Position Information

Position Information Message
Public Defender Mitigation Investigator

The Office of the Public Defender, 21 (Forsyth County), seeks a qualified individual to investigate backgrounds and conduct assessments and screenings of indigent defendants using their knowledge and skills to assist in preventing recidivism by addressing the psych-social issues and providing education and offering social services recommendations.

Duties include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Establish and maintain a database of local and state services and treatment options for each county.
  • Investigate backgrounds and conduct assessments and screenings of indigent defendants to determine mental health, physical, social issues, and/or substance abuse disorders.
  • Link public defender clients to appropriate treatment and social services resources in an effort to prevent recidivism.
  • Develop mitigation evidence in all cases and become training as a capital mitigation expert.
  • Visit clients in the jail to conduct the initial assessments, screenings, and interviews.
  • Excel at obtaining clients' records from all relevant sources; review records; and coordinate with other professionals to evaluate the client.
  • Work independently and coordinate with attorneys to provide case management and placement services for clients.
  • Work with the local jails to ensure clients are being treated and receiving the proper medications, if appropriate.
  • Utilize an assessment and screening diagnostic tool for client interviews to identify underlying issues and to determine appropriate types and levels of treatment.
  • Interview family, friends, teachers, and employers to obtain a complete picture of the client's situation.
  • Testify in court and/or represent findings in the context of plea negotiations and conferences.
  • Locate and interview clients and witnesses, investigate cases as directed by attorneys and staff, collection information used to verify evidence or to substantiate innocence.
  • Visit clients and witnesses in jail, prison or at their homes and locations convenient to them to conduct interviews, prepare written reports and document all investigation for counsel and other members of the defense team. 
  • Determine relevant facts, opinions, or background information from clients an witnesses and evaluate information with the assigned attorney.
  • Photograph, measure, and draw locations and crime scenes to scale to determine its relationship to the physical evidence.
  • Review police reports, phone records, dash/body/traffic camera footage and evaluate their relevance to the case and prepare a report for the defense team regarding the same.
  • Research criminal histories of defendants, witnesses, and potential jurors.
  • Ensure appearance of witnesses at time of trial and assist in witness preparation.
  • Assist counsel with facts of the case during trial.
  • Conduct special investigations as directed.
  • Willingness to do non-investigative work as needed and directed by the office staff, including but not limited to answering phones, collecting mail and documents from the courthouse and district attorney's office, coordinating clothes for client court appearances, and assisting with case assignment and client communication.
  • Conduct internet research, including research of various social media sites and other sources of information.
This position reports to the Public Defender.  
Position: Public Defender Mitigation Investigator
Organization: North Carolina Office of Indigent Defense Services
Location: Winston Salem,  NC 
United States
Salary: $50,000.00 - $53,000.00 Annually
Posting Start Date: 8/3/2023
Date Posted: 8/3/2023

Knowledge of:  social work; placement and treatment options in the local community; screening diagnostic tools for client interviews including evidence-based risk and other assessment instruments; local treatment options for clients in the counties; local jail policy and procedures; and mitigation.

Skills in:  computers and word processing to prepare reports, motions, orders, subpoenas, and other legal documents; and effectively communicate with people of diverse backgrounds both orally and in writing.

Ability to:  schedule work to achieve results on time; prepare and use assessment screenings for use in matching clients to placement services and developing mitigation factors; work with jails to ensure proper treatment for client; work irregular hours in conducting the screenings and placement matching; coordinate with local treatment agencies on the client's behalf; inspire the confidence of the community in the Public Defender's Office; and make pertinent observations and analyze those observations in the context of the client's case.

A valid North Carolina driver's license and reliable transportation is required.


Minimum Education and Experience Requirements

Graduation from a four year college or university, preferably in the field of counseling, psychology, criminal justice, social work, or other related human services field, and experience in the legal system.

Status: This listing expires on: 11/1/2023
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Organization Information
North Carolina Office of Indigent Defense Services

Winston Salem,  NC 27101
United States
Paul James