Mental Health Case Manager – Bronx, NY

Mental Health Case Manager – Bronx, NY

Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York (PLS) is searching for a Mental Health Care Manager for our Pre-Release & Re-Entry Program (PREP) located in our Bronx, New York, regional office. PLS is a statewide program providing civil legal services to people incarcerated in New York State prisons and helping them to prepare for successful reintegration into their communities upon release. PLS engages in administrative advocacy and litigation primarily in cases involving civil rights, claims of deliberate indifference to serious mental health and medical needs, conditions of confinement, prolonged placement in solitary confinement, mental health treatment, with a special focus on juveniles and veterans, child visitation and support, excessive use of force and sentence computation issues. Applicants must have a demonstrated commitment to providing services to the disadvantaged.

 

Through PREP, PLS assists incarcerated persons scheduled to be released to the Bronx or Manhattan on their maximum release date. PLS’ PREP works with selected clients to create a holistic reentry plan with the goal of ensuring successful reentry for individuals returning to their communities. The PREP Mental Health Case Manager will work with our Reentry Social Worker to prepare clients who are within six months to one year before their maximum release date for reentry and reintegration into their communities. Together with the client and the Reentry Social Worker, the Mental Health Case Manager will create a specific service plan that meets the client’s mental health needs, including services required during incarceration and in the community. The Mental Health Case Manager will need to meet with clients periodically while incarcerated and in the community to ensure progress, assist with medication management, support clients through conflict that may arise between clients and service providers, provide brief crisis intervention, and celebrate client successes. The Mental Health Case Manager will coordinate with medical/mental health/hospital staff as needed for client development. Client progress will be followed for three years.

 

The position of Mental Health Case Manager requires a Bachelor’s Degree, preferably a BSW or Human Services, and experience working with clients who have a range of mental health diagnoses. Applicants must have exceptionally strong interviewing skills; very strong interpersonal skills; the ability to assess the needs of a client to determine what type of mental health program will best serve the client’s goals; knowledge of the mental health programs offered within the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision and in the community; experience creating relationships with community programs; a working knowledge or ability to develop a working knowledge of the mental health providers in Manhattan and the Bronx; ability to navigate the complexities of Medicaid and private insurance providers; experience assisting clients with medication and daily activity management; familiarity with the particular needs of LGBTQAI clients; an understanding of physical and intellectual disabilities; experience with a trauma-informed practice; and the ability to relate to each client on that client’s level. Fluency in Spanish required.

 

PLS offers a salary that is competitive with other public interest law firms in upstate New York, and sets salaries depending on experience. PLS offers a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, short- and long-term disability, life insurance, and a 401(k)-retirement plan. All qualified applicants will be afforded equal employment opportunities without discrimination because of sex, race, color, age, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, citizenship, pregnancy or veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable law.

 

Please send a cover letter, resume, writing sample and at least three (3) references by email to: pkane@plsny.org. Due to the volume of applications expected, only people who are contacted for interviews will receive a response. The positions will remain open until filled.

DIRECTOR MURTAGH’S REMARKS AT THE INSPECTOR GENERAL’S PRESS CONFERENCE ABOUT THE RESULTS OF THE INVESTIGATION INTO A RECENT UPTICK IN FALSE POSITIVE DRUG URINALYSIS TEST RESULTS.

DIRECTOR MURTAGH’S REMARKS AT THE INSPECTOR GENERAL’S PRESS CONFERENCE ABOUT THE RESULTS OF THE INVESTIGATION INTO A RECENT UPTICK IN FALSE POSITIVE DRUG URINALYSIS TEST RESULTS.

On Tuesday, Karen L. Murtagh, Executive Director of Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York, was invited to speak at the Inspector General’s press conference announcing the results of the IG’s investigation into the recent uptick in false positive drug urinalysis results in DOCCS facilities.  The investigation found that DOCCS drug testing policies in 2019 were contrary to manufacturer instructions and resulted in preliminary testing results, which were highly unreliable, being used to impose significant penalties on incarcerated individuals.

Advocating on behalf of incarcerated individuals Director Murtagh characterized the IG’s and the Governor’s work in pursuing justice and human rights as follows:

“Good morning. My name is Karen Murtagh and I am the Executive Director of Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York.

First, I would like to thank you, Inspector General Lang, and your entire team, for inviting PLS to be here today. For me, today marks a very important day for the rights of all incarcerated individuals, as the abhorrent practice of punishing incarcerated individuals based on false-positive drug tests has finally come to an end.

Thanks to the Inspector General’s thorough investigation, we now know how this happened, why it happened and how to stop it from happening again.

The IG and the Governor, with the issuance of this report, are signaling that all human rights – whether outside or within prison walls – must be protected. The alternative is unacceptable and is the very reason that my organization – PLS – was funded in the first place 46 years ago after the Attica prison uprising.

Incarcerated individuals are part of our society – they are working to put their past behind them and start anew once they are released. Unfortunately, as you have heard, DOCCS’ drug testing program, run by Microgenics, threw roadblock after roadblock in front of countless individuals on their path to reentry.

Too often, human rights are violated because they involve individuals for whom those in power assume no one cares or no one is watching. When a contract is put out to bid, or an administrative disciplinary hearing produces an unjust result, there are real human beings affected and the ripple effect impacts everyone in society.

When an incarcerated person spends weeks, months, or even years in solitary confinement because of utterly unreliable drug testing equipment, that is a travesty of justice that harms not only the person confined, but all of us. The harms are real, lasting and cannot be overstated. The psychological and physical damage caused by solitary confinement, the loss of family visitation, the lack of proper programming, lost work release and educational opportunities – all of which helps combat recidivism – adds to the ledger for which we as a society need to take account.

Justice delayed is justice denied. The entire concept of justice only works when it is handed out equally. In this case, hundreds, if not thousands of people in New York State prisons, were wrongfully accused, found guilty and punished for drug use. This investigation shows that many individuals in correctional facilities were confused as to what was happening and ignored in their own pursuit of justice.  It is easy to lose faith in our justice system when something like this happens.  We have an obligation in government to ensure the fair administration of justice and what we are witnessing here today is the fulfillment of that responsibility.

The IG and the Governor, through the proper exercise of their oversight powers, have produced a report that I hope will begin the process of “righting a wrong” and also forge a better path forward. I stand with my colleagues here today to call on DOCCS to make sure the necessary checks and balances are put in place to prevent such abuses from ever taking place again.

Again, I thank the Inspector General’s Office for conducting this important investigation and putting forth recommendations to preserve the integrity of the correctional system. I commend Inspector General Lang and her team for shining a spotlight on these important issues and I look forward to our continued partnership in making New York a more just place for each and every one of us. Thank you.”

For IG’s press release, summary of investigation and recommendations of the inspector general, click here.

Other news coverage of this event: ABC News, Albany Times Union, Auburnpub, NY Times, NY1, Spectrum News; On Twitter: @georgejoseph94, @cjciaramella

Staff Attorney – Albany, NY

Staff Attorney Position – Albany, New York

Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York (PLS) has an opening for a staff attorney in its Albany office. PLS is a statewide program providing civil legal services to people incarcerated in New York State prisons. PLS engages in civil rights advocacy and litigation primarily in cases involving claims of unconstitutional conditions of confinement, prolonged placement in solitary confinement, deliberate indifference to serious mental health and medical needs, excessive use of force, treatment of juveniles and veterans, access to education, disability rights, and sentence computation issues. PLS also offers limited family law assistance with child support and visitation issues unique to individuals incarcerated in New York State.

PLS is seeking to hire an attorney who is committed to providing legal services to the disadvantaged and marginalized. This is an entry level position. Applicants must be admitted to practice in New York State with up to three years’ experience, or have recently taken the N.Y. State Bar exam. The ideal applicant will have experience in at least one of the following areas: prisoners’ rights, New York State family law, civil legal services, civil rights, poverty law or federal litigation. Applicants should be self-motivated and capable of complex analytical work. Applicants must possess excellent legal research and writing skills, strong communications skills, and a desire to work in a collaborative work environment. We have a need for attorneys who are fluent in Spanish.

PLS offers a salary that is competitive with other public interest law firms in upstate New York, and sets salaries depending on experience. PLS offers a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, short and long-term disability, life insurance, and a 401(k) retirement plan. All qualified applicants will be afforded equal employment opportunities without discrimination because of sex, race, color, age, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, citizenship, pregnancy or veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable law.

Please send a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and three (3) references by email to: pkane@plsny.org. Due to the volume of applications expected, only people who are contacted for interviews will receive a response. The position will remain open until filled.

Family Matters Unit Staff Attorney – Albany, NY

Family Matters Unit Staff Attorney Position – Albany, New York

Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York (PLS) is searching for a staff attorney for our Family Matters Unit, located in Albany, New York. PLS is a statewide program providing civil legal services to people incarcerated in New York State prisons, with the Family Matters Unit focusing on legal matters unique to incarcerated parents. The Family Matters Unit offers limited assistance in custody/visitation and child support family court matters, including analyzing family court records and preparing family court petitions. The Family Matters Unit also engages in advocacy and litigation in cases involving disciplinary matters where the penalty impacts incarcerated parents and their child, as well as administrative advocacy pertaining to transfers, visitation, and other issues that affect incarcerated parents.

PLS is seeking to hire an attorney who is committed to providing legal services to the disadvantaged. Applicants must be admitted to practice in New York State with up to three years’ experience, or have recently taken the N.Y. State Bar exam. The ideal applicant will have interest or experience in New York State family law. Applicants should be self-motivated and capable of complex analytical work. Applicants must possess excellent legal research and writing skills, strong communications skills, and a desire to work in a collaborative work environment. We have a need for attorneys who are fluent in Spanish.

PLS offers a salary that is competitive with other public interest law firms in upstate New York, and sets salaries depending on experience. PLS offers a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, short and long-term disability, life insurance, and a 401(k) retirement plan. All qualified applicants will be afforded equal employment opportunities without discrimination because of sex, race, color, age, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, citizenship, pregnancy or veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable law.

Please send a cover letter, resume, writing sample and three (3) references by email to: pkane@plsny.org. Due to the volume of applications expected, only people who are contacted for interviews will receive a response. The position will remain open until filled.

Immigration Staff Attorneys – Albany & Buffalo, NY

Immigration Staff Attorney Positions – Albany & Buffalo, New York

Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York (PLS) is seeking the immediate hire of immigration attorneys in its Albany and Buffalo offices. Attorneys will provide free legal representation to individuals incarcerated in New York State in removal proceedings in the Institutional Hearing Program (IHP), and to individuals in immigration detention at the Albany and Clinton County Jails, whose cases are calendared at the Batavia Immigration Court in Batavia, NY.

Overview
PLS is a non-profit legal services organization providing civil legal services to indigent individuals in New York State correctional facilities in cases where no other counsel is available. Founded in 1976 in response to the Attica uprising, PLS has regional offices in Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca and Plattsburgh.

As part of the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP), PLS provides free legal representation to non-citizens incarcerated in New York State prison facing immigration removal proceedings under the Institutional Hearing Program (IHP) and individuals in immigration detention at the Albany and Clinton County Jails. These proceedings take place at the Bedford Hills, Downstate, and Ulster Immigration Courts, located inside New York State correctional facilities in upstate New York and at the Batavia Immigration Court in Batavia, NY.

Job Description
The ideal candidate would have strong research, writing, and oral advocacy skills; the ability to work in a collaborative and dynamic team environment; excellent organizational skills; and a commitment to serving indigent clients convicted of crimes. Clinical or professional background in immigration and / or criminal law is preferred.

Languages
Fluency in Spanish is preferred. Please note all language skills and level of proficiency in your application.

Salary and Benefits & EEO Policy
Salary is commensurate with experience. PLS offers a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, short and long-term disability, life insurance, and a 401(k) retirement plan. All qualified applicants will be afforded equal employment opportunities without discrimination because of sex, race, color, age, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, citizenship, pregnancy or veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable law.

Deadline to Apply
Applications will be reviewed on an on-going basis.

How to Apply
Please submit your cover letter, resume, writing sample, and three (3) references by mail or email to: Patricia Kane, Prisoners’ Legal Services of NY, 41 State St., Suite M112, Albany, NY 12207 or to pkane@plsny.org. Include “PLS Immigration Attorney” in the subject line along with your preference for office location. No phone calls please.

Krin Flaherty – Managing Attorney

Krin Flaherty

Managing Attorney

(607) 273-2283 ext. 1205

kflaherty@plsny.org
Photo of Krin Flaherty
Krin returns to PLS as the Ithaca office Managing Attorney. She previously worked as a staff attorney for the Ithaca office between 2006 and 2012. In her prior work at PLS, Krin focused on helping our clients with mental and physical health care issues, including monitoring the Anderson settlement, and securing early medical release and guardianship on behalf of medically compromised incarcerated individuals. She also litigated excessive force, engaged in federal mediation to settle a religious rights case, and Article 78 challenges. Krin left PLS to work for the Ithaca City Attorney’s Office, where she extended her Article 78 practice into land use matters, worked to preserve the city’s interests in its assets and infrastructure, and assisted in implementing several novel and progressive local initiatives. She enjoys experimenting in watercolors and other artistic media.

Ann Ferrari – Staff Attorney

Ann Ferrari

Staff Attorney

(607) 273-2283 ext. 1206

aferrari@plsny.org

Photo of Ann Ferrari
Ann Ferrari joined Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York in 2021. Previously, she served as a law clerk for the Honorable John Garrett Penn of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. As a staff attorney at North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, she represented clients in medical, disability, and civil rights matters. Ann received her B.A. from Oberlin College and her J.D. from The George Washington University Law School, where she was an Articles Editor for the American Intellectual Property Law Association Quarterly Journal. She interned with Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.