The Center for Court Innovation is committed to reducing crime and incarceration, addressing violence, supporting survivors, and building communities while strengthening public trust in justice. The Center seeks justice for marginalized groups, bringing an equity lens – particularly a racial and gender equity lens – to its work. For 25 years, the Center has worked to foster justice and equity to create safe, healthy, and thriving communities and, ultimately, to transform the justice system.
The Center is an 800-employee, $100 million nonprofit that accomplishes its vision through three pillars of work: creating and scaling operating programs to test new ideas and solve problems, performing original research to determine what works (and what doesn’t), and providing expert assistance and policy guidance to justice reformers around the world.
The Center’s operating programs, including the award-winning Red Hook Community Justice Center and Midtown Community Court, test new ideas, solve difficult problems, and attempt to achieve systemic change within the justice system. Our projects include community-based violence prevention programs, alternatives to incarceration, reentry initiatives, and court-based initiatives that reduce the use of unnecessary incarceration and promote positive individual and family change. Through this programming, we have produced tangible results like safer streets, reduced incarceration, and improved neighborhood perceptions of justice.
Researchers at the Center conduct independent evaluations, documenting how government systems work, how neighborhoods function, and how reform efforts change things. We believe in the “action research” model; accordingly, our researchers provide regular feedback on the results of the Center’s own operating programs. The Center has published studies on topics including youth in the sex trade, reentry, gun violence, and drug treatment as an alternative to incarceration. Our researchers have been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals.
Policy & Expert Assistance
The Center provides hands-on, planning and implementation assistance to a wide range of jurisdictions in areas of reform such as problem-solving courts (e.g., community courts, treatment courts, domestic violence courts), tribal justice, reducing incarceration and the use of fines/fees and reducing crime and violence. Our current expert assistance takes many forms, including help with analyzing data, strategic planning and consultation, policy guidance, and hosting site visits to its operating programs in the New York City area.
Brooklyn Mental Health Court
The Brooklyn Mental Health Court is a project of the Center for Court Innovation housed in the Brooklyn Supreme Court. The Project has been in operation for over 17 years and is a specialized court part that tests new approaches to the treatment and supervision of mentally ill offenders in the community. Members of the Mental Health Court team must be creative, flexible, and effective at devising new solutions to tough problems. Team members will need a sincere willingness to share responsibilities and exchange roles with each other when necessary to ensure program success.
The Brooklyn Mental Health Court is seeking a Social Worker who will report directly to the Brooklyn Mental Health Court Clinical Director. Brooklyn Mental Health Court (BMHC) specializes in working with persons with serious and persistent mental illness and those diagnosed with Neurodevelopmental disorders, linking them to long-term treatment as an alternative to incarceration. The court aims to strengthen the justice systems ability to identify, assess, and monitor individual participants, to create linkages between the justice and mental health systems, and to improve public safety by ensuring that participants receive high quality community-based services. The Social Worker will be responsible for providing clinical assessments and providing short-term individual and group counseling sessions for eligible defendants, among other duties.
Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Provide comprehensive, clinically-informed case management services to clients that address issues such as substance use, mental health issues, trauma, domestic violence, housing, and vocational needs;
- Conduct comprehensive psychosocial evaluations and draft reports for BMHC stakeholders;
- Perform a variety of professional tasks related to assessment, community referrals, and court monitoring;
- Facilitate and help to develop a psycho-educational groups;
- Manage and monitor compliance with treatment mandates, including advocacy and care coordination with providers, and provide written updates to the court for all court-involved participants;
- Provide clinical recommendations to the court for mandated services and treatment;
- Maintain appropriate client and group information in electronic databases and complex files;
- Establish and maintain linkages with community partners who can provide appropriate interventions and services to court-involved individuals;
- Provide written and verbal compliance reports to the court and other court staff;
- Assist with the development and implementation of new programs, initiatives, and/or interventions;
- Participate in staff meetings, in-service trainings, and off-site visits;
- Additional relevant tasks, as needed.
- The ideal candidate will be a LMSW with at least two years of relevant experience. Candidates with a MSW will be required to obtain their license within 90 days of employment. A minimum of 2 years’ experience working in a social justice or social services setting required;
- SIFI certification preferred;
- Experience with mental health services, co-occurring disorders, trauma-informed and anti-oppressive practice is preferred;
- Experience working with clients diagnosed with serious and persistent mental illness and treatment modalities is a must;
- Experience working with clients with Neurodevelopmental disorders preferred;
- Ability to effectively work with diverse client populations, as a team member in a multiracial setting, and collaborate with on-site partner agencies and court personnel is required;
- Candidate must be comfortable working in a court-based setting and with court personnel, and partners;
- Court-based social work is a unique and demanding area of practice, and candidates must be open to constructive engagement with other professionals who have differing and, at times, competing perspectives;
- Candidate must excel at client engagement and be comfortable working with a wide range of clients with complex mental health needs;
- Strong organizational and excellent time management skills;
- Must have strong writing skills
Position Type: Full-time, the standard work week is 35 hours, Monday through Friday.
Compensation: Salary range starts at $58,500 and is commensurate with experience. The Center for Court Innovation offers an excellent benefits package including comprehensive healthcare with a national network, free basic dental coverage, vision insurance, short-term and long-term disability, life insurance, and flexible spending accounts including commuter FSA. We prioritize mental health care for our staff and offer services like Talkspace and Ginger through our healthcare plans. We offer a 403(b) retirement plan with a two-to-one employer contribution up to 5%.
The Center for Court Innovation is an equal opportunity employer. The Center does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, national origin, age, military service eligibility, veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, or any other category protected by law. We strongly encourage and seek applications from women, people of color, members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities as well as individuals with prior contact with the criminal justice system.
As of September 9, 2021, all new hires are required to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, unless they have been granted a reasonable accommodation for medical, disability or religious reasons by the Center’s Human Resources Department.
In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete an employment eligibility verification document form upon hire. Only applicants under consideration will be contacted. No phone calls please.