Harris County, is seeking a dynamic and experienced professional to fill the top administrative position of Director of Pretrial Services. The ideal candidate would have a record of superior results and proven management background in a challenging criminal justice environment. Candidate would possess a unique blend of visionary leadership, technical competence and superior communication skills to spearhead strategic planning and drive bottom-line results.
BACKGROUND: Harris County, Texas, is the third-largest county in the United States with a population of approximately 4.7 million. In 2018, there were a total of 79,851 new arrests in Harris County, including 46,175 people whose most serious offense was a misdemeanor. The average daily jail population is 9,000 inmates. African-Americans and Latinos are overrepresented in the arrest population, overall jail population, and pretrial jail population. Harris County Pretrial Services’ supervision caseload has increased by more than 500 percent since 2015. With the recent implementation of the Public Safety Assessment (PSA), Local Rule 9, and misdemeanor bail reform, as of January 31, 2021 HCPS currently manages 27,549 pretrial supervision clients. Harris County’s vision is to build a more dynamic, vibrant, and resilient community while being inclusive, equitable and transparent in all that we do. The County’s goal statement for justice and safety is: Harris County will promote safe, healthy, thriving communities through restorative and evidence-based strategies that foster public trust, prevent violence and trauma, reduce racial and economic disparities, and minimize criminal justice system exposure where at all possible. Harris County seeks to reimagine its Pretrial Services agency in line with this goal to appropriately support clients released on supervision through the least restrictive means possible and with tailored services based on clients’ needs.
POSITION OVERVIEW: The Director of Pretrial Services will be responsible for developing and executing a vision for a model pretrial agency that balances the goals of maximizing individual liberty, public safety, and court appearance. The Director will be responsible for the daily operations of the agency, the supervision of personnel, the implementation and accountability of contracts, program development, proposal writing, program effectiveness and public relations. The Director and the Pretrial Services agency’s duties include:
•Vision and Strategic Development
◦Develops an agency-wide strategic plan, which includes the establishment and tracking of key outcomes-based indicators that reflect the justice and safety goals of Harris County, to ensure that evidence-based practices related to pretrial supervision are implemented with fidelity.
◦Ensures fairness and equity in the pretrial process, including enhancing transparency and procedural justice
◦Develops collaborative working relationships with key community justice stakeholders.
•Policy and Protocol Implementation
◦Develops/administers policies that ensure the effective operation of pretrial services in the county as well as compliance with local, state and federal laws, including the requirements of the O’Donnell consent decree.
◦Develops, implements, and evaluates programs, goals and department objectives and revises them to ensure effectiveness and compliance with established guidelines and standards, implementing best practices across the United States.
◦Develops recommendations for the courts regarding eligibility for release on personal recognizance (PR) bond as well as specific conditions, if any, that should be made a requirement of release prior to trial, with the goal of setting the least restrictive conditions needed to protect public safety.
◦Provides recommendations to the courts for determining whether someone qualifies for court appointed counsel.
◦Oversees supervision of people released from custody on personal and surety bonds to assure compliance with conditions of release.
◦Oversees the linking of individuals to voluntary resources necessary to successfully comply with conditions of release.
◦Develops protocols to ensure risk is accurately identified and individuals are appropriately supervised based on public safety consideration, including a system for reassessing risk and supervision intensity while people are under supervision, and revising conditions as appropriate. Considers racial equity impact in the implementation of risk assessment tools.
• Data Management and Reporting
◦Ensures timely collection, verification, and analysis of information about people newly arrested to provide to judicial officers for use in release/detention decisions.
◦Collects and maintains accurate demographic data and programmatic data on people served and shares data with relevant County agencies in a timely manner.
◦Regularly reports on key performance indicators.
•Operations and Personnel Management
◦Plans, assigns and directs the work of all staff and communicates policies/procedures and resolve issues.
◦Ensures training and continuing education of new and current employees and provides accurate information to courts based on best practices in pretrial release.
◦Employs a diverse, culturally competent and well-trained staff that meets the needs of individuals and families served, especially including those with language barriers.
Harris County is an Equal Opportunity Employer https://hrrm.harriscountytx.gov/Pages/EqualEmploymentOpportunityPlan.aspx
If you need special services or accommodations, please call (713) 274-5445 or email ADACoordinator@bmd.hctx.net
•Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in Criminal Justice, Public Administration, Social/Behavioral Sciences or a related field. Relevant experience may be considered if applicant does not hold degree in one of these listed fields.
•Minimum of ten (10) years of experience in any combination of fields such as the criminal justice, pretrial services, court administration, Alternatives to Detention or Alternatives to Incarceration programs, diversion or bail reform.
•Minimum of ten (10) years in progressive management including supervising/directing programs, services and staff
•Experience leading an organization and/or large team through significant change or development
•Experience establishing and maintaining effective/collaborative working relationships.
•Strong knowledge of evidence-based practices related to implementation and evaluation of pretrial release programs.
•Knowledge of the pretrial services arena, key stakeholders and current issues and trends
•A working knowledge of evidence-based risk assessment, specifically for a pretrial population.
•Strong oral and written communication skills with the ability to present to large groups.
•Ability to actively seek opportunities to enhance the Pretrial Services Department and the County’s justice system.
•Ability to display expertise in the criminal justice field and public administration.
•Ability to offer superior operational and administrative skills and adapt to varying work assignments in a fast-paced environment. Ensure budget and spending aligns with the mission of the organization.
•Promotes and maintains a safe and harassment-free work environment and fosters conditions that encourage staff enthusiasm, support and morale.
•Demonstrated commitment to the justice and safety goals of Harris County.
•Demonstrated commitment to data-driven, equitable decision-making.
NOTE: Qualifying education, experience, knowledge and skills must be clearly documented on your job application. Resumes are welcome as supporting documentation but will not be used for qualifications.
•Demonstrated track record in a jurisdiction contributing to the safe and effective reduction of a jail population.