AmeriCorps Opportunities

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Missouri State Public Defender’s Holistic Defense Services team has partnered with AmeriCorps Missouri to pioneer a more holistic approach to public defense in Missouri – an approach that seeks to address the underlying needs and risk factors that so many of our clients share – and which are often what led to their involvement in the criminal legal system in the first place.

Holistic Advocates will have the unique opportunity to participate in the launch of MSPD’s Holistic Defense Services program and truly impact the way Missouri’s criminal legal system works.  Your efforts can help transform this system into one that is more humane and equitable and that recognizes that all people deserve to be treated respectfully and with dignity.

Holistic Advocates will go into their local communities to build engagement with service providers and help connect our clients to available resources.  Holistic Advocates will also work with attorneys to provide mitigation support to help clients avoid unnecessary pretrial detention and to make sure our clients’ lives and experiences are taken into consideration throughout their case. Through their work, Holistic Advocates will have the opportunity to make direct, lasting, and meaningful change for our clients and their communities.

Specifically, AmeriCorps Missouri Holistic Advocates will be responsible for:

  • Connecting clients to local resources for housing, mental health care, substance addiction treatment, transportation, etc.
  • Conducting psychosocial history interviews with clients
  • Interviewing mitigation witnesses and collecting letters of support
  • Assisting attorneys in developing mitigation themes
  • Drafting mitigation memoranda for use in criminal cases
  • Engaging with community partners to build relationships and address barriers our clients face in accessing services
  • Collecting data tracking the impact of this work

Holistic Advocates will work within their local trial office and collaborate with attorneys, clients, and support staff, as well as with their regional and the statewide Holistic Defense Services team.  Extensive training and support will be provided.

Required Minimum Education and Experience

Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Preference for specialization in social work, psychology, sociology, or closely related field.

Qualified candidates will be empathetic, resourceful, non-judgmental, organized, and will have a passion for public service. Candidates must have an ability to build rapport and trust with people from a diverse range of backgrounds and identities and should have strong writing and advocacy skills.

Living Stipend/Benefits

MSPD’s AmeriCorps Holistic Advocates will be eligible for $33,004/yr (before taxes) living allowance, pro-rated and paid in regular bi-monthly increments; member health care coverage for members who are not otherwise covered by a health care policy; a $6,495 education award at the end of the term; and professional development training.

For a more comprehensive look at AmeriCorps State benefits, visit AmeriCorps Member Benefits.

Many universities offer scholarships, application fee waivers, and other benefits to AmeriCorps members. You can find school-specific details on the Schools of National Service list.

Current Openings

Farmington, Fulton, Lebanon, St. Joseph, and West Plains

To Apply

To apply for the position, visit the AmeriCorps opportunity listing here.