The Missouri State Public Defender System (MSPD) was established in 1982 with the mission to provide high quality, zealous advocacy for indigent people -or those who cannot afford legal counsel- accused of crime in the state of Missouri. MSPD currently faces the great challenge of having a caseload beyond organizational capacity, jeopardizing the quality of representation provided to current clients and forcing MSPD to establish waitlists to defer the burden.
In response to the system’s overflowing case load and the detrimental effect on services provided, MSPD has initiated the Intake Improvement Project, to take place in MSPD’s Office of the Director, in Columbia, MO from 11/9/2020 to 11/20/2021. The project will build sustainable procedures to decrease caseloads and waitlists, increasing the resources and time devoted to each case and improving the quality of representation, ultimately improving case outcomes and reducing the legal and social barriers to economic opportunities.
The project presents a great opportunity for prospective VISTAs, who will not only learn the inner-workings and circumstances of public defense, but also take the lead in improving organizational compliance with state regulations and increasing the capacity of the MSPD client intake process by assessing shortcomings, exploring new procedures and resources, and implementing identified enhancements.
Qualifications: Qualified candidates will be inquisitive, collaborative, resourceful, open-minded, effective at expressing complex concepts, and hold a passion for public service. Preferred candidates will display effective leadership, organization, attention to detail, and project management skills. Ideal candidates will excel at research and investigation and hold excellent communication skills.
Duties: The Intake Improvement Outreach VISTA will play a vital role in the first steps of the Intake Improvement Project, acting as the lead researcher of outside organizations’ client intake processes and verification methods, and leading in the implementation of new organizational processes and tools. The Outreach VISTA will be responsible for:
1. Reviewing and understanding the regulations, procedures, and tools that characterize the current client intake process
2. Identifying similar outside organizations and exploring their client intake and verification processes, discovering effective practices for MSPD adoption
3. Developing a report on findings and a detailed proposal for implementing identified enhancements to the MSPD intake process
4. Leading the implementation of new procedures, working with the Intake Improvement Compliance VISTA to develop new materials and a training curriculum for MSPD employees determining eligibility statewide
Benefits: Childcare assistance if eligible , MSPD-sponsored training events , Relocation Allowance , Choice of Education Award or End of Service Stipend , Training , Education award upon successful completion of service , Health Coverage* , Living Allowance
The Missouri State Public Defender System (MSPD) was established in 1982 with the mission to provide high quality, zealous advocacy for indigent people -or those who cannot afford legal counsel- accused of crime in the state of Missouri. MSPD…