Tompkins County
New York

Report or Discussion Item

Criminal Justice Coordinator Job Description


Department:Tompkins County LegislatureSponsors:
Category:Personnel (Positions, Salaries, Benefits)Functions:Public Safety


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Meeting History

Nov 16, 2017 4:30 PM  Jail Study Committee Regular Meeting

Mr. John said the job description as distributed with the agenda is still in process, but said he would like Committee members to provide feedback on it.

Ms. Younger said there is a small work group that has been meeting to work on the job description. Because the Criminal Justice Coordinator position existed many years ago, the group began by revising and updating the existing job description. Good progress has been made and it is very close to being final. She said the one area that is being significantly updated is the Physical, Mental, and Environmental Demands section to be Title 1 sensitive. She further stated that as there is reference to grant writing in the job description, she assured the Committee that the person will not be writing grants for everyone, it will be unique to this particular position. In addition the language as it relates to evaluation of programs will also be looked at as the position is not a formal evaluator.

Mr. Estes spoke about the process and said that because of the revisions to the job description the position was rerated and is being increased to management level.

Ms. Robertson said she would like to see language included about cultural competence and engaging the community.

Discussion followed concerning the engagement of community members. Ms. Robertson believes the person needs to represent the County’s efforts in the community. She also believes the person should be able to gather input and collaborate with various agencies and have good communication with community groups.

Mr. John suggested language could be added to clarify the relationship to the Public Safety Committee and how that person is expected to function.

Ms. Kelles also had engagement with community as one of her areas of interest. However, she said the Committee should decide how community is being defined. She asked if community is being defined as community agencies or governmental agencies and/or as the general community. In addition, she asked about the information technology area and what the expectations were going to be.

Mr. John expressed concern and said he does not want the job to be too big. He spoke of what his view of this position will entail and believes it will include tracking what everybody else is doing. Adding a public relations role to the job description is a very different function and is a very large responsibility. He believes the information technology component would include maintaining the information and to address how answers are obtained from appropriate agencies and departments.

Ms. Kelles expressed concern that the language relating to information technology is too broad and captures too many different skill sets. In reference to the definition of community, she believes it should only be community agencies and not the entire community at-large. Mr. John agreed this person should be reaching out to the various community agencies, but not holding press conferences.

Ms. Kelles also spoke of her concern about some of the bulleted items under the Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Personal Characteristics section being very vague and could bring people in that have very conventional skill sets. The conversations that have been taken place in the community have been in the direction of collective impact and the County has also been investing funds into that area. She wants the person to be able to understand the concept of collective impact as has been discussed, such as harm reduction models.

Following an explanation by Mr. Estes about how Civil Service job descriptions are written and what they mean to New York State when exams are being developed, Ms. Kelles asked if consideration could be given to add her suggestions outlined above in an appropriate section of the job description.

Following up on Ms. Kelles’ concern about the information technology area, Ms. Younger read a revised statement from the job description that was not included in members’ copies: “Serves as County Administration liaison with local service providers on a wide variety of initiatives that impact the effectiveness of criminal justice programs such as the voluntary detox facility and expanded drug treatment beds.”

Committee members believe that revised statement meets the community need raised earlier in the meeting.

Mr. John addressed Ms. Robertson’s concern about the bullet point “Develops and implements performance measurements” and said he views it as the person who will be looking at the information as it is collected by the agencies and asking if success is being measured and if not how is it going to be measured.

Ms. Kelles clarified what her expectation was for the Criminal Justice Coordinator position. She sees it as coordinating all the partners and stakeholders that were identified in the CGR report and that have a role to play in reducing the Jail population.

Ms. Robertson does not believe language relating to harm reduction or collective impact should be included in the job description. She views it as a policy decision that is being made; the job description describes what the person is going to do and will implement the policies set by the Legislature. It is something that could be discussed during the interview process.

Mr. Dennis was excused at this time.

Mr. John said the Criminal Justice Advisory/Alternatives to Incarceration Board will be meeting on December 6th and the job description will be presented at that meeting for information purposes only.

The Committee discussed briefly the posting of the position and there was agreement that the general job description as reviewed and any additional changes should be made and the position posted as soon as possible.

Ms. Kelles agreed that as long as the concepts she raised earlier are discussed during the interviews, she is in agreement with not including any language in the job description.