Innocence Project New Orleans

Position Announcement

Client Services Advocate

About Innocence Project New Orleans:

IPNO frees innocent people sentenced to life in prison and those serving unjust sentences. We recognize the root causes of wrongful convictions and unjust sentences as systemic racism and inequities. We work to expose and address these root causes by sharing our clients’ stories in court, the legislature, the community and the media. We support our clients living well and fully in the world after their release.

About the Position:

IPNO’s Client Services Division provides comprehensive support to IPNO’s clients before and after their release from prison. Many of IPNO’s clients have served decades in prison fighting for their freedom. In prison, they have been denied adequate medical and mental health services, meaningful opportunities to gain life and work skills, and have encountered and endured physical harm, emotional distress and trauma.

As an integral member of the Client Services Division, the Client Services Advocate is responsible for providing wrap-around case management support to clients including: reentry planning, goal setting, records and document management, thorough documentation of client contact and activities, progress monitoring, and group facilitation. This position reports to and works closely with the Director of Client Services, who is a social worker, to provide holistic, dignified and thoughtful case management services to all clients, regardless of how long they have been home. The Client Services Advocate will actively work with clients daily, with an understanding that the level of clients’ needs vary over time. The Client Services Advocate must be able to work collaboratively as part of a team to coordinate resources and services for clients.

This position requires travel, including but not limited to, visiting clients imprisoned at various Department of Corrections facilities across Louisiana, transport of freed clients to a variety of appointments and meetings, managing client needs at IPNO’s transitional home, periodic visits to clients living outside of New Orleans, and other travel as needed.

The Client Services Advocate will work with factually innocent clients who have been freed or exonerated and with clients freed from IPNO’s Unjust Punishment Project.

Primary Responsibilities: 

  • Day-to-day handling of freed clients’ requests for assistance, and objectively prioritizing requests.
  • Identifying unmet needs and potential opportunities for freed clients, including trades, GEDs, college programs, and other educational options.
  • Spotting potential roadblocks in clients’ transitional plans and working with clients on how they will overcome those barriers.
  • Leading group and/or individual sessions on identified needs, such as job interview best practices, managing relationships, and other topics as decided by the Client Services Advocate and client.
  • Encouraging clients to consider counseling or other mental health assistance when needed; making this process as easy as possible by coordinating transport, answering questions, providing information.
  • Connect participants to resources within the community that support their reentry plan.
  • Work with the Client Services Specialist to grow the program by assisting with assigned projects.
  • Attend weekly team meetings to share progress updates, concerns and/or barriers of caseload.
  • Coordinate needs such as long term housing, employment, medical care, mental health, and family relationships. This includes assisting clients with applying for various assistance programs and obtaining identification.
  • IPNO is a small nonprofit organization so, in addition to their primary duties, the Client Services Advocate will be expected to assist as necessary with other aspects of IPNO’s work such as public education and advocacy, policy efforts, office administration and operations, and events. IPNO is a client-focused office where teamwork and collaboration to ensure IPNO’s overall effectiveness and success are expected and valued.

Requirements for the role:

  • Good organizational/writing skills, and the ability to maintain electronic case records, formal memos, case notes, and re-entry plans.
  • Leading with kindness; recognizing ways that some behaviors might be defense mechanisms or responses to trauma, and working with the Client Services Specialist to ensure programs are trauma-informed.
  • Genuine interest in helping clients succeed.
  • Creative problem-solving skills.
  • Understands the importance of confidentiality and will keep case, client and other work-related information confidential.
  • Strong listening and communication skills.
  • Culturally competent and inclusive.
  • Valid, current driver’s license.
  • Welcome feedback as a means to personal and professional growth.

Helpful, but not required:

  • Personal vehicle (for which IPNO fully reimburses work-related mileage and travel expenses).
  • Formal education in fields like social work, psychology, counseling.
  • Experience providing case management and wrap around services

Salary and benefits:

The salary range for this position is $35,000 to $56,000. IPNO offers a highly competitive and generous benefits package, including medical/dental/vision, paid vacation, Federal holidays, 401k match, and monthly cell phone reimbursement. IPNO provides a work environment that encourages health and self-care. IPNO is a family and pet friendly workplace.

Start Date:

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

How to Apply:

To apply, please e-mail a cover letter, resume, three references, and a writing sample (1-3 pages, no longer than 5 pages) to Openings@ip-no.org. Do not call. Please include the job title in the e-mail subject line. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

IPNO is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse work force reflective of the diverse communities we serve and support, with regard to race, culture, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, and caregiver status. IPNO works to advance racial justice and equity. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and legal system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.