Northwestern University/Cook County Juvenile Court Clinic (CCJCC)
Chicago, Illinois

Employer Profile:
Northwestern University is currently recruiting for several positions as part of its contract to operate the Cook County Juvenile Court Clinic (CCJCC), which is the primary provider of forensic mental health evaluations for the Juvenile Justice and Child Protection Departments of the Circuit Court of Cook County. Northwestern University has operated the CCJCC in partnership with Cook County’s Office of the Chief Judge since June 2003. The CCJCC’s innovative model for courtroom consultation is based on the findings of a research and reform project conducted in collaboration with the Office of the Chief Judge, Northwestern University, and the University of Chicago.

The CCJCC’s interdisciplinary team provides a variety of services to help judges, lawyers, probation officers, caseworkers, and other court personnel make  informed and relevant decisions concerning minors and families in Juvenile Justice and Child Protection legal proceedings. This team facilitates referrals to the CCJCC for forensic mental health evaluations, and assists in obtaining records and other information needed to complete these evaluations. The available positions will support an expansion of the CCJCC’s services to the Juvenile Court, to include forensic evaluations of youth charged with sexual offenses, general assessments of court-involved youth to support service planning, and additional resources to evaluate youth and families whose preferred language is Spanish.

The CCJCC is located in the Cook County Juvenile Center, which houses the Juvenile Justice and Child Protection courtrooms, the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC), the Department of Juvenile Probation, and other entities affiliated with the Juvenile Court. This location permits the Clinic to be well-integrated with and responsive to the needs of the Juvenile Court, its constituents, and court- affiliated entities.

Director: Philip C. O’Donnell, M.J., Ph.D.
Associate Director: Krissie Fernandez Smith, Ph.D., ABPP

Job Summary:
The Juvenile Sex Offender Evaluator (JSOE) Lead Psychologist is a Northwestern University (Feinberg School of Medicine - Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences) employee that will be a member of the Cook County Juvenile Court Clinic and conduct court ordered forensic evaluations of youth charged with sexual offenses for the Juvenile Justice Division of the Cook County Circuit Court. These evaluations incorporate interviews, testing with psychological and forensic assessment instruments (when indicated), record reviews, and observational data, and result in a comprehensive written report of the psychologist’s findings. The Psychologist may be subpoenaed to testify in court proceedings regarding their evaluations and findings.

The Juvenile Court Clinic will assume responsibility for JSOEs ordered in Cook County as part of a new contract with the Office of the Chief Judge/Cook County beginning in 2022. This position will assist the Clinic’s Director and Associate Director in developing this service, including establishing policies and procedures for forensic consultation and evaluation of juveniles in cases involving sexual offenses; training Clinic staff on matters pertaining to JSOEs; and supervising staff and student trainees who are not licensed to perform SOEs. As such, the successful candidate must be a licensed psychologist who also possesses, or is immediately eligible for, licensure as a sex offender evaluator in the state of Illinois. The successful candidate will have a strong understanding of ethical issues and best practices for the evaluation of adolescents with problematic sexual behaviors.

The Psychologist will have opportunities for academic activities including teaching didactics and providing forensic supervision to forensic psychiatry fellows and predoctoral psychology externs. They will participate in other consultation and training activities as needed to support the CCJCC’s operation. Opportunities for participation in program evaluation and research projects are also available. As Northwestern staff, the Psychologist has access to a variety of University resources to support forensic activities, including a comprehensive research library with many online databases and academic journals.

The Psychologist’s primary work location is the Cook County Juvenile Center at 2245 W. Ogden Ave, 5th floor, Chicago, IL 60612. Some job duties may occasionally occur at other community locations (e.g., schools, suburban courthouses, community agencies) to accommodate case needs.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Conducting court ordered forensic evaluations for the Juvenile Justice Division of the Cook County Circuit Court to address risk and treatment needs for court-involved youth charged with a sexual offense.
  • Assisting the Clinic Director and Associate Director in developing policies and procedures for conducting the Clinic’s Juvenile Sex Offender Evaluations (JSOEs).
  • Providing training to Clinic staff on matters pertaining to the completion of JSOEs.
  • Supervising staff psychologists and trainees, who are not licensed sex offender evaluators, in completing JSOEs.
  • Participating in monthly all-staff, psychologist, and training meetings, as scheduled.
  • Testifying in court as an expert witness regarding forensic evaluations tendered to court.
  • Performing other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications and Competencies:

  • Successful completion of a full course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a doctoral degree in Psychology from an APA accredited program or the equivalent combination of education, training and experience from which comparable skills can be acquired.
  • Successful completion of an APPIC accredited pre-doctoral internship.
  • Current Illinois psychologist license (out of state applicants must be eligible for licensure in Illinois).
  • Current Illinois sex offender evaluator licensure or immediate license eligibility. Qualifications for licensure can be found under 225 ILCS 109/35, accessible at:
  • Knowledge of ethical and best practice standards for the practice of clinical and forensic psychology generally, and juvenile sex offender evaluations, specifically.
  • Clinical experience with children, adolescents, and families.
  • Experience working with court-involved populations in a clinical or forensic capacity.
  • ​Strong oral and written communication skills.
  • Cultural competence, including an awareness of how experiences, beliefs and values of diverse individuals and groups affects clinical forensic interactions and practice.
  • Ability to work cooperatively on an interdisciplinary team.

Preferred Qualifications and Competencies:

  • Pre-doctoral training in forensic psychology and/or psychology and the law.
  • Completion of a post-doctoral fellowship in forensic psychology and/or two to three years post- doctoral experience conducting forensic evaluations. Forensic experience with juvenile court involved minors or parents (i.e., juvenile justice or child protection) is preferred, but applicants with forensic experience with other populations will be considered.
  • Experience providing courtroom testimony pertaining to forensic evaluations.
  • Fluency in Spanish, sign-language, or another non-English language
  • Knowledge of juvenile court law and procedures.

As per Northwestern University policy, this position requires a criminal background check. Successful applicants will need to submit to a criminal background check prior to employment.

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States

To apply, visit: Job Opening ID: 43711
Posting Title: Juvenile Sex Offender Evaluator (JSOE) Lead Psychologist

Posting Expiration Date: 
Fri, 2022-06-24 (All day)