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Job: CDOC - Unlicensed Mental Health Counselor ($2,500 Sign-On Bonus)

Colorado Department of Corrections

CDOC - Unlicensed Mental Health Counselor ($2,500 Sign-On Bonus)

Colorado Department of Corrections

Job Description

Job type: Full-time

Salary: $5,221.00 per Month

Location: Canon City


The Division of Clinical Services is currently offering a $2,500 sign-on bonus for new hires. Sign-on bonuses will be based on successful completion of the CDOC Training Academy (CTS), and successful performance review and evaluations.


  • $500.00 - Graduation of CTA
  • $1,000.00 - 6 Month Performance Review
  • $1,000.00 - 1 Year Performance Review 

The mission of the Colorado Department of Corrections is "To protect the citizens of Colorado by holding offenders accountable and engaging them in opportunities to make positive behavioral changes and become law abiding, productive citizens."

Our vision..."Building a safer Colorado for today and tomorrow."

If your goal is to build a career that makes a difference and builds greater public confidence in good government, consider joining the dedicated people of the State of Colorado. Our professionals strive to support state government and the citizens of Colorado. Customer service is a key component for every position in state government as is the focus on ideas and ways to redesign the delivery of services in making state government more effective and efficient.

In addition to a rewarding, meaningful career, state employment offers:

  • Distinctive career advancement opportunities throughout the state system;
  • Retirement benefits including PERA Defined Benefit Plan, PERA Defined Contribution Plan, plus 401K and 457 plans;
  • Medical and dental health plans;
  • Paid life insurance; Short and long-term disability coverage;
  • 10 paid holidays per year plus vacation and sick time;
  • Employee wellness programs;
  • Tuition Reimbursement;
  • Loan Repayment and Forgiveness Programs;
  • Training opportunities and more.

Loan Repayment/Forgiveness Programs

The Colorado Department of Corrections participates in the following programs:

  • National Health Services Corps (www.nhsc.hrsa.gov) - Up to $30,000;
  • Colorado Health Services Corps (www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/colorado-health-service-corps) - $50,000 for licensed mental health providers;
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service).

Application Process*

  • Phase I - Special Qualification Review
  • Phase II - Preferred Qualification Review
  • Phase III - Comparative Analysis

*Subject to change. Additional phases may be added as needed.

Description of Job

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Provides professional mental health services to inmates to include formal and informal mental health evaluations, diagnostic assessments, and clinical interventions;
  • Assures accurate Information System mental health needs levels, including Psychiatric and Developmental Disability needs level codes;
  • Provides group, brief, and individual therapy, and crisis intervention to include participation in 24 hour Mental Health On-Call Rotation;
  • Assures both emergency and non-emergency transfer for inmates experiencing acute mental health needs;
  • Provides clinical direction to non-clinical staff in mental health care and treatment of inmates;
  • Assures continuity of care for inmates by making appropriate referral and providing necessary information and documentation for receiving units, facilities, or agencies;
  • Documents both handwritten and electronically in an accurate and timely manner to provide comprehensive inmate mental health records;
  • Monitors inmate treatment and listens to inmate concerns and provides counseling and direction;
  • Promotes and is accountable for the safety and security of the clinical and correctional environment through conscientious observations, and sensitive item contraband control;
  • Informs supervisor of any violations of safety and security through the report writing process, attends training programs as assigned, including self-defense course to ensure self protection skills.

Minimum Qualifications, Substitutions, Conditions of Employment Appeal Rights

Special Qualifications:

  • Applicant must possess a master's degree from an accredited institution in one of the following mental health fields: counseling, social work, psychology, or marriage and family therapy.  You must attach a copy of your transcripts that contain your name, name of the accredited institution, type of degree received and date degree was conferred.
  • Applicant must possess current, valid registration with the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies as an Unlicensed Psychotherapist as required by C.R.S. 12-43-702.5.  


  • Possession of a current, valid permit or license from the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies as one of the following: Marriage and Family Therapist Candidate, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate, Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Social Worker, Clinical Social Worker, Psychologist Candidate or Psychologist will substitute for the Registered Psychotherapist.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Possession of a current, valid permit as an Unlicensed Psychotherapist or license from the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies as one of the following: Marriage and Family Therapist Candidate, Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate, Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Social Worker, Clinical Social Worker, Psychologist Candidate or Psychologist.
  • Graduation with a master's or doctoral degree in a mental health field such as counseling, social work, marriage and family therapy or psychology from a program accredited by Council for Accreditation of Counseling Related Educational Programs (CACREP), Council of Social Work Education (CSWE), American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT or COAMFTE) or American Psychological Association (APA).
  • License eligible as a Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Clinical Social Work, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist or Licensed Psychologist.
  • Experience providing mental health treatment in a correctional environment.

Required Competencies:

  • Ability to provide professional mental health or sex inmate treatment to inmates;
  • Individual must be efficient;
  • Able to participate in 24 hour Mental Health On-Call Rotation;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills. Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to collaborate effectively across facility programs and with external agencies;
  • Ability to work independently;
  • Ability to provide comprehensive clinical documentation;
  • Must maintain required registration/permit/licensure as applicable to this assignment;
  • Ability to work with a diverse population of inmates;
  • Ability to provide professional mental health treatment as part of a multi-disciplinary team;
  • Ability to read and comprehend the English language;
  • Ability to effectively communicate fluently in English both verbally and in writing.


Important Information

The Assessment Process: Your application will be reviewed to determine if you meet the minimum Qualifications (MQ's). Applicants that meet MQ’s will be included in the Comparative Analysis process. Colorado Revised Statutes require that state employees are hired and promoted through a comparative analysis which may include, but is not limited to, a suitability screening, eSkills Assessment, oral assessment, written performance assessment or it may include a review of your application material and your responses to any supplemental questions by a Subject Matter Expert (SME) to assess and rank applicants in order to establish an eligible list for referral to the hiring manager for final consideration. 

Be sure the "Work Experience" section of your application is complete and specifically addresses your qualifications, experience, and accomplishments as they relate to the Description of the Job, Minimum Qualifications, Required Competencies and Preferred Qualifications as listed above. Resumes and "see resume" statements will not be accepted in lieu of the "Work Experience" section of the application. Failure to include adequate information or follow instructions by the closing date may result in your application not being accepted and/or may affect your score, rank or inclusion in the final pool of eligible applicants.

If you have transcripts, a license or other relevant documentation regarding your qualifications, upload and attach copies to your application.

In order to process a background investigation, your application must include at least (10) ten years of the most current work experience unless experience related to the job for which you are applying is later than (10) years. Failure to provide this information could result in delays and/or elimination from the background investigation process

Toll Free Applicant Technical Support: If you experience technical difficulty with the NEOGOV system (e.g. uploading or attaching documents to your online application) call NEOGOV technical support at 855-524-5627 Mon-Fri between 6 am and 6 pm (Pacific Time). Helpful hints: if you are having difficulty uploading or attaching documents to your application first, ensure your documents are PDF or Microsoft Word files and second, close the document before you attempt upload (attach) it

**You are encouraged to print a copy of this announcement for your records**

Conditions of Employment: All job offers are contingent upon a successful medical screening by a healthcare professional, certifying candidate's ability to perform the essential functions of the position, completed at the applicant’s own expense. Applicant must consent to hold harmless CDOC and its agents and staff from any liability arising in whole or in part from the testing and the use of this information in connection with CDOC’s consideration of application for employment.

**The CDOC recently mandated employee COVID-19 vaccinations. All employees must be fully vaccinated and submit documented proof of the COVID-19 vaccination. CDOC conducts regular vaccine clinics for employees who are not vaccinated. Religious and medical exemptions, and reasonable accommodations shall be addressed as required by law. Note: Fully Vaccinated means two (2) weeks after a second dose in a two-dose series of the COVID-19 vaccine, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two (2) weeks after the single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson Johnson’s Janssen vaccine, as defined by the State of Colorado’s Public Health Order and guidance issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health Environment.**

  • All CDOC employees must submit to routine COVID-19 testing;
  • Must be 21 years of age; Possess a valid driver’s license;
  • Possess a high school diploma or GED;
  • Have NO felony convictions, to include any actions defined in 5 U.S.C. 301; U.S.C. 509, 510; 42 U.S.C. 15601-15609. The CDOC shall not hire nor promote anyone who may have contact with an offender who has engaged in sexual abuse which includes acts, activity, and sexual behavior, in a prison or other institution as defined in 42 U.S.C. 1997; or has been convicted of engaging or attempting to engage in sexual activity in the community facilitated by force, overt or implied threats of force or coercion, or if the victim did not consent or was unable to consent or refuse, or has been civilly or administratively adjudicated to have engaged in the activity described in the above paragraph. The agency shall consider any incidents of sexual harassment in determining whether to hire anyone who may have contact with offenders or residents;
  • Applicants must be legally eligible to work in the United States to be appointed to this position. CDOC uses e-Verify, an Internet-based system, to confirm the eligibility of all newly hired employees to work in the United States. CDOC does not sponsor non-residents of the United States.
  • Successfully pass all modules of the Colorado Department of Corrections Basic Training, to include English reading comprehension, relevant competency assessments and written/practical exams in Defensive Tactics;
  • Possess the physical ability to successfully complete Defensive Tactics; Lift arms above head and kick as high as own waist; Stabilize another person to accomplish a controlled take down; Use arms, palms of hands, shins, and feet to deliver blows; Withstand impact (slow speed or with a safety bag) on own body from strikes/blows; Swing a baton in a striking technique; Rotate body 90 degrees with feet planted for striking with foot or using a defensive tactic; Get down on one or both knees and up again with multiple repetitions;
  • Will be exposed to Oleoresin Capsicum during Basic Training and will be exposed while on assignment;
  • Must be able to see and hear in order to observe, address and respond to potential breaches in safety and security Seize, hold, control or subdue violent or assaultive persons and defend oneself or others to prevent injury;
  • Demonstrate body agility, strength of all four limbs and the ability to walk and climb stairs consistently;
  • Work in situations involving assaultive behavior, physical control of another person and/or restraint situations;
  • Deal with individuals with a range of moods and behaviors, utilizing tactfulness and a congenial, personable manner;
  • Work with people of the opposite sex, diverse racial ethnic groups, mentally ill and emotionally disturbed inmates;
  • Communicate by talking, listening and/or signaling people to convey or exchange information, assignments;
  • Work in an environment with fluctuating noise and temperature (hot and cold) which may include working outdoors in inclement weather and/or concrete floor/wall work settings;
  • Willing and able to travel;
  • Willing and able to work various shifts, days, afternoons, graveyards (nights) which includes a rotating shift schedule;
  • TB (tuberculosis) screening is required of all new employees upon hire.

Successful completion of a background investigation is required. Should applicant’s background reveal criminal charges, it shall be the responsibility of the applicant to provide the Department of Corrections with written/official disposition of any charges.

The CDOC is committed to a drug and alcohol-free work environment. Our employees are expected to comply with all state and federal laws. A drug test will be administered to all new employees; employees must successfully pass. Random drug screening will occur throughout employment. 

Appeal Rights: If you receive notice that you have been eliminated from consideration for this position, you may file an appeal with the State Personnel Board or request a review by the State Personnel Director.

An appeal or review must be submitted on the official appeal form, signed by you or your representative. This form must be delivered to the State Personnel Board by email ([email protected]), postmarked in US Mail or hand delivered (1525 Sherman Street, 4th Floor, Denver CO 80203), or faxed (303.866.5038) within ten (10) calendar days from your receipt of notice or acknowledgement of the department’s action.

For more information about the appeals process, the official appeal form, and how to deliver it to the State Personnel Board; go to spb.colorado.gov; contact the State Personnel Board for assistance at (303) 866-3300; or refer to 4 Colorado Code of Regulations (CCR) 801-1, State Personnel Board Rules and Personnel Director's Administrative Procedures, Chapter 8, Resolution of Appeals and Disputes, at spb.colorado.gov under Rules.

Supplemental Information:  After submitting an application, you should receive an immediate email acknowledging your submission. If you do not get the email, please check to ensure you have actually submitted the application and typed the correct email address on the application.

Include a working email address on your application; one that is checked daily as time sensitive correspondence WILL take place via email. You may receive email notifications from a Colorado Dept of Corrections employee or from this email address [email protected] It is your responsibility to ensure that your email will accept these notices and/or review your junk mail and spam filtered email; if you do not receive correspondence soon after the closing date or if you have questions about this job announcement, please contact Brenda Valdez at [email protected]


The State of Colorado believes that equity, diversity, and inclusion drive our success, and we encourage candidates from all identities, backgrounds, and abilities to apply. The State of Colorado is an equal opportunity employer committed to building inclusive, innovative work environments with employees who reflect our communities and enthusiastically serve them. Therefore, in all aspects of the employment process, we provide employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, medical condition related to pregnancy, creed, ancestry, national origin, marital status, genetic information, or military status (with preference given to military veterans), or any other protected status in accordance with applicable law.

Colorado Department of Corrections is committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals. As part of this commitment, our agency will assist individuals who have a disability with any reasonable accommodation requests related to employment, including completing the application process, interviewing, completing any pre-employment testing, participating in the employee selection process, and/or to perform essential job functions where the requested accommodation does not impose an undue hardship. If you have a disability and require reasonable accommodation to ensure you have a positive experience applying or interviewing for this position, please direct your inquiries to our Employee Relations Specialist, Ana Andersen at [email protected] or call 719-226-4401.



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