County of Alameda

Holistic Defense Mitigation Specialist II (#3107)

Bargaining Unit: Unrep - General Mgmt (U15)
$46.65-$56.70 Hourly / $3,732.00-$4,536.00 BiWeekly /
$8,086.00-$9,828.00 Monthly / $97,032.00-$117,936.00 Yearly


This flexibly-staffed class series specification describes the journey-level of the Holistic Defense Mitigation Specialist series.  Under general supervision, engages in administrative county functions, conducts assessments, prepares social histories, develops comprehensive reentry plans, and advocates for alternatives to incarceration for public defender clients. Incumbents will carry out a variety of research activities, analytical studies of socioeconomic factors, and administration of programs related to the criminal legal system or other criminal or juvenile legal entities or programs; provide consultation to outside groups and agencies on matters affecting criminal or juvenile legal programs; and perform other related duties as required.  


This is the journey-level professional 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 work on misdemeanors and complex felonies including homicides and serious sex offense cases, transfer hearings in juvenile, help prepare cases for Franklin Hearings, provide trainings for attorneys, and coordinate and oversee the work of graduate level interns.   

The Holistic Defense Mitigation Specialist II classification is distinguished from the lower-level classification of the Holistic Defense Mitigation Specialist I in that the former will be working on journey-level holistic defense mitigation duties while the latter will be working on basic holistic defense mitigation functions while in a training capacity.  Incumbents in this classification are expected to gain experience and demonstrate proficiency of all aspects of holistic defense mitigation functions after two (2) years and must obtain a professional clinical license before qualifying to flexibly promote to the Holistic Defense Mitigation Specialist III classification.


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, juvenile or immigration system.  Interviews clients in custody, in the community, or in the office. In serious cases, including preparation for Franklin Hearings, transfer hearings, and felony strikes, interviews and the number of individuals interviewed may be extensive. Confers with public defenders on case related matters.
  2. 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. Supports clients in developing treatment plans for prison and assists with possible parole hearings when parole is a possibility. In juvenile, can recommend residential placements for clients, as well as create community-based supportive reentry plans.
  3. Reviews client records, including mental health, legal, substance abuse, education, child welfare, and others as relevant for felony cases including Franklin Hearings, transfer hearings, and serious sex offense cases.
  4. Works to facilitate the social rehabilitation of clients through counseling and guidance, including individuals who are facing long term prison sentences. Provides ongoing case management services on an as-needed basis to ensure clients’ successful re-entry from the criminal and juvenile legal systems into the community.
  5. Under general supervision, conducts psycho-social evaluations for clients impacted by the criminal or juvenile legal systems, focusing on clients’ mental health and trauma history, employment history, substance abuse history, and/or family dysfunction. Includes work on complex cases, such as clients diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder, Paraphilic Disorders, and Schizophrenia.
  6. Assist with recruiting and provides guidance to the graduate level interns as Field Agency Instructor.
  7. Assists Assistant Public Defenders and HDMS III’s with program planning, implementation, and evaluation activities.
  8. Assists with implementing trainings to attorneys, post-bars, and legal interns regarding social services, social supports, and inter-disciplinary supports.
  9. Assists in the establishment or revision of policies, procedures, guidelines, goals, and objectives for the HDMS unit within the Public Defender’s Office.
  10. 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. Provides appropriate referrals to clients for public and private agencies relating to their psychosocial needs and effective rehabilitation.
  11. Provides clinical assessments and recommendations to psychologists, probation, public defenders, district attorneys, and judges.
  12. 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.
  13. Testifies in court regarding clinical assessment of clients, client social history, reentry plans, programs, or related content on serious, non-capital felony cases.
  14. Provides appropriate referrals to clients for public and private agencies relating to their psychosocial needs and effective rehabilitation.
  15. Works collaboratively in a multi-disciplinary setting to support the continuity of services from the jail to community upon release from custody.
  16. 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.
  17. Maintains case records, prepares correspondence, and confers with supervisor regarding caseload problems. Maintains outcome data for caseload.
  18. Develops strategic partnerships and alliances with other county departments, community organizations, and providers.
  19. Facilitates community-based education regarding social work, substance abuse and mental health treatment, and the criminal and juvenile legal systems.  
  20. Participates in strategic planning regarding the HDMS unit to determine the scope and nature of services; represents the unit at meetings, conferences, and public hearings; participates in the strategic development of the unit.




The equivalent of one (1) year of full-time experience in the class of Holistic Defense Mitigation Specialist I in the Alameda County classified service.  

OR II        


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 two (2) years full-time experience conducting mitigation, court advocacy, case management, and/or other social work support services for people impacted by the criminal or juvenile legal systems.    


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 required 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, practices, and techniques of social work.
  • 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, rule, 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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