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Forensic Social Worker, Mitigation Specialist

WAGE: $27.95 - $36.05 DOE
DEPARTMENT:  Weber Public Defender Group
PERSONNEL STATUS:  Full Time Grant Funded
BENEFITS:  Health, Dental, Vision, Retirement, 401k match, Sick/Vacation, Life Insurance, Short-term Disability, Accident, Critical Illness; Parental Leave; Maternity Leave

This position is grant funded. The position will exist only so long as the funding from the grant is available.


The selected candidate will work directly under the Forensic Social Work Division Director of the Weber Public Defender Group in a growing county-based public defender office.  The position entails working as a core member of the defense team, including operating under ABA and Utah State Bar ethical rules.


(Any one position may not include all of the duties listed, nor do the listed examples include all duties which may be found in positions of this class.)

Weber Public Defender Group is looking for a social worker to provide Holistic Defense support and perform the role of Mitigation Specialist. Exclusively serving indigent defendants, this position entails working as a core member of the legal defense team under ABA ethics and guidelines. Operating on the front lines of social justice, applicants must have the ability to apply the NASW Code of Ethics in working with defendants accused of crimes ranging from misdemeanors drug offences to felony sexual assault, arson, homicide, etc.

Clinical skill is foundational to this role, including the ability to identify comorbid and differential diagnostics, and engage in direct client management throughout case adjudication. Additional skillsets include a high degree of personal organization to maintain deadlines, self-direct task follow up, effective understanding of relevant Utah criminal statute, and the ability to coordinate within a multidisciplinary team.

Direct responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Psychosocial evaluation of defendants—both in and out of custody—to identify all potentially mitigating factors.

Follow-up investigation with collateral interviews and records review (e.g., medical, psychiatric, psychological, treatment, educational, vocational, etc.).

Carry out evidence-based assessments to quantify mitigating information, including criminogenic risk and needs, trauma history, family systems issues, ASAM assessments, etc.

Review relevant case discovery materials, which may include recorded interviews as well as autopsy and crime scene photos.

Refer and coordinate treatment and community support services as clinically indicated. This may include addiction treatment, behavioral/psychiatric care, medical care, and relevant resources for intellectual disabilities.

Provide consultation to defense counsel regarding defendant competency, mental state at offence, and statute-driven mitigation options.

Identify, retain, and coordinate with appropriate forensic experts in the fields of psychology, psychiatry, traumatology, neurology, toxicology, etc.

Generate attorney work product including documenting defendant interactions, and authoring mitigation reports and audiovisual presentations to support case resolution; attain treatment/program acceptance letters.

Provide trial assistance including jury selection and client management.

Client management as needed including conflict resolution, defusing triangulation, advocating for defendant needs within corrections systems.


Education: Master of Social Work or affiliated clinical master’s degree.

Licensure: CSW or affiliated clinical sub-licensure (e.g., CMHC) or actively working with DOPL to attain licensure.

Experience: 2 years of clinical experience in any applicable setting (e.g., behavioral care, hospital social work, addiction treatment, etc.)

Preferred Experience:

LCSW or other independent clinical licensure.

2 years of forensic social work experience, especially related to mental health and the law.

Specialized training in national Death Penalty case work.

Direct experience in working within a Death Penalty defense team.

Extensive skill in differential diagnostics, including altered mental states of a medical, psychiatric, drug-induced, or neurological origin.

Fluency in speaking, writing, and reading Spanish.


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Founded in 1850, Weber County occupies a stretch of the Wasatch Front, part of the eastern shores of the Great Salt Lake, and much of the rugged Wasatch Mountains.

The Weber Center is located at 2380 Washington Blvd, Ogden, UT 84401

Contact the Human Resource Department with any questions at 801-399-8623 or by email at

Please click here for more information or to apply.

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Last Updated: 2/15/24