County of Alameda

Holistic Defense Mitigation Specialist I (#3106)

Bargaining Unit: Unrep - General Mgmt (U15)
$42.40-$51.54 Hourly / $3,392.00-$4,123.20 BiWeekly /
$7,349.33-$8,933.60 Monthly / $88,192.00-$107,203.20 Yearly


This flexibly-staffed class series specification describes the entry-level of the Holistic Defense Mitigation Specialist series.  Under close supervision, conducts assessments, prepares social histories, develops reentry plans, and advocates for alternatives to incarceration for public defender clients. Incumbents will make referrals to appropriate service providers to assist clients suffering from mental health, substance abuse, and other disorders; materials and reports will be prepared and relied upon by public defenders and other legal entities; and perform other related duties as required.    


This is the entry-level training classification in the Holistic Defense Mitigation Specialist (HDMS) flex series located in the Public Defender’s Office. The incumbents in this classification will learn and perform a wide range of social work duties on misdemeanor and less complex felony cases, such as conducting client psychosocial assessments, gathering mitigating information, advocating in court, testifying in court, and fulfilling case management duties, for juveniles and adults.  

Incumbents in this classification are expected to demonstrate proficiency of all aspects of holistic defense mitigation functions in order to flexibly promote to the HDMS II classification after the equivalent of one-year full-time experience and a satisfactory performance evaluation.


NOTE:    The following are the duties performed by employees in this classification. However, employees may perform other related duties at an equivalent level. Each individual in the classification does not necessarily perform all duties listed.  

  1. Manages a caseload of clients who have been involved with the criminal or juvenile legal system. Interviews clients in custody, in the community, or in the office.  
  2. Under close supervision, conducts psycho-social evaluations for clients impacted by the criminal/juvenile legal system, focusing on clients’ mental health and trauma history, employment history, substance abuse history, and family dysfunction.    
  3. Assesses clients’ readiness for treatment intervention and utilizes motivational interviewing techniques to foster clients’ readiness to address underlying substance abuse, mental health issues, and other concerns.
  4. Under close supervision, develops written assessments and recommendations combined with jail re-entry plans based upon psycho-social evaluations to assist with legal advocacy within the Alameda County Criminal and Juvenile legal systems. In juvenile, can recommend residential placements for clients, as well as create community-based supportive reentry plans.
  5. Provides clinical assessments and recommendations to psychologists, probation, public defenders, district attorneys, and judges.
  6. Engages in direct court advocacy by presenting mitigating client social history and treatment program information to district attorneys and judges in order to attempt to impact court disposition.
  7. Interviews collateral contacts, including clients’ family members, community members, professionals, and others in the community, including home visits, and in the office.
  8. Reviews client records, including mental health, legal, substance abuse, education, child welfare, and others as relevant.
  9. Confers with Public Defenders on case-related matters. 
  10. Works to facilitate the social rehabilitation of clients through counseling and guidance.
  11. Testifies in court regarding clinical assessment of clients, client social history, reentry plans, programs, or related content on serious, non-capital felony cases.
  12. Provides appropriate referrals to clients for public and private agencies relating to their psychosocial needs and effective rehabilitation.
  13. Works collaboratively in a multi-disciplinary setting to support the continuity of services from the jail to community upon release from custody.
  14. Develops a growing resource base for re-entry support services to support client well-being, with a focus on drug and alcohol treatment, housing, employment support, mental health services, etc.  
  15. Develops strategic partnerships and alliances with other county departments, community organizations, and providers.  
  16. Maintains case records, prepares correspondence, and confers with supervisor regarding caseload problems. Maintains outcome data for caseload.



Possession of a master's degree from an accredited college or university in social work, marriage and family therapy, psychology, sociology, clinical psychology, counseling, or related field.     



The equivalent of six (6) months full-time experience providing case management, client advocacy or other social work support services to vulnerable populations, preferably working with individuals involved in the criminal or juvenile legal system or community organizing work on issues of criminal or juvenile legal system reform, or an internship equivalent as a graduate student may count towards this total.  


Must possess a valid California Driver’s License.  

Special Requirement:  

Must be able to obtain security clearance for entry into jails/prisons.   

Travel may be involved on an as-needed basis.    

NOTE:    The Civil Service Commission may modify the above Minimum Qualifications in the announcement of an examination.


NOTE:    The level and scope of the following knowledge and abilities are related to duties listed under the “Examples of Duties” section of this specification.  

Knowledge of:

  • Modern research methods used in sociologic, demographic and criminalistic studies.
  • Community resources and the needs and services available to multi-ethnic groups and disadvantaged youth and adults.
  • Principles, techniques, and trends in alternative sentencing programs.
  • Community based organizations and the range of services provided.
  • Basic psychosocial theory and practices as related to human behavior.  

Ability to:

  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with community-based organizations, public and private agencies.
  • Communicate in court, at public hearings and with individuals of diverse ethnic, social, and cultural backgrounds.
  • Prepare reports, memoranda, and spreadsheets.
  • Analyze and evaluate individual situations to reach sound conclusions and make appropriate recommendations.
  • Interpret complex federal and state laws, rules, regulations, and procedures.
  • Communicate effectively orally and in writing.



TG:sa 06/29/2021

CSC Date: 01/12/2022


Alameda County offers a comprehensive and competitive benefits package that affords wide-ranging health care options to meet the different needs of a diverse workforce and their families. We also sponsor many different employee discount, fitness and health screening programs focused on overall well being.  These benefits include but are not limited to*:

For your Health & Well-Being

  • Medical – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Dental – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Vision or Vision Reimbursement
  • Share the Savings
  • Basic Life Insurance 
  • Supplemental Life Insurance (with optional dependent coverage for eligible employees)
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance 
  • County Allowance Credit
  • Flexible Spending Accounts - Health FSA, Dependent Care and Adoption Assistance
  • Short-Term Disability Insurance
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Voluntary Benefits - Accident Insurance, Critical Illness, Hospital Indemnity and Legal Services
  • Employee Assistance Program

For your Financial Future

  • Retirement Plan - (Defined Benefit Pension Plan)
  • Deferred Compensation Plan (457 Plan or Roth Plan)

For your Work/Life Balance

  • 12 paid holidays
  • Floating Holidays
  • Vacation and sick leave accrual
  • Vacation purchase program
  • Management Paid Leave**
  • Catastrophic Sick Leave
  • Group Auto/Home Insurance
  • Pet Insurance
  • Commuter Benefits Program
  • Guaranteed Ride Home
  • Employee Wellness Program (e.g. At Work Fitness, Incentive Based Programs, Gym Membership Discounts)
  • Employee Discount Program (e.g. theme parks, cell phone, etc.)
  • Child Care Resources
  • 1st United Services Credit Union 

*Eligibility is determined by Alameda County and offerings may vary by collective bargaining agreement.  This provides a brief summary of the benefits offered and can be subject to change.

** Non-exempt management employees are entitled to up to three days of management paid leave. Exempt management employees are entitled to up to seven days of management paid leave.

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