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LEAD Project Manager

 
Organization Description
 
Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) is an innovative, widely replicated alternative to jail and prosecution for people who commit law violations or engage in problematic behavior due to behavioral health conditions and/or extreme poverty. LEAD was launched in Seattle in 2011 and now is established in nearly 20 jurisdictions nationally, with many more jurisdiction in various stages of LEAD design and implementation work.

The Public Defender Association (PDA), the project manager of LEAD in Seattle/King County, is a non-profit organization that advocates for justice system reform and develops alternatives that shift from a punishment paradigm to a system that supports individual and community health. We also provide technical assistance to community partners who are committed to these goals.

We advance justice system reform and alternative practices and policy through several core programs and policy initiatives, including: 

  • Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD):   Under LEAD, police officers exercise discretionary authority at the point of contact to divert individuals to a community-based intervention program for low-level criminal offenses (such as drug possession, sales, and prostitution offenses). PDA is the project manager for the flagship LEAD program in Seattle-King County, and provides technical support for jurisdictions nationally and internationally that want to replicate LEAD through our LEAD National Support Bureau.
  • Voices of Community Activists and Leaders - Washington (VOCAL-WA): VOCAL-WA builds power among low- and no- income people directly affected by the war on drugs, homelessness, mass incarceration, and the HIV/AIDS epidemic to create healthy and just communities for all.
  • Transforming Policy:  The Public Defender Association’s Racial Disparity Project (RDP) worked to improve police accountability and reconsider the role of the police since its inception in 1998. PDA staff have chaired Seattle's innovative Community Police Commission since it was launched in 2013; work in partnership with law enforcement agencies as they innovate and transform; advocate for the reform of Washington's deadly force laws; and represent families of individuals killed in police custody or jail.
  • System Reform:  In the spirit of our four decade history as a public defense office committed to system reform, the current incarnation of the Public Defender Association continues to do policy advocacy, litigation, public education and organizing on issues that systemically affect people who are or are likely to be engaged by the justice system. This work includes efforts such as the campaign for safe consumption spaces in Seattle/King County.
 
Position Description
 
The available LEAD Project Manager (1.0 FTE) position would be part of a team engaged in the project management of PDA’s local LEAD work, and would entail close collaboration with law enforcement, case managers, prosecutors, and neighborhood and community leaders. In addition to day to day maintenance and troubleshooting of LEAD operations, this position likely will focus on developing LEAD in South King County, including Burien and White Center.

Project Manager positions are FLSA-exempt. Work outside of normal business hours is expected. Travel throughout King County and Seattle will be required, and some travel outside King County may be required. This Project Manager position will report directly to LEAD Seattle-King County Project Director, Tara Moss, and would work under the overall guidance of PDA Director, Lisa Daugaard.

 
Job Responsibilities
 
In addition to day to day maintenance and troubleshooting of LEAD operations, this position likely will focus on developing LEAD in interested cities in the South King County area, including Burien, White Center and Kent. Depending on the background and community connections of the individual hired, the expected geographic concentration for this position could shift to other areas within Seattle and/or elsewhere in King County
 
• Project Design: Work with PDA’s LEAD Team (including PDA Director, LEAD Seattle-King County Project Director, and other Project Managers) and other King County LEAD partners (including the King County Prosecutor, Executive, Sheriff and Council, and King County’s Behavioral Health & Recovery Division) to identify and support interested South King County cities that are interested in launching LEAD in their city;
 
• Project Implementation: Coordinate with city stakeholders (including law enforcement, service providers, city prosecutor’s office, businesses and other community safety advocates) to design and implement LEAD within their jurisdiction;
 
• Project Management: Day to day maintenance and troubleshooting of LEAD as implemented in new jurisdictions and/or in existing areas of operation, as assigned by the LEAD Project Director;
 
• Management of Regular Operation Workgroup (OWG) Meeting and Process: Facilitation of the biweekly OWG with key operational partners in LEAD. LEAD partners use OWGs to share information about program participants’ situation and progress, discuss referral criteria, program capacity and compliance with the LEAD protocol, and to focus the attention of LEAD program staff and law enforcement in particular areas viewed with concern by neighborhood representatives;
 
• Community Education and Engagement: Educate community members (including individuals, businesses community groups, and social service providers) on how LEAD works and potential ways to implement program in their community. Work with community groups to understand current public health and public safety needs within their community;
 
• From time to time there will be involvement in other work of PDA such as other police reform advocacy to development of other diversion and justice system reform initiatives and other duties as assigned.
 
Requirements / Qualifications
 
  • Demonstrated understanding of, and commitment to, LEAD's core principles
  • Knowledge of the Burien and White Center communities
  • Ability to clearly communicate core principles and support and advise others with less experience in harm reduction-based social work and in police-social work partnership
  • Deep understanding of substance use disorder, motivational interviewing and harm reduction strategies
  • Experience facilitating meetings
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • The ideal candidate will be a self-motivated individual who has strong interpersonal, public speaking and problem-solving skills; interest in working as a member of a team in a fast-paced, dynamic environment is essential
  • Candidates must have demonstrated interest in criminal justice, homelessness, and/or drug policy reform and a willingness to approach these issues with a racial justice analysis
  • Experience and knowledge of local homeless services and housing systems is preferred
  • Experience or familiarity with community and human services dynamics and public safety/order issues in South King County communities is valuable in this position
  • Commitment to the mission and approach of the Public Defender Association
  • Basic computer skills, including ability to use the internet, email (Google platforms as used at PDA), word processing (e.g. Microsoft Word) and spreadsheets (e.g. Microsoft Excel) are required
 
Compensation
 
The starting range is $64,456 -$100,944 annually, depending on experience, on a scale with up to 10 annual step increases effective on the anniversary date, and annual cost of living increase at Board discretion. Benefits include up to 4% 401k match after six months employment, plus annual profit sharing of (typically) 2% more in office 401k contribution; generous medical and dental benefits for employees and family members; three weeks vacation accrued annually to start, increasing over time to 4 weeks annually; an unlimited ORCA public transit card; and other benefits.
 
Equal Opportunity Statement
 
The Public Defender Association is an equal opportunity employer. People of color and people who are formerly incarcerated or homeless, or frequently subject to law enforcement focus, HIV-positive, women and/or members of the LGBTQIA+ communities are strongly encouraged to apply.
 
How to Apply
 
Please send a cover letter and résumé to Tara Moss, tara.moss@defender.org. In the subject line, please put “LEAD Project Manager [Your Name]”.  No phone calls please. 
 
This position will remain open until filled.
 
Note: Only those candidates under consideration will be contacted

 

Racial Disparity Project: Internship & Externship Opportunities

Organization Description

The Public Defender Association (PDA) is a non-profit corporation which advocates for justice system reform and develops alternatives that shift from a punishment paradigm to a system that supports individual and community health. We also provide technical assistance to community partners who are committed to these goals. We advance justice system reform and alternative practices and policy through several core programs and policy initiatives, including: 

Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD):   Under LEAD, police officers exercise discretionary authority at the point of contact to divert individuals to a community-based intervention program for low-level criminal offenses (such as drug possession, sales, and prostitution offenses).
 
Voices of Community Activists and Leaders - Washington (VOCAL-WA): VOCAL-WA, affiliated with VOCAL-NY, builds power among low- and no- income people directly affected by the war on drugs, homelessness, mass incarceration, and the HIV/AIDS epidemic to create healthy and just communities for all. 
 
Transforming Policy:  The Public Defender Association’s Racial Disparity Project (RDP) has worked to improve police accountability and reconsider the role of the police since its inception in 1998, and worked to reform Washington's deadly force laws, including with technical support for the implementation of I940/De-Escalate WA, passed by Washington voters in 2018.
 
System Reform:  In the spirit of our four decade history as a public defense office committed to system reform, the current incarnation of the Public Defender Association continues to do policy advocacy, litigation, public education and organizing on issues that systemically affect people who are or are likely to be engaged by the justice system. This work includes efforts such as drug user health and supervised consumption campaigns, work on pre-trial release, and work to advance justice reinvestment, moving funding from institution-based investments to community-based care, in Seattle/King County and around Washington state. 
 
Civil Survival Project: Civil Survival Project organizes people who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system to build connections, gain knowledge and increase political participation.  Civil Survival provides leadership development, legal education and services, and legislative advocacy on systemic issues that prevent former justice-involved individuals the opportunity to fully reintegrate.
 
Community Justice Project: The Community Justice Project aims to reduce harm caused by violence and mass incarceration by building effective, trauma-informed healing responses that reflect restorative justice principles.  We strive to empower the most impacted and marginalized communities by investing in the leadership of both crime survivors and incarcerated individuals to drive this work.  Unlike the traditional victim advocacy model, we are investing in the leadership of survivors and people directly impacted.
 

Intern Duties

An intern with the Racial Disparity Project will work under the supervision of the Senior Attorney to research and write legal memoranda, engage in individual representation of clients, work on current policy advocacy projects, and assist in the preparation of filings for ongoing litigation.  The intern will also gain an understanding of the multifaceted work done by the LEAD team, the Civil Survival Project, and the Community Justice Project.

 

Desired Skills and Qualifications

The intern will develop an in-depth understanding of the criminal justice reform work in which PDA engages and the public health perspective PDA utilizes.  Excellent writing and communications skills are required.  Applicants should have strong interests in policy advocacy, litigation, public education and organizing on issues that systemically affect people who are or area likely to be engaged by the justice system.  A commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion; a personal approach that values the individual and respects differences is also expected.  Candidates must have completed at least one year of law school.

 

Equal Opportunity Statement

The Public Defender Association is an equal opportunity employer.  We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture and are committed to race equity in all aspects of our work.  PDA encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, socio-economic circumstance, or record of arrest or conviction.  Women, people of color, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and people with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.

 

How to Apply

To apply, please email a cover letter and résumé to Prachi Dave (prachi.dave@defender.org). In the subject line, please put “[Your Last Name] Racial Disparity Project Internship”. No phone calls please.
 
This position will be filled on a rolling basis.

 

 

Intern, Extern & Volunteer Opportunities

PDA has various volunteer or intern opportunities available on an ongoing basis.

  • For current or recent law students interested in a fellowship, legal externship or internship, please contact Prachi Dave, PDA Senior Attorney, at prachi.dave@defender.org.
  • If you are interested in general, LEAD, VOCAL-WA or other open-ended opportunities, please complete the survey found here. Once complete, we will retain your information on file and contact you when an internship and/or volunteer opportunity is available.