Position Information

Position Information Message
Social Services Specialist/Social Worker - Criminal Defense

Harris County Office of Managed Assigned Counsel (MAC) is a client-centered, community oriented, holistic criminal defense program. At MAC, we strive to remove barriers and take the “whole” person approach, by recognizing the collateral consequences of criminal justice involvement, and addressing the underlying social service needs, beyond the legal charge, that brings our clients’ to our doorstep. We work with appointed defense attorneys to assist clients who are facing criminal charges in Harris County and cannot afford to hire private counsel. To ensure clients are getting quality representation, MAC’s holistic efforts consist of an interdisciplinary team of social services specialist, defense attorneys, investigators, and immigration attorney.
The Social Services Specialist/Social Worker is an integral member of the holistic team who will be working closely with clients while collaborating and strategizing with other team members to ensure best outcomes. We are seeking collaborative, driven, and passionate individual who believes in a holistic-practice model and will treat clients with dignity and respect. This role will assist attorneys by participating in developing defense strategies and creating appropriate plans for alternatives to incarceration. 
The successful candidate is expected to deploy high-level communication and engagement skills in developing rapport with clients and should be comfortable meeting with clients in different settings (office, jail, shelter, street, court, hospital, etc.). The individual should have exceptional writing skills to prepare psychosocial assessments, sentencing reports, advocacy letters, and mitigation letters for clients referred by assigned attorneys to assist in plea negotiations as well as in mitigation for sentence hearings. The Social Services Specialist/Social Worker should have knowledge of appropriate and available resources in the community to address MAC’s clients underlying needs, thus connecting clients to housing, community resources, and other supportive services is a critical function of this role. The successful candidate should be detail-oriented and comfortable in providing oral advocacy, as they may be asked to testify in court. 
Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Gathers and reviews information to include, but not limited to, psychological, medical, and education records to make appropriate determinations and recommendations
  • Identifies therapeutic, educational, vocational, social, and other resources to meet client, family, community, and justice system needs 
  • Conducts interviews with clients and other collaterals and witnesses in various settings through different modes of communication to aid in the representation of client 
  • Prepares psychosocial assessment and social histories to assist in plea negotiations and sentencing
  • Advocates for alternatives to incarceration by identifying underlying needs and determining services needed
  • Provides attorneys with formal and informal release plans to present to the court
  • Testifies in court upon request of attorneys to present mitigating circumstances
  • Conducts and prepares competency reports to determine the competency status of clients and whether further mental health forensic evaluation is needed, including face-to-face interviews to collect bio-psychosocial history, mental status exams, and competency assessments
  • Assists attorneys with identifying appropriate experts
  • Assists attorneys in determining client’s competency status
  • Appears for court settings, when requested by clients and attorneys
  • Assists with connecting clients to community resources and treatment providers
  • Assists with submitting applications to substance abuse, housing, and mental health programs/providers
  • Ensures accurate tracking of cases, case outcomes, and social service delivery
  • Works closely with supervisor to ensue best practices, and for consulting or triaging cases
  • Provides clients on furlough with transport to interviews for residential programs
  • Delivers clients to the program for admission
  • Picks up medications from pharmacy prior to dropping client off at the residential facility
  • Maintains accurate and detailed reports, case records, progress notes, and related management information
  • Collaborates with Supervisor to provide internal and external trainings
  • Performs other duties as assigned
Position: Social Services Specialist/Social Worker - Criminal Defense
Organization: Harris County Office of Managed Assigned Counsel
Location: Houston,  TX 
United States
Salary: Based on Experience
Posting Start Date: 9/2/2021
Date Posted: 9/2/2021


  • Master’s Degree in Social Work, Cognitive Sciences, Counseling, Criminal Justice, Cultural Studies, Education, Human Services, Journalism, Languages, Political Sciences, Psychology, Public Administration, Public Health, Public Policy, Public Service, Social Sciences, Sociology, Therapy, or other relevant field of study
  • A minimum of two (2) years of post-graduate social work or social service experience

Submission Requirements: 

  • Resume
  • Cover letter
  • Three (3) references that include the nature of the relationship as to each reference in addition to their contact information
Note:  Applicants who do not completely comply with submission requirements will not be considered for an interview

Please apply by going to Harris County Job Opportunities: 
Social Services Specialist / Social Worker | Job Details tab | Career Pages (governmentjobs.com)
Knowledge, Skills, And Abilities: 
  • Ability to communicate effectively and professionally
  • Skills in effective interviewing
  • Ability to write reports in narrative form
  • Knowledge of principles and techniques of providing social services
  • Skills in using office software programs and other legal case management systems
  • Problem solving and emotional intelligence
  • Attention to detail and time management

NOTE: Qualifying education, experience, knowledge, and skills must be documented on your job application. You may attach a resume to the application as supporting documentation but ONLY information stated on the application will be used for consideration. "See Resume" will not be accepted for qualifications.




  • Eight (8) years of post-graduate social work or social service experience
  • Fluency in English and Spanish
  • Experience working with clients involved in the justice system
  • Licensed to practice in the State of Texas as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Licensed Master Social Worker, Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC) or other comparable licensure
  • Familiarity with DSM-IV
Status: This listing expires on: 12/1/2021
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Organization Information
Harris County Office of Managed Assigned Counsel
1310 Prairie St

Houston,  TX 77002
United States
(917) 294-5137
Gilan M. Merwanji