MONTGOMERY COUNTY GOVERNMENT Code No. 3247
ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND Grade 25
CORRECTIONAL SPECIALIST IV
DEFINITION OF CLASS:
This is supervisory rehabilitative correctional work. Employees coordinate front line services of subordinates engaged in various services necessary to facilitate rehabilitation and integration of an offender into the community. Employees in class may have their own caseload or responsibility for local application of one or more programs. Contacts regularly include 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. Contacts require well-developed communication skills. The work involves supervision of lower level Correctional Specialists as well as provision of life skills counseling services to offenders for a four to six month period.
Supervisory employees in this class ensure effective programmatic operations of subordinates by work planning, assignment and review. They recommend a full range of supervisory personnel actions. Work is performed in a variety of security settings; services provided are intended to control the 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 supervises program(s) 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 inmate 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)
Characteristics of all employees in the class:
Provides first-line supervision over an assigned team of Correctional Specialists; assigns and reviews work; enforces work standards; solves ordinary problems encountered in the work; coordinates work within team; enforces unit policies; makes minor adjustments in work procedures; prepares work records and reports; participates and/or recommends decisions or actions on a variety of personnel matters (i.e., selection, training, performance appraisal, leave approval, promotion, transfer, counseling of employees, minor disciplinary measures, minor complaints).
Characteristics of Specialty Areas:
A. Classification/Intake Processing
Oversees reception and classification of all inmates received at Montgomery County's Correction Facility to include inmate intake verifications, risk assessments and primary housing assignments.
Ensures that intake and classification actions taken by subordinates conform to agency standard operating procedures, laws, etc.
Participates as member of several standing committees/boards that, among other concerns, evaluates appropriateness of original risk assessments and classifications; makes changes dependent upon inmate progress, problems, disciplinary measures taken, etc.
Provides direct correctional counseling services to inmates to include assigning Correctional Specialists to specific housing areas and situations; assists inmates with their adjustment problems within the Correction Facility.
Assigns Correctional Specialists to disciplinary/adjustment board hearings.
Participates as member of multi agency body to review inmate offenses, arrest and social histories, and provide judge with a written sentencing recommendation.
B. Community/Work Release
Identifies sentenced inmates returning to the community via the Correctional Facility; assesses inmate needs and reviews Correctional Facility records to determine release dates of inmates.
Provides the following services for inmates nearing release to the community: vocational testing, therapeutic education, counseling/job interviews, employment placement, development of jobs, training programs, and supporting services such as housing, transportation and medical services as required for the successful reintegration of the ex offender into the community.
Develops employment opportunities in community and placements for suitable inmates.
Establishes and maintains contacts with social service and private agencies, Health Department, inmates' families, and State Probation on matters relating to community release to ensure that appropriate services are provided.
Processes temporary releases for sentenced inmates going outside the institution for the purpose of seeking jobs, housing or social services prior to final release dates.
Coordinates/organizes internal rehabilitation program within the Correctional Facility.
Attends staff and outside agency meetings.
Attends daily shift change meetings and training sessions.
Prepares weekly reports.
Responds to inmate requests on all related matters.
C. Community Coordination
Oversees the Correctional Facility's volunteer program.
Transports inmates to various community concerns such as funerals and job interviews.
Coordinates Work Program and other County use of inmates' programs, to include inmate classification, screening eligible sentenced inmates, counseling inmates as to inquiries concerning program, maintaining inmate eligibility listings, supervising assigned inmates (via field inspections), and presentation of eligible inmates to Director for final approval.
Counsels inmates on available Correctional Facility and community programming alternatives.
Serves as member of Work Board to review eligible inmates for institutional work placements.
Speaks before community and civic organizations on correctional programs, and develops community awareness and support.
A. Community Release Coordinator
Teaches counseling staff effective and creative strategies for intervention and treatment planning.
Develops community resources to meet client needs and serves as liaison to these agencies/
Interviews inmates to determine appropriate counseling and re-entry needs best provided by agencies/persons external to the Pre-Release Center.
Refers inmates to community agencies and monitors inmate participation/progress/
Recommends inmate treatment/counseling courses of action during unit treatment meetings.
Periodically conducts screening interviews/assessments of inmates to determine their appropriateness for placement in Pre-Release program.
Prepares correspondence to courts, Parole Commission, Parole and Probation, social services agencies, etc., regarding inmate rehabilitation progress/problems; represents inmates and Center at Parole hearings.
Provides crisis intervention and contact counseling to inmates.
Coordinates processing and approval by higher authority of inmate home visitation passes. Reviews and approves releases to the community for activities related to treatment,
counseling, medical and social services.
Develops and conducts sponsor education group and family intervention meetings.
Conducts follow-up on inmates' well-being after their release from Pre-Release program, assisting ex-offenders and their families and other referred clients with community resource referrals and placement.
Represents Center at community functions.
Serves as Unit Manager during his/her absence.
B. 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 to 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.
C. Correctional Screener
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; and 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.
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 manage daily program operations and to supervise subordinates, as assigned.
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 and Drug/Alcohol Screen
Class Established: July, 1979
Revised: July, 1983
September, 2003 (M)