Wednesday, January 4, 2012

REENTRY ADVOCATE--University Legal Services

University Legal Services is a nonprofit legal organization that protects and advances the rights of people with disabilities through direct advocacy and systemic change. Part of our work includes preventing and redressing the abuse and neglect of incarcerated individuals with mental illness. Our
goal is to reduce unnecessary periods of incarceration for DC residents with psychiatric disabilities/mental illness and remove barriers to their self-directed, successful integration into the community. We seek a tireless advocate with an educational background in social work and a strong
passion for advancing this mission.

Please visit our website at to learn more about our program activities and priorities.

The Jail and Prison Reentry Advocate will provide secondary case management and advocacy support to people with diagnosed psychiatric disabilities at the DC Jail and Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBOP)
facilities in preparation for their reentry and for the period after they transition back into the community. The Reentry Advocate’s objective is to ensure our clients’ needs are at the center of discharge planning and to advocate for implementation and effective coordination of such plans.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
􀂉 Work within interdisciplinary team (including an attorney, a peer advocate and community
organizer) to connect individuals with legal services to protect their rights, service navigation
support and educational outreach.
􀂉 Meet with individuals and staff at the DC Jail and FBOP facilities to conduct intake,
assessments, identify and monitor access to healthcare services including adequate discharge
planning. This position entails periodic out of state travel for short (1-2 day) trips.
􀂉 Help coordinate discharge and treatment plans for youth and adults with mental illness at the
DC Jail and FBOP and provide hands-on assistance connecting with mental health agencies
and obtaining identification, benefits, housing, and other reentry resources.
􀂉 Develop sentencing mitigation assessments and recommendations for alternatives to
incarceration and present them at parole and superior court hearings.
􀂉 Initiate person-centered treatment planning for individuals already living in the community
within 90 days of their release
􀂉 Maintain regular contact with individuals whose cases are active and use assertive engagement
strategies such as street outreach, transportation assistance, and family or peer involvement,
when appropriate and permitted by the persons we serve, to facilitate advocacy engagement
and empower independence.
􀂉 Ensure DC Jail Advocacy Project staff members are informed of local and national mental
health standards of care. Maintain and update the Project’s resource library including
documentation of correctional healthcare and public healthcare standards.
􀂉 Negotiate and facilitate relationships between our clients and their service providers, probation
and parole, and other community-based agencies to ensure clear communication and progress
on clients’ objectives.
􀂉 Conduct training for incarcerated individuals, their providers and advocates to expand their
knowledge of the basics of mental health diagnoses, treatment delivery, local resources and
best practices in the field.

Salary based on qualifications and related experience. Excellent benefits!

􀂉 One of the following is required: MSW, MA, LICSW, RN, or LPC, with an emphasis on mental health
􀂉 Required: Demonstrated commitment to recovery-based, self-directed mental health care
􀂉 Required: Comfort engaging in street outreach, and working in correctional settings, in
shelters, community based programs, and other locations accessible to our clients.
􀂉 Required: Ability to communicate and work effectively as a proactive member of
interdisciplinary team at all times and able to perform at an independent level of practice.
Demonstrated competence in verbal, written, organizational and prioritization skills. Strong
problem solving skills and ability to troubleshoot challenging situations.
􀂉 Preferred: Experience working within a social justice or civil rights organization, or for a criminal defense law office particularly one that served homeless or incarcerated individuals
􀂉 Preferred: Background or previous training in trauma-informed care or trauma-specific
interventions, motivational interviewing and integrated co-occurring disorder treatment.
􀂉 Preferred: Personal history of incarceration or history of use of mental health services

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. We encourage submission of applications prior to February 1, 2012. We will not be able to respond to phone calls relating to this posting.

Please send a cover letter, resume, writing sample and a list of references to:
Gretchen Rohr
DC Jail Advocacy Project
University Legal Services
220 I St NE, Suite 130
Washington DC 20002
Fax: 202-547-2662
ULS values diversity of culture, disability and other
life experiences, and is an equal opportunity employer by choice. People
with personal experience in the criminal justice system are welcome and encouraged to apply.
For more information please visit our website at

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