FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER
MITIGATION SPECIALIST – SOCIAL WORKER
The Federal Public Defender for the Southern District of Florida is accepting applications for the position of Mitigation Specialist – Social Worker in our Miami office. The Federal Public Defender, a branch of the United States Courts, an Equal Opportunity Employer, operates under the authority of the Criminal Justice Act, 18 U.S.C. §3006A, to provide defense services to indigent persons in federal criminal cases and related matters in the federal courts.
Requirements: a Bachelor’s degree in social work, psychology, criminal justice or closely-related field with a minimum of three (3) years of social service experience serving justice-involved clients in the community or while incarcerated. *A Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) is preferred. Applicants must have a commitment to provide quality representation to indigent defendants, as well as a unique personality that allows them to deal with many different types of clients at various stages of the legal process. Applicants must have a reputation or personal integrity, respecting others and professional accountability.
Applicants must have a working knowledge of the criminal justice and correctional systems. Qualifying experience should also demonstrate the applicant’s ability to conduct exhaustive independent investigations of all aspects of a client’s character, life history, criminal records, circumstances of the offense, and any other unique factors which may provide a basis for a lesser sentence and an improved sentencing outcome. Records and research gathered must be meticulously reviewed, maintained and made available to the defense team. Must possess a valid driver’s license, car and insurance. Excellent written and verbal communication skills are required. Computer literacy is required (Microsoft Word, Excel and Adobe Acrobat). *Spanish language proficiency preferred, but not required.
Duties/Selection Criteria: The successful applicant must have social service experience to identify resources and services in the community for clients needing mental or physical health treatment, housing, employment, obtaining identification documents, transportation, Social Security benefits, and any other needs related to re-entering the community after incarceration, as conditions of release on bond or as an alternative to incarceration. This will include providing clients with guidance and informed choices, making various service referrals and navigating complex programs with the client as an active support advocate.
Additionally, the Social Worker – Mitigation Specialist will develop and maintain relationships with clients, their family members, local social service providers and direction of the defense team (subject to change on a frequent basis). Applicants must also possess the ability to work in a fast-paced team environment; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; be accurate and attentive to detail, compose correspondence independently; an organize work, set priorities and meet critical deadlines. Position may also require the ability to testify at court proceedings.
In support of legal mitigation the Social Worker – Mitigation Specialist will investigate, analyze, develop, and present mitigation evidence to the defense team. They will gather and summarize social history records, conduct in-depth interviews with professionals having relevant knowledge of the client’s biopsychosocial development, education and employment, as well as their medical and mental health (including substance abuse) histories. Other duties may also include researching, identifying and consulting with local experts as contracted for case purposes.
Regular day trips and some overnight travel is required for case investigations and visiting clients housed in various correctional facilities through the Southern District of Florida. This position is Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The selected candidate will be subject to a background check as a condition of employment.
Salary and Benefits: This is a full-time position, and federal salary and benefits apply. Salary is dependent upon qualifications and experience with an annual starting range from $70,545 – $154,458. This position is subject to mandatory electronic transfer (direct deposit) of net pay.
How to Apply: No telephone calls please. Qualified persons may apply by submitting a letter of interest outlining experience, background in criminal law, and interest in the field of criminal defense, resume and three references with contact information (send in PDF format as one attachment) to:
Human Resources Specialist
Federal Public Defender’s Office
150 West Flagler Street, Suite 1500
Miami, Florida 33130
Only applicants selected for an interview with be contacted. Hiring for this position is subject to the availability of funds in the final appropriation. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. All responses will remain confidential.
The Federal Public Defender is an Equal-Opportunity Employer.
All applicants, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin,
gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, disability,
or age, are encouraged to apply.