MONTGOMERY COUNTY GOVERNMENT Code No. 3245
ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND Grade 24
CORRECTIONAL SPECIALIST III
DEFINITION OF CLASS:
This is advanced rehabilitative correctional work performing the most difficult rehabilitative and long-term correctional work of multiple assignments which include providing guidance counseling, educational, vocational, social, employment, classification, screening and/or other services necessary for integration of an offender into the community. Contacts regularly include inmates or offenders to obtain and provide information, counseling, placement and other services to speed recovery, prevent relapse and facilitate rehabilitation; representatives of local, State and Federal criminal justice agencies to carry out court-ordered actions; public and private human service agencies to provide, facilitate or monitor offender treatment; community members (employers, family members, etc.) to coordinate community integration; and others inside and outside the County government to perform a full range of correction and rehabilitation services. Some contacts require well-developed communication skills. For the majority of employees, this class of work involves provision of counseling services to inmates and offenders for a four to six month period.
Employees in this class are responsible for providing to offenders selected correctional support services which complement inmate security and treatment measures. Work is performed in a variety of security settings; services provided are intended to control the inmate and offender population in terms of risk potential and prepare them for release into the community by providing direct services. Employees in this class work with offenders of various socioeconomic backgrounds, including pre trial and post trial offenders, and provide services that are tailored to the individual needs of the offender. The complexity of work centers on offenders who often lack basic work-life skills, resent authority and/or have serious problems with mental health or substance abuse, and for whom adjustment to community life is difficult to achieve. Service goals and objectives are identified and prioritized by a correctional supervisor who leads a program or a unit. An employee in this class is expected to carry out normal recurring assignments without close direction and supervision, and resolve work conflicts and problems in accordance with established procedures. A variety of guidelines is available in the form of laws, regulations, professional association standards, agency policies and established procedures. Based on such guidelines, employees use judgment and discretion in performing assignments (such as, determining an appropriate work assignment for an offender while considering his/her risk potential for escape, protection of the community, past work experience and vocational test results, availability of a suitable employer, and opportunities to check and evaluate work progress of the offender). Generally situations and incidents not covered by instructions or precedent are referred to the supervisor for discussion and resolution. Work is evaluated based on an employee's timely and appropriate delivery of services and/or their ability to resolve problems, work effectively with other employees and representatives of other public and private sector agencies. The impact of this work is realized by a portion of the offender population through the provision of services to them, by family members and employers who are directly impacted by the attitudes and behavior of offenders, and by the community at large in terms of the offender's legal or illegal actions. The work of this class is primarily sedentary, with some discomforts, unpleasantness and potential to provoke hostility or aggression toward the worker from the defendants/offenders (including violent felons) encountered.
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES: (Illustrative Only)
Work Release Coordinator
Develops community employment opportunities and places inmates into jobs.
Conducts personal interviews with employers and educates them on offender re-entry issues and PRS procedures.
Assesses inmate vocational/employment capabilities and public safety risk issues related to work.
Assists inmates in problem solving difficulties related to work, general program participation, interpersonal interactions, etc.
Monitors inmates release into the community, paychecks, and ensures proper accountability. Conducts job checks by phone and on-site to monitor inmate progress/problems.
Provides crisis intervention and contact counseling to all unit inmates.
Provides recommendations and insight during unit inmate classification/treatment team meetings (case assessment, treatment planning, case review, and ongoing assessment).
Conducts adjustment hearings, chairs disciplinary process, and teaches other staff problem solving process.
Periodically conducts screening interviews/assessments of inmates to determine suitability for placement in Pre-Release programs.
Develops and conducts Job Readiness and Retention group seminars for inmates prior to delivering community-based work release services.
Services as Unit Manager in his/her absence.
Conducts screening interviews/assessments of inmates to determine their suitability for placement in Pre-Release programs.
Meets with supervisor and Division Chief to review screening of pre-trial and post-trial individuals; and reviews all facets of interview, provides assessment information, reviews psychological materials, and makes recommendations.
Discusses/coordinates/reviews with other corrections and health care employees the inmates' suitability for Pre-Release Services; reviews options and provides referrals to other professionals and agencies as necessary.
Prepares sentencing recommendations for judges, summarizing assessment and detailing Division Chief's final sentencing recommendations; and reviews questions/concerns with judges and attorneys, probation agents, and other referring parties.
Coordinates with judges, attorneys, etc. transfer of inmates from local, State, and Federal institutions to Montgomery County; and develops resolutions to problems associated with case.
Determines eligibility of local and State inmates for Pre-Release Services.
Oversees administration of psychological testing; reviews cases with psychologist; assesses inmates not needing psychological clearance for program participation.
Initiates requests for medical screening of prospective inmates.
Responds to questions of attorneys, inmates' families, employers of inmates, mental health professionals, and members of the clergy.
Supervises compilation and analysis of relevant statistics to evaluate screening process.
Regularly reviews screening process, forms, and procedures; and develops methods to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
Assesses defendant's dangerousness and risk of flight with regard to appropriateness for release into the community on a pre-trial basis.
Conducts comprehensive initial interview and background assessments to determine level of supervision/classification (i.e., documenting substance abuse, mental health, medical history; conducting criminal background investigation)
Reviews and verifies case file material and classifies inmates as to mental health, substance abuse, medical and escape risk issues.
Prepares individual supervision strategy for each offender based on assessment factors; and develops modifications to individual plans during supervision as conditions change.
Provides community supervision including life skills counseling, referrals to treatment agencies and follow-through as well as crisis intervention.
Interfaces regularly with family members, victims, employers, treatment providers, law enforcement personnel, judges, probation officers, etc. to monitor compliance and assess behavior. Prepares and presents reports/recommendations regarding bond reconsiderations, trials, plea hearings, and sentencing to judges and members of the bar in preparation for defendants' court appearances.
Experience: Three (3) years of experience in community based corrections
or in other human services work emphasizing treatment/counseling, at least
two of which must be equivalent to that of a Correctional Specialist II.
Education: Possession of a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.
Equivalency: Excess education may be substituted for required experience, but excess experience may not be substituted for the Bachelor's degree, as the educational requirement is stipulated by the Maryland State Training Commission.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Considerable knowledge of the principles and concepts, trends, and practices in the correctional and behavioral sciences, and of the methods and techniques of interviewing and counseling as they pertain to the field of correction and rehabilitation.
Considerable knowledge of one or more significant factors contributing to criminality, such as substance abuse or mental health disorders, and of the methods of treatment and techniques to speed recovery, prevent relapse and facilitate rehabilitation.
Considerable knowledge of the practical operations of the criminal justice system.
Considerable knowledge of the theories, principles, and practices of parole and probation, and of the conceptual and overt behavior patterns of offenders.
Skill in problem solving to identify and analyze issues and make effective recommendations for, or decisions on, individualized treatment programs.
Skill in oral communication to express information verbally (including facts, concepts and principles) so that others will understand, and to understand verbal communication from others. This includes skill in encouraging oral communication by others.
Skill in written communication to express information in writing (including facts, concepts and principles) so that others will understand, and to read and comprehend the written communication from others.
Skill in human relations to effectively work with persons of demonstrated anti-social behavior, including persons charged with or convicted of serious crimes.
Well-developed interpersonal skills to interact effectively with personal contacts.
Skill in using a computer, modern office suites and program-specific computer systems to enter, use and exchange information.
Ability to attend meetings or perform other assignments at locations outside the office.
CITIZENSHIP AND AGE:
Individuals appointed to this position must be at least 21 years of age on the date of appointment, and be either a citizen of the United States or resident alien.
Individuals appointed or promoted to this class will be required to serve a probationary period of twelve months, during which time performance will be carefully evaluated. Continuation in this class will be contingent upon successful completion of the probationary period.
MEDICAL PROTOCOL: Core Exam
Class Established: May, 2004