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Recruitment #19-003452-0001


The Office of the Public Defender is a statewide independent agency charged with providing superior legal representation to indigent defendants.  The agency’s vision is Justice, Fairness and Dignity for All.  Employees are committed to the core values of culture of excellence, client centered representation, tenacious advocacy, and are united in achieving the agency’s mission.

The Office of the Public Defender is seeking detail oriented applicants with investigative and interviewing skills, as well as excellent communication and writing skills to fill a Contractual Public Defender Investigator III position in its Mental Health Division at Spring Grove State Hospital.  The Contractual Public Defender Investigator III conducts investigations in cases of involuntary commitment and cases where an individual’s mental health condition is at issue for the defense of criminal charges.  Work performing mental health investigations involves significant client contact with indigent defendants and their families and is primarily performed at public and private psychiatric hospitals and facilities.  Travel to locate and interview clients and witnesses is required.


12 – $16.90 to $18.15 (Base through Step 02)


Spring Grove Hospital Center

55 Wade Ave

Catonsville, Maryland 21228

Main Purpose of Job

The Public Defender Investigator III is the advanced level of work investigating cases of involuntary commitment and cases where an individual's mental health condition is at issue for the defense of criminal charges for the Office of the Public Defender. Investigations are conducted to develop, gather, or verify information for the defense of arrested and/or accused persons.

The Public Defender Investigator III interviews persons involuntarily committed to psychiatric facilities, their families, doctors, nurses, psychologists and other hospital staff members to obtain and verify information concerning the client's medical history, condition and treatment. There will be frequent daily contacts with persons that are mentally ill and housed on locked psychiatric wards at public and private psychiatric hospitals and facilities. Appearance in court as a witness may also be required. Employees in these classifications do not supervise. Investigators are also required to obtain and serve subpoenas on individuals, hospitals, out-patient treatment providers, and police departments across the State.


Education: Graduation from an accredited high school or possession of a high school equivalency certificate.

Experience: One year of experience investigating alleged criminal offenses for the purpose of developing and documenting factual information to be used in criminal trials or one year of experience interviewing patients for the purpose of obtaining and documenting factual information concerning medical history or any combination of these types of experience equaling one year.


1. Additional experience developing and documenting factual information for use in legal proceedings or experience interviewing persons for the purpose of determining eligibility for legal assistance programs may be substituted on a year-for-year basis for the required education.

2. Thirty semester credit hours, including 12 hours in mental health or medical disciplines or 12 hours in criminology or law enforcement may be substituted for the required experience.

3. Candidates may substitute U.S. Armed Forces military service experience as a non-commissioned officer in Criminal Investigation classifications or Criminal Investigation specialty codes in the Inspection, Investigation, Enforcement, and Compliance field of work on a year-for-year basis for the required experience.


Preferred Qualifications:

Knowledge of civil court procedures.  Experience working with mentally ill clients.  Strong interest in working with indigent defendants and their families. 


Employees in this classification may be assigned duties which require the operation of a motor vehicle. Employees assigned such duties will be required to possess a motor vehicle operator’s license valid in the State of Maryland.

Date Adopted: July 1, 1998

Class specifications are broad descriptions covering groups of positions used by various State departments and agencies. Position descriptions maintained by the using department or agency specifically address the essential job functions of each position.


Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications will be admitted to the examination for this classification.  Successful candidates will be ranked as BEST QUALIFIED, BETTER QUALIFIED, OR QUALIFIED and placed on the employment (eligible) list for at least one year.


The examination will consist of a rating of your education, training and experience related to the requirements of the position.  You may be required to complete a qualifications supplement, or the rating may be based on your application.  Therefore, it is important that you provide complete and accurate information on your application.  Report all experience and education that is related to this position.


Contractual employees who work for an agency covered under the State Employee and Retiree Health and Welfare Benefits Program, have a current employment contract and work 30 or more hours a week (or on average 130 hours per month) may be eligible for subsidized health benefits coverage for themselves and their dependents. As a contractual employee, you will be responsible for paying 25% of the premiums for your medical and prescription coverage, including any eligible dependents you have enrolled. The State of Maryland will subsidize the remaining 75% of the cost for these benefits. You can also elect to enroll in dental coverage, accidental death and dismemberment insurance, and life insurance, but will be responsible to pay the full premium for these benefits.

Leave may be granted to a contractual employee who has worked 120 days in a 12 month period. This leave accrues at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked, not to exceed 40 hours per calendar year.


Online Applications Preferred.  Please fax all paper applications and questionnaires to (410) 333-8134.

Inquiries regarding applications and submitting paper applications can be directed to: Office of the Public Defender, Human Resources Division, 6 Saint Paul Street, Suite 1304, Baltimore, MD 21202; or by calling (410) 767-8503, toll free: 877-430-5187; TTY users call Maryland Relay Service 800-735-2258.  Please be sure to include your name, identification number (Easy ID#) and job announcement number on any documentation to ensure timely processing.

A paper copy of the MD State application form and questionnaire can be downloaded from the link below.

As an Equal Opportunity Employer, Maryland is committed to recruiting, retaining and promoting employees who are reflective of the State’s diversity.