Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Under the direction of the Chief Public Defender, works directly with clients assigned to the Galveston County Misdemeanor Mental Health Public Defenders Office. Works collaboratively with the other members of the office to assist clients in connecting with housing, substance abuse, mental health, medical, employment and any other relevant services/benefits during comprehensive client-centered representation.
Provides formal psychological assessments of clients as needed. Provides support for Assistant Public Defenders to
advocate for pre-trial release, dismissals, diversions, and/or alternatives to conviction and/or incarceration.
Provides clinical expertise to support the legal position being presented in court.
Conducts comprehensive psychosocial
assessments in the community and local jail to determine clients’ basic demographic information, living situation, relationship and family dynamics, legal status, education history, employment history, physical health, mental health, substance use history, and self-identified goals and needs. Attends collaborative meetings with the client and attorney. Reviews and helps develop case service plans. Initiates/facilitates referrals to mental health treatment and other services for clients, as soon as possible, to ensure rapid engagement in services.
Identifies and conducts interviews with family, friends, employers, and other support system members in the community who can aid in clients’ success.
Based on a clinical review of assessment outcomes and interviews with family and other support systems, helps develop individualized alternative sentencing plans that, in consultation with the case attorney and client, recommend and advocate for community-based sentences and alternative community treatment as indicated. Researches and recommends alternatives to incarceration through memoranda prepared for submission to judges and prosecutors through Assistant Public Defenders.
Accompanies clients to court and participates in hearings, if requested by the defense attorney. Provides additional information and support, as required.
Maintains ongoing pre-trial or pre-sentence updates on clients’ progress through communication and collected documentation from community service providers and by conducting routine check-ins with clients.
Fosters communication and connections with a wide array of community service providers while sustaining a comprehensive community referral network.
Completes special projects and other duties as assigned by the Assistant Public Defenders and/or the Chief Public Defender. Performs other duties as assigned.
This list may not be inclusive of the total scope of job functions to be performed. Duties and responsibilities may be added, deleted or modified at any time.