Position Title: Project Director - Reentry Clinic
Director Supervisor: Deputy Director
Job Summary: (Full or part time)
The Reentry Clinic provides legal "civic restoration" services to men and women who face barriers to employment, education, and professional licensing as a result of their prior criminal conviction. Syracuse is one of the poorest cities in the U.S. with multiple neighborhoods besieged by high rates of poverty, a condition that overlaps with high rates of unemployment and high incarceration rates. CCA operates numerous programs which work with several target populations including people who have been involved in the juvenile or adult criminal justice system and who are now seeking to reintegrate into their communities to live productive and law-abiding lives. However, punishment does not end after serving a sentence: there are many consequences that haunt people long after they have completed their sentences, often for the rest of their lives. These are often referred to as the "collateral consequences" (or more accurately "perpetual punishment") of a criminal conviction.
The Reentry Clinic began in 2007 and since 2009, the Clinic has served over 1000 individuals. As such, the Clinic has a well-defined and proven process of case management and effective delivery of quality legal representation in helping individuals overcome the barriers to reentry. The Reentry Clinic staff provide the following legal services: obtaining and reviewing criminal history records; identifying and correcting mistakes on records; counseling clients on their criminal
Duties and Responsibilities:
- Identify potential legal barriers to successful reintegration, particularly in the areas of employment and education.
- Obtain and review clients' criminal history records, identifying mistakes on such records that could impair the ability to obtain or maintain employment; seek to correct such mistakes by communicating with court personnel, obtaining certificates of disposition and sealing orders and conveying them to the appropriate law enforcement agencies, and, where appropriate, drafting, filing, and arguing motions to dismiss stale prosecutions, to seal arrests, or to re-sentence clients as Youthful Offenders.
- Identify if clients are eligible for Certificates of Rehabilitation, and if so, assist clients in applying for the appropriate Certificate. For clients who seek occupational licensing from local or State occupational licensing agency, work with such clients to advocate for such licensing.
- Working closely with referral program staff members, counsel clients on their criminal history records and employment rights, and strategize with clients on how best to discuss their criminal history records with potential employers.
- Supervise other Reentry Clinic staff in performing above duties; where appropriate, provide presentations to staff of the various referral programs.
- Work to coordinate referrals from various programs and assign cases to Reentry Clinic staff in a manner that ensures staff have manageable case loads and are able to provide clients quality and timely services.
- Participate in internal and outside training and coalitions; keep current on new laws impacting people with a criminal regard as well as the most recent research regarding employment of people with a criminal record ; use new laws and the research to update Reentry Clinic procedures and protocols where appropriate.
- Manage case management and file management and maintaining and updating program data base. Program reporting to funders and CCA management, assist in identifying future funding opportunities and grant/contract drafting.
- Perform other duties as assigned by supervisor.
Commitment to and experience in working with adults and youth from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds who are or have been involved in the criminal justice system. JD, admission to the New York State Bar, and some practice experience required. Excellent written and oral communication and advocacy skills, attention to detail, and computer literacy (word processing, e-mail, internet and legal research, data entry) required.