THE NEIGHBORHOOD DEFENDER SERVICE has built a community-based, client-centered, holistic public defense office in Wayne County and we are expanding our services. We invite you to join our team as we build a Care Coordination Reentry Program where our goal is to decrease and prevent COVID-19 transmission while supporting people’s transition to the community after incarceration. Building on 30 years of experience of providing high quality representation, we are expanding our efforts to bring the same caliber of representation to the communities of Wayne County. We are seeking an individual who is highly organized, self-driven, resilient and dedicated to our mission. The primary strategy of this project is to add capacity to respond to COVID-19 by connecting people to Wayne County services and providing the resources to fill gaps in support including access to quarantine-appropriate housing, personal protective equipment, and personal hygiene and sanitation supplies. The project will increase the capacity of Health Management Systems of America (“HMSA”) and NDS to provide care coordination capacity in order to assess, plan, and connect people to services in Wayne County that meet their reentry needs during this unprecedented COVID-19 crisis.

The Program Manager of this project will serve during a one-year contract period and will be integral to the project’s launch and success. The Program Manager is a professional who has a strong knowledge of the criminal legal system; resources in Wayne County; understands the principles of servant leadership; and is an experienced leader of people and teams. The Program Manager will manage a team of Social Work Interns who will be providing services to our clients. At NDS Detroit, how we represent our clients is as important as individual case outcomes, and our ideal Program Manager approaches organizational culture and staff supervision with equal rigor and commitment.


  1. Embody NDS’ philosophy of client-centered, community-based, holistic representation and commitment to excellence.
  2. Reports to Social Work Supervisor.
  3. Manage a team of interns charged with providing case management and care coordination services to those transitioning from the Wayne County Jail to the community.
  4. Provide leadership, clinical supervision and consultation to interns in their advocacy and coordination on behalf of clients.
  5. Train and supervise interns; in coordination with Social Work Supervisor train program staff on how to utilize interns effectively and ensure robust participation in the grant program.
  6. Develop forms, processes and procedures to implement within the project.
  7. Provide vigorous advocacy work with energy and enthusiasm to clients in Wayne County’s criminal courts in a limited number of cases.
  8. Participate in a monthly roundtable with key providers and develop an approach for sharing client-level and system-level performance measures.
  9. Identify opportunities to improve the reentry ecosystem in Wayne County and reentry policy in the State of Michigan and identify the key elements of an alternative-to-incarceration division strategy in Wayne County.
  10. Evaluate and monitor the implementation process through use of internal case management system (defenderData), including generating and using reports to identify trends, meet reporting requirements, and continually improvement the delivery of services.
  11. Ensure the coordination of work performed by social work interns and ensure collaboration within the project and with providers (HMSA, CEO and other referral channels) to obtain comprehensive services for clients.

QUALIFICATIONS: The ideal candidate will bring:

  1. A demonstrated commitment to criminal justice, indigent defense, racial equity and social justice issues and the communities of Wayne County.
  2. Comprehensive knowledge of social casework objectives, principles and methods; casework management and organization; community resources; and interviewing techniques and problem-solving methodology.
  3. A track record of strategically guiding casework and relationships; applying good and practiced judgment; and routinely pushing through roadblocks to achieve your goals.
  4. Management skills and a coaching mindset.
  5. Doggedness and resilience combined with people and situation smarts.
  6. An ability to quickly build relationships across varying identities, income levels, races and ethnicities.
  7. A high level of organizational and administrative skills.
  8. Clear and effective communication skills, both orally and in writing.
  9. A master’s degree in social work combined with valid clinical social work licensure or certification in Michigan.
  10. Bilingual (Spanish or Arabic) individuals are encouraged to apply.

Compensation: One-year contract for $60,000; approximately 20-30 hours per week.

How to Apply:

Interested applicants should email a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to with the subject line, “Program Manager for Reentry Demonstration Project.”  Please send your application as one document, preferably PDF. For more information about NDS, please visit our website at

The Neighborhood Defender Service is committed to creating a diverse environment that reflects the community we serve. NDS is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. NDS encourages people with incarcerated loved ones, formerly incarcerated people, people of color, women, queer, transgender, gender non-conforming, and gender fluid people to apply.