Criminal Justice Ministry: FIRST Services Associate

Since 1979, Criminal Justice Ministry (CJM) has served individuals, families, and communities impacted by the criminal justice system. From offering services to incarcerated individuals to providing reentry programs for those returning to the St. Louis area, CJM seeks to serve the needs of the most vulnerable without judgment. 

The FIRST Services Associate supports the mission of Criminal Justice Ministry. The Associate will primarily assist FIRST Services in responding to client needs.  Will also support distribution of the Start Here resource directory, CJM’s volunteer programs and assist in networking with other area service providers.

Primary Responsibilities

FIRST Services:

  • Meet with recently released individuals who are referred by case workers or parole officers, identify needs, provide available materials, and make referrals to other service providers 
  • Verify information given by recently released individuals who are not under supervision to determine if resources are available for them 
  • Respond to inquiries and make necessary follow-up calls to potential clients, social workers, lawyers, judges, families, or case managers of halfway houses, or parole officers 
  • Schedule appointments for clients as they are referred for or request services
  • Monitor stock of items to be distributed (i.e, bus tickets, hygiene items, clothing, work boots, Welcome Backpacks, etc.) and assist with re-stocking supplies
  • Sort purchased and donated items, and prepare materials for distribution (i.e., fill Welcome Backpacks) 
  • Document referrals, maintain referral information on community resources and services (housing, job placement, drug programs, etc.)  
  • Maintain a current list of case workers and parole officers from halfway houses and area parole offices, and regularly communicate with them to promote referrals to the department 
  • Check the department’s mail and voicemails, answer the department’s phone, and follow up as needed 
  • Refer victims of crime to agencies and state services when requested 
  • Assist with the Dress Out (clothing for those exiting prison), Let’s Start (women’s support groups and classes), and food pantry as needed 
  • Maintain accurate records of resources distributed and individuals served 

Start Here Directories:

  • Accept and respond to requests for Start Here directories
  • Document and track requesting parties
  • Package directories for pickup or delivery

Volunteers:

  • Help maintain records to track volunteers and their service 
  • Assist with volunteer communication, including regular newsletter and other outreach  
  • Implement recognition activities and events for volunteers  
  • Support volunteer recruiting and training 
  • Supervise volunteers as needed during their service 

Additional Accountability

  • Follows policies and procedures of CJM and all pertinent legal regulations
  • Participates in performance review and accomplishes relevant program objectives
  • Collaborates with other CJM departments and staff to advance CJM’s mission
  • Represents CJM with groups regarding programs and services in a professional manner

Knowledge & Work Experience

  • Ability to use the basics of technology (Microsoft Word, Excel, internet and email, etc.)
  • Ability to effectively work with clients, staff, volunteers, visitors, and outside agencies with supervisory skills / management skills

Skill & Attitude Requirements

  • Interpersonal relational skills and ability to successfully network with other organizations
  • Respects privacy/confidentiality of clients; can build a relationship of trust
  • Sensitive to cultural diversity of clients, staff, and Board

Working Conditions & Physical Requirements

  • Primarily based in the office of CJM but may work in the community and area jails/prisons, sometimes working one-on-one with clients who have various criminal backgrounds
  • Some weekend or evening work may be required to execute job responsibilities
  • Able to move easily within two-story office that has no elevator and be able to lift backpacks, boxes of clothing and other items

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