County of Alameda

Holistic Defense Mitigation Specialist III (#3108)

Bargaining Unit: Unrep - General Mgmt (U15)
$51.30-$62.37 Hourly / $4,104.00-$4,989.60 BiWeekly /
$8,892.00-$10,810.80 Monthly / $106,704.00-$129,729.60 Yearly


This flexibly-staffed class series specification describes the lead level of the Holistic Defense Mitigation Specialist series.  Under minimal supervision, carries out a variety of the most complex research activities, analytical studies of socioeconomic factors, and administration of programs related to the criminal and juvenile legal systems or other criminal or juvenile legal entities or programs; conducts intensive assessments on the most complex felonies and capital homicides; provides consultation to outside groups and agencies on matters affecting criminal or juvenile programs; manages the on-going responsibility for a caseload of clients; may provide clinical and administrative supervision, guidance, and support to Holistic Defense Mitigation Specialist (HDMS) I and HDMS II; and performs other related duties as required.  


This is the advanced journey level professional classification in the Holistic Defense Mitigation Specialist flex series located in the Public Defender’s Office. The incumbents in the class of Holistic Defense Mitigation Specialist III may provide coordination and guidance on clinical and client-based issues beyond technical case management and may engage in higher level program development. Positions in this classification may work on capital cases, provide clinical and administrative supervision to Holistic Defense Mitigation Specialist I and II, and participate in organizational level program evaluation and policy development. This classification will also be responsible for administrative work which includes overall responsibility for program planning, development and evaluation, program reporting and statistics, and program outcome monitoring with minimal direct supervision.  

The Holistic Defense Mitigation Specialist III classification is distinguished from the lower-level class of Holistic Defense Mitigation Specialist II in that incumbents in the former class possess a valid clinical license from one of the applicable licensing authorities.


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 complex caseload of clients who have been involved with the criminal and/or juvenile legal systems.  Interviews clients in custody, in the community, or in the office. In serious cases, including preparation for capital murder cases, Franklin Hearings, transfer hearings, and felony strikes, interviews and the number of individuals interviewed may be extensive.
  2. Represents the Holistic Defense Mitigation Specialist unit of the Public Defender’s office to external governmental and non-governmental bodies, including the Board of Supervisors. Engages in preparing a variety of correspondence, narrative and statistical reports, program documentation, policies, procedures, and other written materials in order to evaluate program efficacy and provide programmatic review for the Board of Supervisors.
  3. Assists the Public Defender with strategic program planning, implementation, evaluation activities, and developing methods for program evaluation. Work includes determining the scope and nature of services, creating data tracking methodology for the program, supporting the creation of new relevant programs, and representing the unit at meetings, conferences, and public hearings.
  4. Reviews complex client records, interviews collateral contacts, including clients’ family members, community members, professionals, and others in the community, via home visits and in the office. Cases may include capital murder, Franklin Hearings, transfer hearings, and other serious, violent and/or sexual felonies.
  5. Confers with public defender attorneys on case-related matters. Provides guidance and training to Public Defender attorneys regarding the presentation and impact of adolescent brain development, mental health conditions, and other social issues.
  6. Works to facilitate the social rehabilitation of clients through counseling and guidance, including individuals who are facing long term prison sentences, and possible death sentences.
  7. Develops operational and clinical policies, procedures, guidelines, goals, and objectives.
  8. Evaluates program service delivery, efficacy, and other elements for possible program inclusion.
  9. Develops strategic partnerships and alliances with other county departments, community organizations, and providers.
  10. Develops and implements trainings to attorneys, post-bars, and legal interns regarding social services, social supports, and inter-disciplinary supports.
  11. Develops and facilitates community-based education regarding forensic social work, substance abuse and mental health treatment, and the criminal and juvenile legal systems.
  12. Conducts psycho-social evaluations for clients impacted by the criminal and/or juvenile legal systems, focusing on clients’ mental health and trauma history, employment history, substance abuse history, family dysfunction, and more for clients facing felony charges of any degree of severity, including capital murder.
  13. 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, juvenile, and immigration systems. Supports clients in developing 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.
  14. Reviews and finalizes written evaluations, assessments, and recommendations developed by the HDMS I’s and II’s.  
  15. 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 on capital cases and others.
  16. Provides appropriate referrals to clients for public and private agencies relating to their psychosocial needs and effective rehabilitation for all types of public defender clients. 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.
  17. Provides independently conducted clinical assessments and recommendations to psychologists, probation, public defenders, district attorneys, and judges.
  18. Testifies in court regarding clinical assessment of clients, social history, programs, reentry plans, or related content on serious, felony cases, including capital cases.
  19. 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.  
  20. Recruits and supervises graduate level interns as a Field Agency Instructor.




The equivalent of two (2) years of full-time experience in the class of Holistic Defense Mitigation Specialist II in the Alameda County classified service.  



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 four (4) 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.    


Possession of a valid Licensed Clinical Social Worker or Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist license from the California Board of Behavioral Sciences or California Board of Psychology.  

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 advanced level 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, 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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