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CoLEAD Program Director

SUMMARY:

PDA is hiring a 1.0 full-time equipvalent Program Director for the CoLEAD Program.
 
PDA Let Everyone Advance with Dignity (formerly Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) is hiring for a CoLEAD Program Director, a position employed by the Seattle/King County local LEAD Project Manager, the Public Defender Association. CoLEAD enables communities to redirect individuals engaged in law violations arising primarily from behavioral health conditions such as substance use or mental health issues to community-based services instead of using legal sanctions like arrest and jail. CoLEAD enables communities to redirect individuals engaged in law violations arising primarily from behavioral health conditions such as substance use or mental health issues to community-based services instead of using legal sanctions like arrest and jail. “Co” stands for COVID, Community and Co-Responder.
 
The CoLEAD team is responsible for providing outreach, engagement and intensive case management services to adults. Outreach Responder/Case Manager staff carry low (1:12) caseloads, and provides companion-based services to ensure people are identified and assessed, supported in navigating the current shelter in place landscape with limited employment opportunities, and accompanied to any services or appointments that are indicated. This position is involved in all aspects of referral, outreach and engagement, intensive case management services, as well as coordination with other providers to assure successful transition of participants to on-going care once the COVID emergency resolves or is more fully managed, and during a post COVID-19 time.
 
The CoLEAD Program Director will work directly under the PDA Deputy Director to forward this innovative approach to jail diversion and the building out of healthcare/social services response to ending mass incarceration, homelessness and the criminalization of mental health disability and drug use. The CoLEAD leadership team reports directly to the CoLEAD Program Director (with the exception of the PDA Medical Director, who also reports to the CoLEAD Deputy Director).
 
The CoLEAD Program Director is responsible for the day-to-day operations oversight of the following key areas of the program:
 
1. Deploy a team of intensive outreach responders (case managers, on-site responders and shift leads) along with medical care providers to a variety of hotel locations in King County to individuals who experience significant barriers to accessing resources because they are committing crimes,  experiencing homelessness and are drug users and may have mental health disabilities.
 
2. Provide leadership alongside the CoLEAD leadership team (CoLEAD Operations Manager, CoLEAD Entry & Services Manager, CoLEAD Medical Provider/PDA Medical Director, and CoLEAD South Program Coordinator) to a growing staff of 20+ shift leads and outreach responders providing temporary lodging-based supports at four or more hotels in King County.
 
3. Set direction and policy for the provision of support in temporary lodging, the use of a harm reduction case management approach, use of other best practices (Motivational Interviewing, Trauma Responsive care, Complex Healthcare Coordination) all grounded in addressing system
racism, bias and stigma related to race, homelessness and behavioral health status. This program is grounded in jail diversion and operates to provide an alternative response to harmful  and punitive criminal legal system responses (arrest, jail, court, prison and probation) and also promotes a more person-centered and low barrier healthcare reform paradigm to traditional publicly-funded social services.
 
4. Oversee all CoLEAD operations related to the JustCARE coalition, including coordination with other JustCARE providers (ETS REACH Program, Asian Counseling and Referral Services, Chief Seattle Club, several Business Improvement Associations in the neighborhoods of focus, business partners, public partners and neighborhood groups).
 
5. PDA operates a CARES (Coronavirus Relief Funds) funded project in the Pioneer Square/Chinatown International District to outreach and engage individuals using substances who also may have mental health conditions who are living outside during the Covid-19 pandemic. This response will include use of temporary lodging and on-site supports similar to CoLEAD. The CoLEAD Program Director will launch this expansion and oversee the implementation of services.
 
JustCARE is a multi-agency, hotel-based intensive case management program actively responding to COVID conditions for the unhoused in support of individuals with complex behavioral health needs who commonly commit law violations or exhibit problematic behavior related to behavioral health conditions. The hotel-based model of care, developed by the PDA CoLEAD team, uses hotels as a temporary lodging component with intensive case management and residential on-site support.
 
This position requires a high degree of coordination and collaboration with LEAD Project Managers as well as outside agencies also providing COVID-19 response services (local social services such as behavioral health providers, including Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), food banks, healthcare facilities, etc.). The CoLEAD Program Director will oversee all resource skill building for CoLEAD staff to best assist CoLEAD participant in accessing healthcare, behavioral healthcare, employment, education, housing, entitlements, community connections and family supports and reconnections.
 
SAFETY AND PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE):
Employee safety for this position will include training and guidance on how to work with individuals who are in crisis during the COVID 19 outbreak. This position requires interacting with other individuals; PDA will provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to all staff performing any field based work, which includes, but is not limited to: masks, latex/nitrile gloves, and hand sanitizer. In addition to wearing face masks and gloves, all staff are expected to follow CDC guidance/best practices to limit possible exposure, e.g. maintaining 6-foot distance from all other individuals, including co-workers. Covid-19 vaccine access is provided as part of this position and will be paramount to operating this essential service. PDA has access to Covid-19 vaccine for all direct services staff and the successful candidate will be required to be vaccinated within two months of hire (if not previously vaccinated) to be eligible for continued employment.
 
PDA holds employee safety as a core feature of this position and will adhere to local public health guidance to ensure safety for employees and the communities they serve. It must be recognized that the entire landscape poses a risk of COVID-19 infection, and that performing the duties of this position with complete adherence to social distancing and sanitation recommendations from public health authorities is the best strategy for safety and health on the job under present conditions. Cell phone/tablet and communication devices that support field-based work will also be included for this position.
 
MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
• Mentor, coach and support the CoLEAD management team, suggest strategies, and provide feedback to supervisors on needed program modifications, additional resources, and obstacles
• Assist supervisors and other PDA staff in describing the CoLEAD effort in a variety of forums
• Oversee outreach and engagement services, oversee shift leads, who supervise all shifts and team members
• Oversee a variety of care coordination activities focused on linkages to care to enhance participants stabilization, including clinical oversight, along with the PDA Medical Director, of all direct services
• Oversight and training of field response as needed. This may include training on de-escalation, going to Emergency Departments, and/or making referrals to the existing crisis system, which may be compromised during the time of COVID-19, as necessary
• Train and audit the provision of intake evaluations and assess behavioral/physical health/economic survival needs in order to develop support and client centered care plans
• Oversight of coordinating the following: access to food, clothing, shelter, physical/behavioral healthcare, housing stabilization, financial assistance, criminal justice coordination, and public benefit benefits
• Oversight and supervision of advocating for participants access to community resources and services, ensuring that participants' needs are met and rights maintained; consult and collaborate with community providers to ensure continuity of care
• Assist PDA Deputy Director in creating relationship with all Washington State Apple Health Medicaid Management Care Organizations (MCOs) in order to best leverage Medicaid supports and resources for CoLEAD participants
• Ensure CoLEAD is accessing homelessness housing resources (Coordinated Entry for All) as much as possible and advocating this system to respond to CoLEAD participant needs
• Help CoLEAD staff to develop and maintain strong collaborative relationships with PDA, ETS REACH, LEAD prosecutorial liaisons, law enforcement, and other relevant social services and resource organizations to ensure full continuity of care for participants
• Provide oversight, training and supervision of services consistent with CoLEAD/PDA program policies and procedures.
 
 
OTHER DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES:
• Participate in psychiatric consultation, supervision, program meetings and in-service trainings; participate in clinical reviews and case conferences for participants on caseload.
• Comply with the agency's clinical accountability policies and procedures; maintain timely and complete participants records; comply with all applicable laws.
• Comply with applicable program data collection, as needed.
• Other duties as assigned.
 
CoLEAD services are currently provided in Seattle and Burien areas, and may be provided elsewhere in King County. The main office location where this position is based out of is downtown Seattle, and there is an office in Burien where some of the staff are based out of. Travel to the various temporary lodging sites is required. PDA will cover mileage to and from home and to intervening destinations at IRS rates.
 
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:
• Five or more years of experience working in programs that serve individuals with mental health disabilities and drug users
•  Clinical training and expertise in behavioral health
• Two or more years in a leadership and supervisorial role in a social services program at the manager or director level
• Interest or experience in working with program participants who have difficulty engaging with traditional programs and have exposure/involvement with the criminal legal system
• Ability to implement harm reduction techniques within a participant-centered framework, e.g. motivational interviewing, trauma informed care and low-barrier assistance
• Ability to communicate and work effectively with staff from various backgrounds
• Ability to work effectively with participants displaying a wide range of behaviors
• Subscribe to the philosophy of cooperation and continuity across programs and of consideration and respect for participants
• Ability to oversee and train staff to utilize and track participant progress and information in an electronic case management system, including chart audits for continuous quality improvement efforts
• Current Washington State Driver’s License, current auto insurance, and access to a reliable vehicle
 
 
PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS:
• Lived experience with criminal legal systems, including jails, law enforcement and courts
• Mental Health Professional (LiCSW, LMHC, etc.) Substance Use Disorder Professional (SUDP) or related work/experience
• Three years of experience in work related to residential programs, outreach programs or in an institutional setting
• Academic training and graduate degree in the social service field and in the area of substance use disorder and mental health treatment
• Experience providing services from a harm reduction perspective to individuals experiencing behavioral health disabilities
• Experience overseeing a multi-cultural work force with a variety of lived, professional and academic experiences
 
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER:
 
PDA is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, gender identity age, disability, marital or relationship status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status. PDA works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an increasingly multicultural country. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and criminal legal system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.
 
PROJECTED PAY SCALE:
**Range dependent on experience and qualifications**
Starting salary: $102,544 + DOE
Generous health benefits for all employees at .5 FTE or higher
Cell phone and laptop provided for work use
 
HOW TO APPLY:
Please send your resume and cover letter before April 30, 2021 to careers@defender.org and list the position title (i.e. CoLEAD Program Director) in the email subject line.  Please note: only candidates being considered for the position will be contacted.  No phone calls, please.

 

CoLEAD Intensive Outreach Responders -AND- On-Site Responders

SUMMARY:

PDA is offering hiring for the following regular Full-Time positions:

  1. CoLEAD Intensive Outreach Responder (two positions available)
  2. 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.

1) The CoLEAD Outreach Responder (Case Manager) position is a member of a response team responsible for providing outreach, engagement and intensive case management services to adults. Outreach Responders will have caseloads of 1:12 and will provide companion-based services to ensure people are identified and assessed, supported in navigating the current Phase of the shelter in place landscape, including accessing and connecting to all necessary social services (behavioral health treatment, primary care healthcare, basic needs, entitlements, employment opportunities, and any services or appointments that are indicated). This position is involved in all aspects of referral, outreach and engagement, intensive case management services, as well as coordination with other providers to assure successful transition of participants to on-going care once the COVID emergency resolves or is more fully managed. This position requires a high degree of coordination and collaboration criminal legal system partners, such as LEAD prosecutorial liaisons, probation officers, community corrections officers and courts where participants may have open court cases or outstanding warrants.
 
Outreach Responders work two different shifts, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm or 11:00 am to 7:30 pm. CoLEAD operates seven days a week, so all staff are asked to work one weekend day (most schedules are Sun-Thur or Tue-Sat).
 
2) The CoLEAD On-Site Responder (Shelter Staff) position does not carry a case management caseload, but is sited at one CoLEAD hotel location (but may assist at others) and is part of a team providing on-site services and shelter-like supports. This includes supporting participants with room cleaning, room moves, room inspections and overall activities of daily living, following CoLEAD Temporary Lodging Agreement rules and supporting behavior conducine to living in this temporary hotel lodging setting. This includes some group programming (in large outside common areas) to support participant community building within the program and promote positive social and community engagement.
 
On-site responders work 4:00pm to 12:30 am (swing) or overnight from 12:00 am midnight to 8:30 am.
 
CoLEAD services are provided in Seattle and Burien areas, and may be provided elsewhere in King County. The selected staff must provide their own transportation and must be fully insured with PDA as a named insured. PDA will cover mileage to and from home and to intervening destinations at IRS rates, as part of a monthly mileage plan.
 
Most CoLEAD services will be provided in hotel/motel temporary lodging sites, with some street-based outreach sometimes required for participants who are struggling to acclimate to the lodging environment. Jail visits may be required. Staffing will be done in a shift-based format seven days per week, with overnight capacity to resolve issues in participants’ housing placements; exact shift assignments are TBD. PDA will make every effort to take individual employees’ family and logistical constraints into account when assigning shift options listed above with each position.
 
SAFETY AND PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE):
 
Employee safety for this position will include training and guidance on how to work with individuals who are in crisis during the COVID 19 outbreak. This position requires interacting with other individuals; PDA will provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to all staff performing any field-based work, which includes, but is not limited to: masks and latex/nitrile gloves. All staff are expected to use full PPE and practice social distancing with other staff, participants, hotel staff and any other individuals employees interact with while performing CoLEAD program duties. Successful applicants will be trained to and will follow CDC guidance/best practices to limit possible exposure, e.g. maintaining 6-foot distance from all other individuals, including co-workers. PDA has access to Civid-19 vaccine for all staff and successful candidates may be required to access vaccine to be eligible for continued employment.
 
PDA holds employee safety as a core feature of this position and will adhere to local public health guidance to ensure safety for employees and the communities they serve. It must be recognized that the entire landscape poses a risk of COVID-19 infection, and that performing the duties of this position with complete adherence to social distancing and sanitation recommendations from public health authorities is the best strategy for safety and health on the job under present conditions. Cell phone/tablet and communication devices that support field-based work will also be included for this position.
 
MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
 
1. Provide outreach and engagement services, as assigned, working with CoLEAD Project Director,CoLEAD Entry and Services Program Manager, PDA Medical Director, and CoLEAD Operations Manager, CoLEAD South Program Coordinator and other team members when meeting new referrals.
2. Provide a variety of care coordination activities focused on linkages to care to enhance participant stabilization.
3. Provide and prioritize field response as needed. This may include de-escalation, going to Emergency Departments, and/or making referrals to the existing crisis system, which may be compromised during the time of COVID-19, as necessary.
4. Utilize electronic case management system for case notes, documentation and ensuring accurate and objective documentation of services in electronic files for participants.
5. Conduct intake evaluations and assess behavioral/physical health/economic survival needs in order to develop support and participant-centered goal planning with the greatest participant participation possible.
6. Providing and/or coordinating the following: access to food, clothing, shelter, physical/behavioral healthcare, housing stabilization, financial assistance, criminal legal system coordination, and public benefit benefits (Outreach Responders)
7. Advocate for participants' access to community resources and services, ensuring that participants' needs are met and rights maintained; consult and collaborate with community providers to ensure continuity of care.
8. Develop and maintain strong collaborative relationships with PDA, ETS REACH, LEAD prosecutorial liaisons, law enforcement, CoLEAD lodging site staff, and other relevant social services services and resource organizations to ensure full continuity of care for participants.
9. Provide services consistent with CoLEAD/PDA program policies and procedures.
10. Ability to work do basic computer work in Google Suite (including appropriate and timely use of gmail, calendar, google drive), Zoom, Excel, Word, and other related programs to support the work of CoLEAD.
 
OTHER DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES:
 
• Participate in psychiatric consultation, supervision, program meetings and in-service trainings; participate in clinical reviews and case conferences for participants on caseload.
• Comply with the agency's clinical accountability policies and procedures; maintain timely and complete participant records; comply with all applicable laws.
• Comply with applicable program data collection, as needed.
• Other duties as assigned.
 
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:
 
Two or more years providing case management and/or outreach or residential services in a social services/human services program
• Interest or experience in working with participants who have difficulty engaging with traditional programs and participants with criminal legal system involvement
• Ability to implement harm reduction techniques within a participant centered framework, e.g. motivational interviewing, trauma informed care and low-barrier assistance
• Ability to meet state requirements for Agency Affiliated Counselor or higher credential
• Ability to communicate and work effectively with staff from various backgrounds.
• Ability to work effectively with participants displaying a wide range of behaviors.
• Subscribe to the philosophy of cooperation and continuity across programs and of consideration and respect for participants.
• Current Washington State Driver’s License, current auto insurance, and access to a reliable vehicle
 
PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS:
 
• Lived experience with criminal legal systems, including jails, law enforcement and courts
• CDPT/CDP
• Three years of experience in work related to social work or outreach programs
• Academic training in the social service field and in the area of substance use disorder and mental health treatment
• Experience providing services from a harm reduction perspective to individuals experiencing behavioral health challenges
 
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER:
 
PDA is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, gender identity age, disability, marital or relationship status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status.
 
PDA works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an increasingly multicultural country. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and criminal legal system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.
 
PROJECTED PAY SCALE:
**Range dependent on experience and qualifications**
Outreach Responder/Intensive Case Manager: Starting salary $52,182 - $80,938
Generous health benefits for all employees at .5 FTE or higher
Cell phone provided for work use
 
HOW TO APPLY:
Please send your resume (please do not include cover letter) to careers@defender.org and list the position you are applying for in the email subject line. In your email, please include the soonest date you are available full or part time work.  Please note: only candidates being considered for the position will be contacted. No phone calls, please.

 

Public Defender Association Staff Attorney

Summary

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. 

Organization Description

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. 

Job Description

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. 

Location

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. 

Qualifications

  • 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.

 

Compensation

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 corey.guilmette@defender.org 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 zahra.al-najaf@defender.org

  • Letter of interest.
  • Resumé.
  • 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.

Position Description

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).

Job Responsibilities:

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

Compensation:

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:

Send application package by email to: Albany LEAD at bcox@leadbureau.org and janet.ector@leadbureau.org with the subject line: “Albany Project Director – (YOUR NAME)”

The position will remain open until filled.