Chief of the Mental Health Unit, Defender Association

Posted by Defender Association of Philadelphia on March 7, 2023

The Mental Health Unit represents clients who suffer from a mental health disorder, traumatic brain injury, or intellectual disability.  With our staff of attorneys, social workers, mitigation specialists, paralegals, and investigators, we represent our clients in a variety of settings; Municipal Court Mental Health Court, Court of Common Pleas Mental Health Court, Veterans Court, Civil Commitment Hearings, Compassionate Release Hearings, and vertical representation in complex cases where mental health is a predominant factor. We are looking for an experienced attorney to lead our mental health team.

What You’ll Do:

  • Supervise, manage, and provide leadership for Municipal Court Mental Health Court, Common Pleas Mental Health Court, Veteran’s Court, Civil Commitment Hearings, and the vertical representation of clients represented within the Unit.
  • Supervise, evaluate, and provide feedback to all staff within the unit.
  • Liaison with the Court Mental Health Unit and the State Mental Hospitals
  • Be the subject matter expert for internally and externally on Mental Health law and the Mental Health Procedures Act, as well as be up-to date on the current state of the law and science surrounding Intellectual Disabilities and Traumatic Brain Injuries, and maintain familiarity with the DSM-V.
  • Prepare and present mental health trainings to internal and external audiences
  • Liaison with the Chief and Assistant Chief of Pre-Trial as needed, including during off hours, for custody emergencies regarding clients threatening self-harm or in need of physical or behavioral health medication.
  • Screen new arrests of a serious or high profile nature for possible diversion to Mental Health Court, Veteran’s Court, or for vertical assignment within the unit.
  •  Represent the Defender Association at local, state, and national events addressing issues of mental health.
  • Collect and collate data on psychiatric detainers, caseloads, dispositions, and other data sets relevant to the mental health practice.
  • Travel to relevant courtrooms, state mental hospitals, local and state prisons and other community placements
  • Other duties as assigned

Learn more and apply.

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