Position Information

Position Information Message
Forensic Mental Health (FMH) Specialist
The Contractor will consult with and help administer the Mental Health Practice Group (MHPG), which is a collection of PDS attorneys, social workers, and investigators from multiple divisions who have developed expertise in the litigation of complex mental health litigation throughout all stages of criminal proceedings.
MHPG attorneys apply their specialized training to individual cases in D.C.
Superior Court, conducting internal and external training, and identifying and
developing impact litigation in areas involving the intersection of mental health and criminal law. Accordingly, the Contractor shall provide the following
services/perform the following tasks:
• Receive referrals to consult with attorneys in cases involving mental health
• Assist in developing and conducting training
• Conduct research and develop a database containing relevant information
about clinical and forensic psychiatry, psychology, and related sciences
(including leading experts in those fields).
• Maintain a close working relationship with the Mental Health Specialist for the Trial Division charged with developing and supporting cutting edge litigation of mental health issues.
Provide substantial assistance in individual casework, client support, research
and/or train on clinical and forensic mental health issues.
• Recognize potential mental health symptoms, cognitive and neurological
impairments, and psychological attributes, and analyze their impact on forensic mental health issues, including but not limited to, competency, insanity, and mitigation.
• Work effectively with multiple disciplinary defense teams.
• Advise attorneys regarding appropriate mental health and other experts.
• Consult with experts and team members regarding clinical, forensic, mitigation, and other case related issues;
• Conduct mental health related investigations, including but not limited to
acquiring a full life history, identifying and gathering relevant documents,
reviewing and summarizing records and other documents, and writing detailed
mitigation reports.
• Review, synthesize, and summarize medical and mental health records, and
advise the legal team on the import of such records.
• Conduct multiple, comprehensive, and detailed in-person interviews in a
culturally competent manner, with clients, clients’ family and friends, treatment
providers, and other witnesses. Interviews with clients and some witnesses will be conducted at institutions – jails, prisons, psychiatric hospitals; others may be conducted at homes or places of employment. The Contractor will be required to travel out of the area to conduct interviews or other investigation.
• Communicate with treatment staff and institutional officials regarding treatment, services, disciplinary and behavioral issues, and advocate regarding such issues where appropriate.
• Conduct expansive vetting of mental health experts and expand the depth,
breadth, and diversity of available mental health experts.
Position: Forensic Mental Health (FMH) Specialist
Organization: Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS)
Location: DC,  DC 
United States
Salary: Based on experience
Posting Start Date:
Date Posted: 9/14/2023
Requirements To be considered eligible for contract award, prospective contractors must meet the following minimum qualifications:

Have a Juris Doctor or Master’s Degree or higher in Psychology, Social Work,
Counseling, Criminal Justice, Criminology, Sociology, Writing, Journalism,
Anthropology or related degree1,2, OR
• Have a Bachelor’s Degree or higher in Criminal Justice, Law, Criminology,
Psychology, Sociology, Writing, Journalism, Anthropology or other related
fields1,2, and at least two years of specialized experience as a Mitigation
Specialist or related experience; AND
• Clinical skills and ability to work with individuals with serious mental illness;
have experience in working with expert witnesses, mental health providers,
and/or public defenders; and demonstrate a commitment to working with clients in the criminal justice system.
• Excellent research, writing and oral persuasion skills and a commitment to
working with low income/low wealth populations.
2.4 Contractor Preferred Qualifications
• Cultural competence working with adults in the criminal justice system, who
qualify for court appointed counsel, and with individuals with serious mental
illness and/or intellectual disabilities.
• Experience working with adult criminal clients on rehabilitation and dispositional issues or working with individuals with serious mental health issues on treatment or risk assessments.
• Ability to communicate effectively and establish rapport with individuals
charged with serious offenses, including but not limited to those suffering from
serious mental health symptoms

2.5 Selection Criteria
To be considered for contract award, respondents must submit the following
materials consolidated as a single portable document format (PDF) file:
• Cover letter
• Traditional résumé with day telephone and email contact information
• Writing sample
• List of three references, including name, address, telephone number, and a
statement of how each reference is able to evaluate your skills
• Most recent performance appraisal or evaluation (if applicable).
Materials shall be emailed to jwillis@pdsdc.org and lrose@pdsdc.org no later than NN September 2023 at 5:00 PM Eastern. Include the title “PDS Forensic Mental Health Specialist” in the email’s subject line. Packages received after the deadline or which are not compliant with the above submission criteria may not be considered.
Status: This listing expires on: 12/13/2023
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Organization Information
Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS)

DC,  DC 20004
United States
jwillis@pdsdc.org and lrose@pdsdc.org
jwillis@pdsdc.org and lrose@pdsdc.org