Community Engagement Specialist, Supervised Release Program

21 Aug, 2023


Community Engagement Specialist, Supervised Release Program

Center for Justice Innovation
Brooklyn, NY/Staten Island, NY


The Center for Justice Innovation (formerly the Center for Court Innovation) is a non-profit organization that works with communities and justice systems to advance equity, increase safety, and help individuals and communities thrive. The Center’s goal is to identify and resolve as early as possible the challenges that bring people into the criminal and civil legal systems. It does this in a number of ways—by developing and running programs that reduce the need for incarceration and enhance economic opportunity, conducting original research to identify what works, and sharing what we learn from our programming and research with those seeking to transform the justice system around the world.

The Center is an 800-employee, $100 million nonprofit that accomplishes its vision through three pillars of work: creating and scaling operating programs to test new ideas and solve problems, performing original research to determine what works (and what doesn’t), and providing expert assistance and policy guidance to justice reformers around the world.

Operating Programs

The Center’s operating programs, including the award-winning Red Hook Community Justice Center and Midtown Community Court, test new ideas, solve difficult problems, and attempt to achieve systemic change within the justice system. Our projects include community-based violence prevention programs, alternatives to incarceration, reentry initiatives, and court-based initiatives that reduce the use of unnecessary incarceration and promote positive individual and family change. Through this programming, we have produced tangible results like safer streets, reduced incarceration, and improved neighborhood perceptions of justice.


The Center’s research teams are staffed with social scientists, data analysts, and lawyers who are academically-trained or have lived experience and who conduct research in the U.S. and globally on diverse criminal-legal system and justice issues. Their work includes evaluating programs and policies; conducting exploratory, community-based studies; and providing research translation and strategic planning for system actors. The Center has published studies on topics including court and jail reform, intimate partner violence, restorative justice, gun violence, reentry, sixth amendment rights, and progressive prosecution. The research teams strive to make their work meaningful and actionable to the communities they work with, policymakers, and practitioners.

Policy & Expert Assistance

The Center provides hands-on, planning and implementation assistance to a wide range of jurisdictions in areas of reform such as problem-solving courts (e.g., community courts, treatment courts, domestic violence courts), tribal justice, reducing incarceration and the use of fines/fees and reducing crime and violence. Our current expert assistance takes many forms, including help with analyzing data, strategic planning and consultation, policy guidance, and hosting site visits to its operating programs in the New York City area.


Brooklyn Justice Initiatives and the Staten Island Justice Center are each seeking Community Engagement Specialists for the Supervised Release Program.  Supervised Release offers an alternative to jail, providing pretrial supervision, case management, and voluntary social services to people charged with bail-eligible misdemeanor and felony charges, including violent felony arrests. Program participants are monitored to ensure their appearance at court dates, and they receive referrals to community-based programming such as job training, drug treatment, and mental health counseling.  As a result of recent legislative changes in New York State that curtailed the use of cash bail and pre-trial detention, the Center has experienced dramatic growth in the population served through Supervised Release, offering staff the opportunity to contribute to an exciting program at an unprecedented scale.

The Community Engagement Specialist will work as part of a collaborative team utilizing a strengths-based and community-based model to engage those mandated to pretrial services in Brooklyn and Staten Island.  The Community Engagement Specialist will be responsible for engaging clients within their communities, helping clients navigate court dates and appointments with community-based services, and conducting home visits as needed.

The Center for Justice Innovation strongly encourages and seeks applications from women, people of color, LGBTQI community members, as well as individuals with prior contact with the criminal justice system.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Coordinate with community-based service providers to facilitate, follow-up, and assist participants with voluntary service referrals; assist clients in obtaining access to resources, benefits, and housing;
  • Collaborate with case management staff on client engagement planning;
  • Provide crisis intervention and support to program participants, as needed;
  • Facilitate a range of psychoeducational and skills development groups, along with other forms of interventions and engagement;
  • Provide one-on-one mentoring to individuals, when needed, in various community-based offices, homes, public spaces and other locations;
  • Complete all necessary documentation and input data into computer database and assist with data collection;
  • Engage with the community, including attending evening and weekend community events, conducting outreach, and supporting borough-based initiatives;
  • Assist the Community Engagement team in the creation of one-pagers and other public information materials to keep the community informed of the project’s mission and community-based initiatives;
  • Engage with participants’ family and other close connections; provide supportive services and referrals for participants’ families, as needed;
  • Support delivery of care packages which includes the operation of delivery vehicle;  organization of supplies, route planning, and delivery confirmation calls;
  • Attend staff meetings and trainings/certification programs;
  • Perform other relevant tasks, as needed.

Qualifications:  The ideal candidate will have a high school diploma, or its equivalent, plus two years of relevant experience including, but not limited to community outreach or small group facilitation, preferably with court-involved populations. Lived experience with the justice system and/or interactions with other systems (i.e. housing, foster care, etc.) and an understanding of how to navigate them is strongly preferred. Candidate must be a skilled communicator, both verbal and written, able to work in a multi-disciplinary setting, and able to maintain strong relationships with organizations, both on-site and in the community. The ideal candidate will be a self-starter who can successfully be part of a diverse team. Candidate must demonstrate maturity, reliability, excellent judgment and sensitivity to working with people in a culturally-competent manner. Knowledge of community-based resources throughout New York City; in particular, Brooklyn and/or Staten Island is required. Experience and commitment to creating, promoting, and maintaining a respectful, inclusive, and anti-racist work environment required. An interest or skill in graphic/flyer design is a plus. Bilingual (English-Spanish) preferred. A valid NYS driver’s license in good standing is required.

Position Type:  Full-time, non-exempt; must be able to work nights or weekends, as needed.

Compensation:  The compensation range for this position is $29.67 – $32.98 per hour based on a 35-hour work week and is commensurate with experience. This position is eligible for overtime at 1.5x the hourly rate above 40 hours per week. The Center for Justice Innovation offers an excellent benefits package including comprehensive healthcare with a national network, free basic dental coverage, vision insurance, short-term and long-term disability, life insurance, and flexible spending accounts including commuter FSA. We prioritize mental health care for our staff and offer services like Talkspace and Ginger through our healthcare plans. We offer a 403(b) retirement plan with a two-to-one employer contribution up to 5%.

The Center for Justice Innovation is an equal opportunity employer. The Center does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, national origin, age, military service eligibility, veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, or any other category protected by law. We strongly encourage and seek applications from women, people of color, members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities as well as individuals with prior contact with the criminal justice system.

As of February 10, 2023, New York City Executive Order 25 rescinded the requirement of the COVID-19 vaccination for City workers, new hires, and contracted employees. Accordingly, the Center does not require all new hires be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus; however, the Center recommends all staff, interns, and volunteers stay up-to-date on the vaccination.

In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete an employment eligibility verification document form upon hire. Only applicants under consideration will be contacted. No phone calls or emails please.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2023-08-21