Holistic Defense Services
We are seeking mitigation specialists to help our clients with the underlying issues that have led to their contact with the criminal legal system. Mitigation specialists will connect clients to resources in the community and work with attorneys to advocate for appropriate outcomes that take into consideration a more holistic view of who our clients are and how we can prevent the vicious cycle of criminal legal involvement. Through their work, mitigation specialists can help reduce pretrial detention and unnecessary prison sentences and can create lasting and meaningful change in the way the criminal legal system works. Mitigation specialists will work in MSPD Trial offices across the state, serving clients in an assigned region and building relationships with community providers to overcome the barriers our clients face in accessing services and the stigma of criminal legal involvement.
This is a professional position responsible for assisting regional MSPD offices with the underlying issues that have led to their clients’ contact with the criminal justice system and with presenting mitigation information to be used in pre-trial negotiations and at sentencing. Upon referral by attorneys, they will provide case management assistance to clients and will develop psychosocial histories of clients to assist attorneys with client relationships and advocacy in all facets of their representation. An employee in this position will also develop mitigation memoranda for use in clients’ cases.
An employee in this position will engage with community organizations to identify services to assist clients and will collaborate with Holistic Defense Specialists in regional MSPD offices to help supervise social work interns and volunteers. Regular travel within the assigned region is both expected and required.
EXAMPLES OF WORK:
- Provide case management services to clients
- Conduct psychosocial history interviews with clients and mitigation witnesses
- Request and review records
- Conduct literature reviews and social science research as part of mitigation work
- Assist attorneys in developing mitigation themes and draft mitigation memoranda
- Supervise social work interns and other holistic defense interns
- Provide support and guidance to Holistic Defense Specialists in their assigned region
- Map resources in the assigned region and create partnerships with local service providers and agencies to help clients address the issues leading to their system-involvement and/or barriers to pretrial release
- Help collect and analyze data tracking holistic defense work and its impact
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES:
- Knowledge of or ability to learn about available community-based social services
- Knowledge of the intersection of criminal defense and social work, the collateral consequences of criminal charges and convictions and mitigation practice
- Knowledge of effective supervisory and management technique
- Organizational and time management skills for effective handling of diverse workload and competing priorities
- Interpersonal, teamwork, and communication skills leading to effective performance in office, organizational, and criminal justice system settings
- Ability to treat clients, coworkers, and colleagues with respect at all times
- Knowledge of the general methods of social systems casework
- Understanding of legal and social work ethics parameters
- Knowledge of human behavior, attitudes, and motivation and the ability to apply this knowledge to client advocacy
- Ability to supervise and direct the work of social work interns
- Ability to conduct trauma-informed psychosocial interviews
- Ability to prepare clear and concise written advocacy
- Ability to travel to various parts of the state
REQUIRED MINIMUM EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:
Master’s degree from an accredited college or university with specialization in psychology, social work, sociology, or closely related field; Masters in Social Work preferred.