PEER SPECIALIST-
QUEENS SUPERVISED RELEASE PROGRAM

CJA's work seeks to reduce jail overcrowding and unnecessary detention in New York City.

Are you a certified Peer Specialist who is interested in assisting program clients in your community?

Are you interested in helping us implement a more focused credible messenger approach?

Would you like to help change the way arrested individuals view the criminal justice system?

Join our team of multi-disciplined professionals! 

 

ORGANIZATIONAL SUMMARY

The New York City Criminal Justice Agency (CJA) is a not-for-profit service and research organization that operates in partnership with the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice.  CJA is the City’s main pretrial services agency, combining operations, pilot projects, and research under one roof.  CJA utilizes procedural justice practices to provide pretrial services to over 200,000 persons arrested annually in New York City. Information collected about these arrestees and subsequent case processing is maintained in the agency’s internal and externally shared database systems, which are used to conduct descriptive and evaluation research on arrestee characteristics, case processing and court outcomes, and on issues and potential reforms to criminal justice policy in New York City. CJA’s programs operate in the criminal courts and detention facilities 24 hours a day seven days a week within the 5 boroughs of NYC, employing over 230 employees, citywide.

PROGRAM SUMMARY

The Criminal Justice Agency (CJA), a non-profit organization under contract with the City of New York to provide pre-trial and research services to the courts, operates a Supervised Release Program in Queens Criminal Court.

The program, which operates during the day and night court in Queens screens defendants charged with non-violent felony and misdemeanor offenses that present a substantial likelihood of detention.  CJA screens targeted defendants for release at criminal court arraignment, subject to specific conditions including maintaining face-to-face and telephone contact with the program, participating in an assessment process to identify needs such as substance abuse and mental health, and agreeing to program monitoring of court appearances and re-arrests.

This is a great opportunity for a dynamic, resourceful, service-oriented individual with a background in providing support to high needs populations with criminal court involvement, and a commitment to helping clients avoid harmful behaviors leading to re-arrest and disconnection from community support systems.

CJA VALUES

Each employee should embody the following core values in their work at CJA:

  • Commitment: We are committed to being active partners in criminal justice reform through initiatives and creative problem-solving that evaluates different methods and strategies for alternatives to detention.
  • Fairness: We are guided by fairness and the presumption of innocence for those who are detained and work with integrity and without bias to protect the privacy and interest of court-involved people and their families.
  • Innovation: We value curiosity as a driving force to lead the way in pretrial services. We use innovative techniques in research, pilot programs, and engaging justice-involved communities to execute our mission of reducing unnecessary pretrial detention.

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES

  • May be responsible for managing a small caseload of 15 – 20 clients at a time
  • Utilize evidence-based support techniques to engage individuals who have behavioral health needs in order to support them in completing all supervision appointments and court appearances, and to support linkage to community-based treatment and other support services as needed.
  • Provide advocacy, outreach and engagement, self-help tools, recovery supports, transitional supports, and pre-crisis/crisis supports in home or community settings.
  • Work with a diverse population of participants in a respectful manner, using a strengths-based approach.
  • Review participants’ release conditions and provide supportive or therapeutic services, in coordination with case management staff.
  • Facilitate clients’ connection with supportive services by making referrals and accompanying the clients to appointments, when necessary.
  • Attend court dates with clients who are anxious or apprehensive about court proceedings.
  • Conduct both individual sessions and support groups for clients with substance abuse and/or behavioral health disorders, who may be resistant to or awaiting formal treatment.
  • Utilize self-disclosure in an appropriate manner that is supportive of clients’ recovery and focused on the individual’s needs.
  • Provide vocational support to individuals in the program, including resume development, referral to training and career services programs, and interview preparation.
  • Conduct outreach to build/strengthen relationships with community resources.
  • Maintain face-to-face and telephone contact with clients for on-going support
  • Assist clients in developing recovery plans with realistic goals (housing, employment, family support, social/recreational, cultural) and make referrals and provide support to facilitate success in reaching those goals.
  • Accurately and efficiently document assessments and progress notes in an electronic case management system within the expected time frame.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Minimum of a HS Diploma with OASAS/OMH Peer Specialist Certification, preferred. Other peer specialist training such as Howie the Harp Peer Advocacy and Training Center Peer Specialist Program will be considered.
  • Lived experience in treatment, recovery and/or the criminal justice system
  • Bilingual, a plus
  • 2 years of experience as a Peer Advocate, Counselor or Specialist, preferred
  • Knowledge of NYC Court Operations, preferred
  • Must be able to provide references and demonstrated ability to lead groups

The successful candidate will possess a combination of the following knowledge, skills, and experiences:

  • Familiarity with the Alternative to Detention (ATD), Alternative to Incarceration (ATI) or other advocacy program models
  • Working knowledge of treatment programs (substance abuse, mental health, etc.) and other support services (GED, job training, YIP, etc.) for referrals
  • Ability to exercise sound and quick judgment
  • Excellent communication skills to facilitate groups sessions with clients who present various needs and challenges
  • Excellent time and self-management skills
  • Computer literate with the ability to quickly adapt to changing technology
  • Must be willing to work evening and weekend hours, if needed
  • Willingness to travel via public transportation to conduct field visits with clients

Note: Due to the nationwide pandemic CJA has implemented remote working for most staff. While it is uncertain what phase NYC will be in at the time of hire, the successful hire must be willing to assume responsibilities that are both remote and on-site; this includes access to your own personal computer, laptop or tablet, and internet until devices can be issued.

SALARY:  $40,800

Note: Only those candidates being considered will be contacted. No phone calls please.

CJA offers a very generous benefit plan including health, dental and vision insurance, four weeks’ vacation, paid holidays and a retirement plan with employer matching contributions.

 

The New York City Criminal Justice Agency is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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At CJA, we are committed to intentional talent management  that  seeks to recruit, retain and develop employees whose racial, ethnic, cultural, gender, orientation, and identities  contribute to a rich workforce of varied experiences and abilities at all levels. We seek to build and sustain a workforce reflective of the communities we serve within the City of New York.

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