CoLEAD Program Director
CoLEAD Intensive Outreach Responders -AND- On-Site Responders
PDA is offering hiring for the following regular Full-Time positions:
- CoLEAD Intensive Outreach Responder (two positions available)
- CoLEAD On-Site Responder (two positions available)
PDA Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) is hiring several Outreach Responder/Intensive Case Manager staff to respond to our participants’ needs during the COVID-19 pandemic in new and innovative ways that includes a hotel-based interim lodging response. This position is employed by the LEAD Project Manager, the Public Defender Association. Co-responder Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (CoLEAD) is an emergency response to individuals with current or potential criminal legal system involvement during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Public Defender Association Staff Attorney
The Public Defender Association (PDA) is looking for a Staff Attorney to provide legal services to Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) clients and advocate for criminal legal system reform through the Racial Disparity Project (RDP). PDA seeks an attorney motivated to help those most frequently disadvantaged by existing criminal legal and social service systems, including those with disabilities and people of color.
The Staff Attorney will assist LEAD clients in a widely-varied legal practice, ranging from criminal and eviction defense to family law. Although broad legal experience is preferred, the most important characteristics applicants can possess are the ability to independently and efficiently learn new legal practice areas and strong legal research and writing skills. Through RDP, the Staff Attorney will assist with impact and appellate litigation, policy advocacy, and King County inquest representation. Qualified candidates will enjoy developing creative legal and policy approaches to address the harms created by conventional responses to crime and public order issues.
PDA advocates for criminal legal system reform and develops alternatives that shift from a punishment paradigm to a system that supports individual and community health. Grounding reform in a public health and safety framework, PDA develops new strategies and implements models that improve on conventional responses to crime and public order issues. In collaboration with community and government partners, PDA uses policy advocacy, organizing, litigation, and public education to achieve its goals.
The Staff Attorney will offer trauma-informed legal services to clients in the LEAD. The attorney will offer representation across the wide range of LEAD participants’ legal needs (family law, criminal defense, housing, etc.). LEAD clients face a variety of challenges, including homelessness, mental illness, and substance use, that can complicate their ability to engage with legal services. Legal services will be provided through the principles of harm-reduction—meeting clients where they are, in a way that is responsive to their specific needs. The attorney will work closely with client case managers at Evergreen Treatment Services to ensure that the legal representation plan closely aligns with the client’s broader social service goals.
The Staff Attorney will be expected to advance criminal legal system reform through the Racial Disparity Project. Current legal & policy focus areas include police accountability, drug user health, criminal sentencing reform, and ending criminal-legal monetary sanctions. Advocacy will utilize a variety of tactics, including direct representation, appellate advocacy, community organizing, and lobbying.
The Staff Attorney will work with a team of five attorneys and one paralegal.
PDA’s office is located in Seattle, WA. Although the office remains open for necessary in-person work, staff currently work largely remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In-person work may be required if necessary to provide legal services. If in-person work is required, PDA will provide all appropriate personal protective equipment. Travel within Washington may be required.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, PDA may return to in-person work, adopt a hybrid model, or remain primarily work-from-home.
- Member, in good-standing, of the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA); or ability to quickly obtain APR 8(c) admission, with full WSBA admission by Summer 2021.
- The ability to independently and efficiently learn new legal practice areas and offer representation with a high level of competence.
- Strong legal research and writing skills are required and will be critical to the attorney’s success in this position.
- Although no applicant will have experience in all expected areas of practice, greater experience with the following areas will be preferred: family law, landlord-tenant, criminal (warrants, criminal defense, sex offender registration relief, record vacation/sealing), legal financial obligations, employment, and immigration.
- Trial advocacy experience is strongly preferred.
- Experience and skill working with individuals with mental illness, substance use disorder, and other disabilities is required. The successful applicant will excel in providing legal services to individuals who have difficulty consistently engaging in their own representation.
- Ability to balance the needs of multiple clients with time-sensitive legal needs, while also maintaining strong communication with clients with less pressing needs is required.
- Strong ability to work collaboratively, both with colleagues and with client case managers is required. The successful applicant will have strong conflict management skills and be able to tactfully engage with external partners.
- Policy advocacy and organizing skills are preferred, including the ability to review and digest core aspects of legislation, organize community in relation to PDA policy priorities, and identify policy advocacy opportunities for PDA.
- Appellate advocacy skills and experience are preferred.
- Familiarity and strong relationships with local policymakers, community leaders, and marginalized communities are preferred.
Salary range is $69,576-$117,546, depending on experience. Within the position salary range, salary increases 6% annually, although PDA has paused step increases due to the COVID-19 emergency. An additional annual cost of living increase is provided at the discretion of the Board of Directors. Benefits include:
- 401k match of up to 4% of salary, beginning after six months of employment;
- Annual, 2% of salary, profit sharing contribution to 401k, provided in most years;
- Generous medical and dental benefits for employees and family members;
- 15 days vacation, accrued annually, increasing to 24 days vacation, accrued annually;
- 12 personal days, accrued annually;
- Unlimited ORCA card; and
- Monthly $50 employer cell phone contribution.
This is a Fair Labor Standards Act exempt, at-will position; continuation in the position depends on both performance and funding.
Equal Opportunity Employer
PDA is committed to a policy of equal opportunity and fosters an environment free of barriers and discriminatory practices. PDA actively promotes mutual respect, acceptance, teamwork and productivity. PDA is committed to maintaining an organization whose staff, Board and clients are diverse in background, experience, race, color, national origin, gender, age, religious affiliation, marital status, sexual identity, sensory, mental or physical abilities, veteran status, and other qualities that strengthen the program while reinforcing its commitment to basic fairness. People of color, those directly impacted by the criminal legal system, people who identify as queer, trans, lesbian, gay, or bisexual, and those with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Individuals needing a reasonable accommodation for the application or interview process should contact Corey Guilmette at email@example.com or (206) 641-5334.
How to Apply
The position will remain open until filled. Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. Please submit the following to Zahra Al-Najaf (she/her pronouns) at firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Letter of interest.
- Two short legal writing samples, unedited by others.
- Names and contact information for three references.
Albany LEAD Project Manager
Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) is an innovative, widely replicated alternative to jail and prosecution for people who commit law violations or engage in problematic behavior due to behavioral health conditions and/or extreme poverty. LEAD was launched in Seattle in 2011 and now is established in nearly 20 jurisdictions nationally, with many more jurisdictions in various stages of LEAD design and implementation work.
The Public Defender Association (PDA), which manages LEAD, is a non-profit organization that advocates for justice system reform and develops alternatives that shift from a punishment paradigm to a system that supports individual and community health. We also provide technical assistance to community partners who are committed to these goals.
We advance justice system reform and alternative practices and policy through several core programs and policy initiatives, including:
- Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD): Under LEAD, police officers exercise discretionary authority at the point of contact to divert individuals to a community- based intervention program for low-level criminal offenses (such as drug possession, sales, and prostitution offenses). PDA is the project manager for the flagship LEAD program in Seattle-King County and provides technical support for jurisdictions nationally and internationally that want to replicate LEAD through our LEAD National Support Bureau.
- Voices of Community Activists and Leaders - Washington (VOCAL-WA): VOCAL-WA builds power among low- and no- income people directly affected by the war on drugs, homelessness, mass incarceration, and the HIV/AIDS epidemic to create healthy and just communities for all.
- Transforming Policing: The Public Defender Association’s Racial Disparity Project (RDP) worked to improve police accountability and reconsider the role of the police since its inception in 1998. PDA staff have chaired Seattle’s innovative Community Police Commission since it was launched in 2013; work in partnership with law enforcement agencies as they innovate and transform; advocate for the reform of Washington’s deadly force laws; and represent families of individuals killed in police custody or jail.
- System Reform: In the spirit of our four decade history as a public defense office committed to system reform, the current incarnation of the Public Defender Association continues to do policy advocacy, litigation, public education and organizing on issues that systemically affect people who are or are likely to be engaged by the justice system.
This work includes efforts such as the campaign for safe consumption spaces in Seattle/King County.
Albany LEAD was established in 2016 as a new harm-reduction oriented process for responding to low-level drug, alcohol and mental-illness based offenses. LEAD gives police officers the discretion to divert these offenses out of the criminal justice system for case management. The program is a multi-agency partnership between the Albany County Executive, District Attorney, Sheriff, Mayor of Albany, Albany Police Department, Center for Law and Justice, and Central Avenue Business Improvement District with strong support from Catholic Charities.
The available LEAD Project Manager (1.0 FTE) position would be part of a team engaged in the project management of NSB’s LEAD effort in Albay, and would entail close collaboration with law enforcement, case managers, prosecutors, and neighborhood and community leaders.
LEAD Project Manager positions are FLSA-exempt. Work outside of normal business hours is expected. Work within the City and County of Albany will be required, and some travel may be required. This Project Manager position will report directly to the LEAD National Support Bureau, in coordination with the Albany LEAD Policy Coordinating Group (PCG).
In addition to day to day maintenance and troubleshooting of LEAD operations, this position likely will focus on developing LEAD in the City of Albany or other areas within Albany County as assigned and approved by the PCG.
- Project Management: day to day maintenance and troubleshooting of LEAD as designed, implemented and in coordination with the Albany Policy Coordinating Group;
- Management of regular operational workgroup (OWG) meeting and process: facilitation of the biweekly OWG with key operational partners in LEAD. LEAD partners use OWGs to share information about program participants’ situation and progress, discuss referral criteria, program capacity and compliance with the LEAD protocol, and to focus the attention of LEAD program staff and law enforcement in particular areas viewed with concern by neighborhood representatives;
- Project Design and Implementation: coordinate with stakeholders (including law enforcement, service providers, prosecutor’s office, businesses and other community safety advocates) to design and implement LEAD within other Albany County jurisdictions as coordinated by NSB and the Albany PCG.
- Community Education: educate community members (including individuals, businesses community groups, and social service providers) on how LEAD works and potential ways to implement program in their community. Work with community groups to understand current public health and public safety needs within their community;
- Maintain awareness of grant opportunities. Write and submit grants to Federal, State, and/or local sources and private charitable foundations to secure future funding for LEAD, and other grant-related activities, as agree by NSB and the Albany PCG.
- Collaborate with the Community Engagement Coordinator, the PCG, and the OWG to ensure that community representatives understand LEAD’s objectives and methods.
- Other duties as assigned.
Requirements / Qualifications:
- Demonstrated understanding of and commitment to LEAD’s core principles
- Ability to clearly communicate core principles and support and advise others with less experience in harm reduction-based social work and in police-social work partnership
- Deep understanding of substance use disorder, motivational interviewing and harm reduction strategies
- Experience facilitating meetings
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- The ideal candidate will be a self-motivated individual who has strong interpersonal, public speaking and problem-solving skills; interest in working as a member of a team and in a fast-paced, dynamic environment is essential
- Candidates must have demonstrated interest in criminal justice, homelessness, and/or drug policy reform and a willingness to approach these issues with a racial justice analysis
- Experience and knowledge of local homeless services and housing systems is preferred
- Experience or familiarity with community and human services dynamics and public safety/order issues in local communities is valuable in this position
- Commitment to the mission and approach of the Public Defender Association and of Albany LEAD
- Basic computer skills, including ability to use the internet, email (Google platforms as used at PDA), word processing (e.g. Microsoft Word) and spreadsheets (e.g. Excel) are required
Salary and Compensation Package Commensurate with Experience
Equal Opportunity Statement:
The Public Defender Association is an equal opportunity employer. People of color and people who are formerly incarcerated or homeless, or frequently subject to law enforcement focus, HIV-positive, women and/or LGBT are strongly encouraged to apply.
How to Apply:
The position will remain open until filled.