commission on Correctional Health Care, and the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers. Mr. Harper has also coauthored several publications in the field forensic social work practice and has served as an expert witness regarding forensic populations. Mr. Harper is has served as a member of the clinical examination committee with the Association of Social Work Boards and remains involved in exam development activities.


Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri
Master of Social Work - 1993

Fontbonne College, St. Louis, Missouri
Master of Business Administration - 1990

McKendree College, Lebanon, Illinois
Bachelor of Business Administration - 1984