Mental Health Specialist (newSTART) – MSW/LMSW/LCSW, MHC-LP/LMHC

Company Details


Company Description

CASES keeps people out of jail and prison by engaging them in effective services that help them achieve success in the community. We specialize in serving youth and young adults and people with behavioral health needs. CASES is a leading New York City provider of alternatives to incarceration, a key solution for a fairer criminal justice system. This is an important time at CASES. New York City is on track to create a smaller, safer, and fairer criminal justice system. Working at CASES is more than a job. It is an opportunity to promote justice for New Yorkers with access to high-quality and evidence-based court services.

CASES Short-term Alternatives and Referrals to Treatment (newSTART) program is a short-term alternative-to-incarceration (ATI) program that provides rapid screening, identification of need, and brief interventions (individual and group) for individuals with extensive low-level involvement in the criminal legal system who are at risk of jail sentences. The program supports individuals with a range of needs, including severe substance use disorders, serious mental illness, education/employment needs, homelessness, tenuous engagement in treatment/social services, and repeated misdemeanor arrests primarily for theft and drug possession. The newSTART team employs a harm reduction approach with a main goal of helping clients begin to engage in community-based services.

The Mental Health Specialist joins a multidisciplinary team, including a Director, Associate Director, Peer Specialists, Substance Use Specialists, a Housing Specialist, a Women’s Specialist, Intake Specialists, and Program Assistants. The Mental Health Specialist manages a caseload of participants who present with mental health-related vulnerabilities. The Mental Health Specialist ensures participants are effectively linked to and engaged in treatment and support services that facilitate successful community living by treating mental illness symptoms, reducing substance use, and ensuring participants’ basic needs are met, including housing and income supports. CASES seeks a mission-driven individual whose experience reflects a strong commitment to social justice, evidence-based practices, community safety, harm reduction, and the principles of recovery-oriented and trauma-informed service.

Come join our team to reduce the City’s reliance on correctional institutions, promote justice, and help NYC achieve its goal to close Rikers Island in 2026. At CASES, we offer clinical supervision (which can be used toward licensure), free continuing education credits for LMSW/LCSWs, LMHCs, and CASACs, as well as a comprehensive training curriculum available to all employees. We are a diverse team at CASES, and we welcome candidates of all genders, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and abilities to apply.

All applicants must comply with CASES/NYC’s vaccination policy. Individuals selected for employment cannot begin working until they provide verification that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (with an FDA-authorized vaccine) or submit and gain approval for a Medical or Religious Exemption. Individuals approved for exemption must submit weekly PCR test results.

Location: New York

Reports to: Associate Director

Travel or Special Conditions/Requirements: some travel within New York City

We believe that in-person operations are the best way to serve our clients, both directly and through essential operational support. This job requires work in our offices and the community, including courthouses in Manhattan. This job requires work in our offices and/or in the community.

Job Description

  • Manage caseload of 10 (on average) higher risk participants with more complex presentations through culturally competent and person-centered individual and group sessions, referrals to external providers, and outreach efforts – in the office, courthouse, and community.
  • Conduct psychosocial assessments incorporating impact of legal circumstances to develop effective and individually tailored service plans.
  • Utilize Motivational Interviewing and other evidence-based approaches and techniques in service delivery.
  • Liaise with community-based organizations with which participants are engaged, such as treatment providers, care managers, and homeless services resources.
  • Complete all documentation in a timely manner.
  • Other duties as required by the Director, Senior Director, and CASES leadership.


  • Advanced clinical degree (MSW/LMSW/LCSW; MHC-LP/LMHC).
  • 2+ years of experience working in direct care services with individuals with serious mental illness and criminal legal involvement.
  • Experience using evidence-based treatments for serious mental illness, substance use, and trauma, as well as understanding of gender-responsive services and the risk, need, responsivity model of criminal behavior.
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills.
  • Ability to work effectively with a diverse team.
  • Preferred but not required: Lived experience in the areas of criminal legal and/or mental health system involvement and a willingness to utilize recovery experience to supervise program staff and deliver direct services to participants.
  • Preferred but not required: Fluency in Spanish.

Additional Information

Competitive and commensurate with experience

CASES is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment with CASES is based solely on qualifications and competence for a particular position, without regard to race, color, ethnic or national origin, age, religion, creed, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or marital, military, or citizenship status. We also actively recruit individuals with prior involvement in the criminal justice system. Your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines

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