Court Based Clinical Specialist

NYC Criminal Justice Agency

New York City, New York, United States, NY

New York City, New York, United States, NY, US
New York City, New York, United States, NY
30+ days ago

Court Based Clinical Specialist

Posted: 8/10/2021

Are you a Licensed Social Worker or Mental Health Counselor who is interested in providing support in arraignment court for potential clients eligible for Supervised Release who present specific needs in regards to mental health, substance abuse and other psychosocial stressors?

Are you an experienced professional who is interested in helping us implement a more focused strength-based and community-engaged approach?

Join our team of mental health and social work professionals seeking to improve the experience of justice involved individuals in the NYC Courts!


The New York City Criminal Justice Agency (CJA) is a not-for-profit service and research organization that operates in partnership with the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice.  CJA is the City’s main pretrial services agency, combining operations, pilot projects, and research under one roof.  CJA utilizes procedural justice practices to provide pretrial services to over 200,000 persons arrested annually in New York City. Information collected about these arrestees and subsequent case processing is maintained in the agency’s internal and externally shared database systems, which are used to conduct descriptive and evaluation research on arrestee characteristics, case processing and court outcomes, and on issues and potential reforms to criminal justice policy in New York City. CJA’s programs operate in the criminal courts and detention facilities 24 hours a day seven days a week within the 5 boroughs of NYC, employing over 250 employees, citywide.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­CJA VALUES

Each employee at CJA is guided by these values in our work:

  • Commitment: We are committed to being active partners in criminal justice reform through initiatives and creative problem-solving that evaluates different methods and strategies for alternatives to detention.
  • Fairness: We are guided by fairness and the presumption of innocence for those who are detained and work with integrity and without bias to protect the privacy and interest of court-involved people and their families.
  • Innovation: We value curiosity as a driving force to lead the way in pretrial services. We use innovative techniques in research, pilot programs, and engaging justice-involved communities to execute our mission of reducing unnecessary pretrial detention.


CJA operates a Supervised Release Program in Queens Criminal Court. The program, which operates during the day and night court in Queens, screens targeted defendants for release at criminal court arraignment, subject to specific conditions including maintaining face-to-face and telephone contact with the program, participating in an assessment process to identify needs such as substance use and mental health, and agreeing to program monitoring of court appearances and re-arrests.

This is a great professional development opportunity for a dynamic, knowledgeable individual, experienced in dealing with high-needs populations such as those with mental health diagnoses, at-risk youth, and others with social, emotional or developmental challenges, who have criminal court involvement.


Reporting to both the Clinical Director and the Associate Clinical Director, the Court Based Clinical Specialist will:

  • Function collaboratively on an interdisciplinary team of Social Workers, Court Representatives and Peer Specialists, in order to contribute clinical experience and knowledge, to assist in appropriately screening and advocating for participants with behavioral health needs.
  • Draw upon an understanding of court procedures and work collaboratively with clients, attorneys, judges and other court stakeholders to facilitate admission into the Supervised Release Program.
  • Utilize problem solving techniques, motivational interviewing and other evidence-based practices as appropriate, as a critical part of the pretrial supervision and case management process approach, to help motivate and engage individuals in any needed process of change
  • Immediately begin a mobile intake assessment to gather information, as well as explain program supervision conditions (including the anticipated reporting schedule and mandatory methods of communication) to all newly released participants presenting as “in crisis”, high risk or high needs.
  • Initiate necessary referrals directly from arraignment or other court parts as needed or as ordered by the judge (i.e. detox, outpatient substance abuse treatment and mental health).
  • Communicate and collaborate with defense attorneys and other court partners regarding program expectations, coordination of client service referrals and program compliance.
  • Collaborate closely with community programs to ensure that referrals and court mandates are translated into programming.
  • Be present at court appearances to relay compliance information on and off the court record, as needed.
  • Ensure the timely flow of information and other necessary documentation to all other case management, administrative and managerial staff to meet program goals and objectives


  • NYS License in Social Work (LCSW or LMSW) or Mental Health Couseling (LMHC)
  • 3+years of related experience working with court involved populations of diverse age ranges who present a wide variety of needs including mental health, substance abuse, education or family or socio-economic challenges.
  • Knowledge of criminal justice system procedures and ability to communicate this knowledge to justice-involved individuals (bail procedures, ROR, etc.)
  • Familiarity with the Alternative to Detention (ATD), Alternative to Incarceration (ATI) or other advocacy program models

The ideal candidate will possess a combination of the following knowledge, skills, and experiences:

  • Knowledge of treatment programs (substance use, mental health, co-occurring disorders, etc.) and other support services (GED, job training, adolescent development, etc.) for referrals
  • Experience working with the homeless and/or unstably housed population and familiarity with housing programs and related community resources to assist participants facing housing instability.
  • Ability to follow workflow procedures and ability to work in fast paced environment
  • Excellent communication, organizational, writing and time management skills
  • Ability to utilize active-listening skills, exercise sound judgement, problem-solve and be detail-oriented
  • Computer literacy with the ability to quickly adapt to changing technology
  • Knowledge of evidence based practice techniques including, but not limited to, Motivational Interviewing, CBT and DBT.
  • Experience documenting client progress in a Case Management System
  • Willingness and ability to travel within the 5 boroughs, as needed
  • (English/Spanish), a plus
  • Internal candidates should be in good standing with the agency when applying

LOCATION: Kew Gardens, NY

HOURS: Must be willing to work evening and weekend hours, as needed

SALARY: Up to $70K

BENEFITS:  CJA offers a very generous benefit plan including health, dental and vision insurance, a comprehensive mental health and wellness (EAP) plan, four weeks’ vacation, paid holidays and a retirement plan with employer matching contributions.  CJA is also strongly committed to professional learning and development for its staff members and offers staff varied opportunities for learning and development through partnerships and vendor services for web based, in-person professional development training, as well as in-house job training and development.

Note: Due to the nationwide pandemic CJA has implemented remote working for most staff until September 2021. While it is uncertain where NYC will be with respect to resuming direct client work at the time of hire, the successful hire must be willing to assume responsibilities that are both remote and on-site; this includes access to your own personal computer, laptop or tablet, and internet, until company devices can be issued.

Only those candidates being considered will be contacted.

The New York City Criminal Justice Agency is an Equal Opportunity Employer

CJA is committed to creating a diverse work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, parental status, veteran status, or any other protected status under applicable laws. We encourage individuals of all backgrounds to apply.


About the Company

NYC Criminal Justice Agency