The Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Western District of Washington (FPD) is accepting applications for a full-time criminal defense mitigation specialist (MS) with a duty station in the Seattle or Tacoma office. The MS will work on cases throughout our district assigned to both the Seattle and Tacoma FPD offices. The MS department provides intensive clinical case management services and advocacy for clients at all stages of their criminal cases by conducting biopsychosocial assessments and referrals to housing, mental health and substance use treatment, employment, and medical services. The MS plans and delivers continuing education to colleagues and attorneys on the Criminal Justice Act (CJA) panel. The MS department oversees the MSW practicum program, selecting, training, and supervising social work graduate students. The MS department also liaises with the Bureau of Prisons, US Probation and Pretrial Services, federal defender offices nation-wide, and local agencies serving system-involved clients. The MS co-facilitates reentry programing for in-custody clients, participates in local reentry coalitions, and develops and maintains partnerships with local service providers.
Candidates should demonstrate a strong background in social work practice and be dedicated to defending those accused of committing crimes even when the evidence against them appears strong. The candidate should be self-motivated, resourceful, creative, and client-centered, and demonstrate a commitment to social justice, the promotion of equity, and anti-oppressive practices. We provide a vigorous defense at all stages of our clients’ cases. The MS will advocate for humane sentences by developing mitigation evidence to present judges fully developed views of our clients and their lives, not merely their charges. The MS will support the office in providing a holistic approach to legal representation. Preference will be given to candidates with a minimum of two years of post-graduate practice experience and/or those with a clinical license, such as a LICSW. Experience with forensic social work, the criminal legal system, mental health and addiction treatment, intellectual and developmental disability, or treatment of trauma is desired.
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