Mental Health Specialist

U.S. District Court, Probation and Pretrial Services Western District of Washington   Seattle, WA   Full-time     Mental Health
Posted on May 2, 2023



CLOSING DATE Open until filled; preference given to applications received by May 21, 2023

The U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Office for the Western District of Washington is currently accepting applications for a Mental Health Specialist. Our District has three distinct units under U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services: a pretrial services unit including supervision, a presentence unit, and a post-conviction supervision unit. There are five offices within the district: Seattle, Tacoma, Tukwila, Everett, and Vancouver. The assignment to a duty station is at the discretion of the Chief. Frequent travel within the district is required, as is some out of district travel.

REPRESENTATIVE DUTIES Probation and Pretrial Services officers serve in a judiciary law enforcement capacity and assist in the fair administration of justice, provide community safety, conduct objective investigations, community supervision, and interact with outside agencies and community members. The Mental Health Specialist will supervise a reduced caseload district wide of defendants with serious mental health issues or co-occurring issues. This position is responsible for providing leadership and mentoring within the district through education, training, and case staffing regarding the supervision of individuals with mental health conditions. Perform investigative and supervision responsibilities for individuals under supervision with complex mental health issues.

Serve as a consultant and resource for officers in the treatment and supervision of individuals under supervision with mental health issues.

  • Serve as a liaison with mental health organizations.
  • Conduct suicide assessments district wide.

Facilitate the Pretrial support group.

  •  Maintain personal contact with individuals under supervision through office and community contacts.
  • Perform all supervision and investigation duties required of line officers.
  • Educate staff and other stakeholders regarding our mission as it relates to mental health treatment and supervision.
  • Serve as mentor to new and existing personnel. Participate in administrative level planning, provide consultation, and offer ideas on program direction.
  • Provide consultation to judges and attorneys concerning subjects unique to the investigation and supervision of mental health related issues.
  •  Knowledge of, and compliance with, the Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees and court confidentiality requirements.


  • Ability to organize and prioritize work schedule and work independently with minimal supervision. Ability to work under pressure and with short deadlines while maintaining a positive and professional demeanor.
  • Ability to exercise discretion and sound judgment, maintain confidentiality, foster high ethical standards, and demonstrate integrity in meeting the district’s vision, mission, and goals.
  • Ability to interpret data to aid in performing core duties.
  • Ability to exercise impartiality and discretion with the persons under supervision population and their family/support system.
  • Ability to routinely work non-traditional hours to include covering after-hours matters on a rotational basis.
  • Ability to interact and communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with people of diverse backgrounds. This includes persons under supervision, law enforcement and collateral agency personnel at different government levels, and community service providers.
  • Knowledge of automated / internet resources and systems available for conducting background checks, criminal histories, and other similar information.
  • Knowledge of and proficiency with current technology, computer databases, and computer applications in a Windows based environment.


  •  A master’s degree or higher in psychology, social work, or related field.
  •  Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) or Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
  •  Experience working in community corrections.
  •  Knowledge of the roles and functions of federal probation and pretrial services and the legal requirements used in probation and pretrial services. Knowledge of how otherjudicial processes and procedures relate to the officer’s roles and responsibilities.
  • Ability to communicate fluently in a second language.

EDUCATION Required Education: Completion of a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in a field of academic study, such as criminal justice, criminology, psychology, sociology, human relations, or business or public administration, which provides evidence of the capacity to understand and apply the legal requirements and human relations skills involved in the position.

Preferred Education: Completion of a master’s degree in psychology, behavioral science, mental health, or social work-related field.
Specialized Experience: Minimum of two years progressively responsible experience, gained after completion of a bachelor's degree, in such fields as probation, pretrial services, parole,
corrections, criminal investigations, or work in substance/addiction treatment is required.
Experience as a police, custodial, or security officer, other than any criminal investigative experience, is not creditable.
Educational Substitutions: Completion of one academic year (30 semester or 45 quarter hours), of graduate work in a field of study closely related to the position equates to one year of specialized experience. Completion of a master's degree in a field of study closely related to the position, or a Juris Doctor (JD) degree, equates to two years of specialized experience. An advanced degree is preferred.

MEDICAL REQUIREMENTS The duties of probation and pretrial services officers require the investigation and management of clients charged with criminal offenses or convicted clients, both who present physical danger to officers and to the public. In the supervision, treatment, and control of charged and/or convicted clients, these duties require moderate to arduous physical activity, including prolonged periods of walking and standing, physical dexterity and coordination necessary to operate a firearm, and use of self-defense tactics. Officers face unusual mental and physical stress because they are subject to danger and possible harm during frequent, direct contact with individuals who are charged with criminal offenses or convicted of committing federal offenses. Prior to appointment, the selectee considered for this position will undergo a medical examination and drug screening. Upon successful completion of the medical examination and drug screening, the selectee may then be appointed provisionally, pending a favorable suitability determination by the court. In addition, as conditions of employment, incumbent will be subject to ongoing random drug screening, updated background investigations every five years and as deemed necessary by management for reasonable cause, may be subject to subsequent fitness-for-duty evaluations.

MAXIMUM ENTRY AGE First-time appointees to positions covered under law enforcement officer retirement provisions must not have reached their 37th birthday at the time of appointment. Applicants 37 or over who have previous law enforcement officer experience under the Civil Service Retirement System or the Federal Employees' Retirement System and who have either a subsequent break in service or intervening service in a non-law enforcement officer position may have their previous law enforcement officer experience subtracted from their age to determine whether they meet the maximum age requirement.

SALARY RANGE Court Personnel System Classification Level:
CL27, Step 1 – 61, $61,467 – $99,949
CL28, Step 1 – 61, $73683 – $119,784
CL29, Step 1 – 61, $87,623 – $142,431
Depending on experience and qualifications. Additional promotional potential without further recruitment.

BENEFITS The District Court offers a generous benefit package, competitive salary, and a dedication to work/life balance including flexible schedules, ORCA transit passes, and telework opportunities. Judiciary employees participate in the Federal Employees Retirement System, Thrift Savings Plan (similar to a 401K), health and life insurance benefits, long term care options, annual sick leave accrual, and eleven paid holidays per year. Judiciary employees are not covered by the Office of Personnel Management’s civil service classification system or regulations. For additional information on employment with the federal courts, please visit

APPLICATION QUESTION Please submit a well written response, in no more than two double-spaced pages, to the following question:
Describe your personal and character qualities that make you effective in working with clients with complex mental health conditions in a community corrections rather than therapeutic environment.
Responses will be evaluated on the following: organization and flow of thought, thoroughness and thoughtfulness of content, level of detail, and writing skills (including grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure.

INFORMATION FOR APPLICANTS Only qualified applicants will be considered for this position. Applicants must be United States citizens or eligible to work in the United States. Applicants selected for interviews must travel (for in-person interviews) or connect via Zoom (for remote interviews) at their own expense.

The United States District Court requires employees to follow a code of conduct which is available upon request. Reference checks with current and former employers will be conducted on top candidates. A background investigation with law enforcement agencies, including fingerprint and criminal record checks, will be conducted as a condition of employment. Any applicant selected for a position will be hired provisionally pending successful completion of the investigation. Unsatisfactory results may result in termination of employment.

The Federal Financial Management Reform Act requires direct deposit of federal wages.

U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services for the Western District of Washington is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We encourage applications from all qualified individuals and seek a diverse pool of applicants in terms of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, languages spoken, veteran’s status, disability, religion, and socio-economic circumstance.

The Court provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation, please notify human resources. The decision on granting reasonable accommodations will be made on an individual basis.

The Court reserves the right to modify the conditions of this job announcement, to withdraw the announcement, or to fill the position sooner than the closing date, any of which may occur without prior written or other notice. If a position becomes vacant in a similar classification, within a reasonable time from the original announcement, management may elect to select a candidate from the applicants who responded to the original announcement without posting the position. More than one position may be filled from this announcement.