Positions in this class serve as part of the defense team, and as such, are bound by the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct including rules regarding the attorney-client privilege and client confidentiality.
This is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) position with responsibility for authority through licensure to practice clinical social work and designation as the agency’s mitigation specialist.
Assists the complex crimes unit on potential and filed capital cases, complex homicide and sex offense cases, juvenile, and other cases involving physical or mental illness issues requiring clinical assessments and extensive or specialized work in mitigation. Provides agency wide training and guidance to as it relates to developing and presenting mitigating evidence.
Position works under direction of an attorney in the complex crimes unit, and as a collaborative member of the defense team:
Applies specialized skills and experience in identifying, documenting and interpreting symptoms of mental and behavioral impairment. Conducts clinical assessments to identify signs of mental illness, congenital defects, developmental disabilities, neurological conditions, cognitive deficits, substance abuse or other mental, behavioral, or physical health issues potentially influencing the client’s development, personality or behavior, as well as, client competency, mental health capacity or the ability to comprehend the legal proceedings.
Interviews clients, client families, friends and other relevant parties requiring the ability to elicit sensitive and confidential information regarding the client’s development and behavior. Compiles comprehensive and well-documented psychosocial histories for presentation to the defense team, experts, district attorneys, court or jury, as appropriate.
Assists in obtaining and reviews extensive records and analyzes the significance of information relevant to mitigating themes and circumstances in the client’s life. Assists in documenting and organizing digital and physical files of information collected.
Identifies the need for, and assists in, locating medical or mental health experts to conduct client examinations and evaluations. Serves as a liaison with the defense team and experts to exchange relevant information, assist in the evaluation, and present mitigating evidence.
Serves as a liaison between the attorney, client, client’s family, jail/detention personnel, and medical and mental health providers to facilitate access to treatment or services. Develops recommendations for appropriate pretrial release, sentencing and post-sentencing options accordingly.
Participates in special assignments and in intra-agency committees as directed.
Required Education and Experience:
Master’s degree from an accredited college or university educational program in social work;
Five years’ experience in the clinical assessment of mental health disorders, substance abuse, and psychosocial variables affecting behavior and development, preferably in a criminal justice system;
Licensure in the State of Colorado as a clinical social worker (LCSW).
Conditions of Employment:
Valid driver’s license and access to a working vehicle;
Willing to work non-traditional hours;
Willing to travel both within and outside the State of Colorado as duties require.
Additional Salary Information: Salary Range $4,722 - $7,083 Monthly
Internal Number: R49H24
About Office of the Colorado State Public Defender
Colorado’s Office of the State Public Defender (OSPD) maintains a reputation as one of the top organizations in the nation specializing in the delivery of indigent criminal defense representation. It operates as an independent agency within the Judicial Branch of Colorado State Government with approximately 870 dedicated and zealous individuals assigned to twenty-one Regional Trial Offices across the state, a centralized Appellate Division, and a centralized Administrative Office. The mission of OSPD is to defend and protect the rights, liberties, and dignity of those accused of crimes who cannot afford to retain counsel. We do so by providing constitutionally and statutorily mandated representation that is effective, zealous, inspired and compassionate.
We seek to hire professionals who are dedicated to public service and committed to serving our clients. We are a fast paced, team-oriented environment, where self-motivation and a personal commitment to high performance are important attributes for success.