Council of State Governments
  • 23-Mar-2020 to 22-Apr-2020 (EST)
  • Justice Center, Behavioral Health
  • DC, USA
  • TBD
  • Full Time

Medical, Dental, Vision, Short & Long Term Disability, Life, Paid Holidays, Paid Personal Time, Paid Sick Time, Paid Parental Leave

Who we are:

The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization located in four cities across the country with over 100 employees. We combine the power of a membership association, representing state officials in all three branches of government, with policy and research expertise to develop strategies that increase public safety and strengthen communities. Together, we achieve results by:

  • Bringing people together from both sides of the aisle to foster collaboration,
  • Driving the criminal justice field forward with original research,
  • Providing expert assistance to translate the latest research into policy and practice, and
  • Building momentum for policy change at the state and local level.

Our staff have decades of experience in criminal justice, mental health and substance addiction, corrections and reentry, finance, workforce development, media, and more. We have served governors, state legislators, and members of Congress on both sides of the political spectrum. But what bonds us together is a shared commitment to our vision and mission, to a common set of values, and to the national, bipartisan advisory board that guides our work. 

What we're doing: 

The Behavioral Health Division works with jurisdictions nationally to improve outcomes for people with mental illnesses and substance use disorders who come into contact with law enforcement and the criminal justice system. This includes through the Stepping Up initiative, a national campaign to reduce the high numbers of people with mental illnesses and co-occurring substance use disorders in jails; efforts to increase the number of jurisdictions that implement comprehensive police and mental health collaborations; and supporting innovation in state policy to increase the availability of community-based care and services to improve outcomes for people with behavioral health needs.  

How you'll fit in: 

The project manager will serve as an integral member of the state policy team as part of the Justice Center's Behavioral Health Division. Specifically, the project manager is responsible work on portfolio of projects focused on 1) the state's role to build local capacity to reduce the high numbers of people with behavioral health conditions in local criminal justice systems and 2) advancing collaborative state and local responses at the intersection of criminal justice and housing.

The project manager oversees multiple projects at a time and guides system assessments of relevant administrative policy, programmatic design, and implementation; develops policy recommendations;  provides technical assistance to support stakeholders in collaborative efforts to reduce the number of people with behavioral health needs in the criminal justice system; leads off-and on-site technical assistance engagements with state or local jurisdictions; develops written reports and contributes to product and other resource development for the field; and participates in meetings with high-ranking local, state, and federal officials, advocates, and other experts across the country. The successful candidate will be able to leverage his/her understanding of the research about what works, as well as practical experience in health (particularly behavioral health), housing, and/or criminal justice to guide staff assisting policymakers and practitioners alike to improve state criminal justice policy and practice through interbranch and cross-system collaborative efforts.

The project manager is also expected to contribute to staff and organizational development by working to refine internal practices and procedures; developing strategic project plans and timelines; identifying grant opportunities and drafting proposals; coordinating with other managers and staff; and training and supervising staff.  

This position reports to the Program Director overseeing the Behavioral Health Division's state and health policy portfolio but will be in regular communication with the Division Director, Deputy Directors, Project Managers, and other division staff; policy, communications, and administration staff from across the CSG Justice Center; and occasionally with members of the CSG Justice Center Board of Directors and funders. The project manager position offers a significant level of responsibility, autonomy, and opportunity to influence important advancements in criminal justice and health policy at the state and local level. 

 What you'll do:

  • Work with local and state policymakers and other stakeholders to develop and implement policies to improve outcomes for people with behavioral health needs involved in the criminal justice system, many of whom are also experiencing homelessness
  • Manage and execute projects focused on equipping state and local stakeholders to understand and apply research-based policies and practices at the intersection of criminal justice, health/behavioral health, and housing/homelessness;
  • Develop/expand the knowledge base on criminal justice, housing/homelessness, health and behavioral health policy issues
  • Work with a wide range of stakeholders focused on state and county government, law enforcement, criminal justice, and health/behavioral health technical assistance efforts;
  • Play a lead role in synthesizing complex qualitative and quantitative information on state and local policies, programs, practices, and outcomes and create clear, accessible, actionable takeaway reports; 
  • Develop written products, including policy briefs, research memos, and presentations that concisely and clearly describe complex analyses and policy options to policymakers;
  • Play a key role in conceptualizing, with senior staff, long-range strategies to guide the work for the Behavioral Health Division;
  • Drive efforts to implement new ideas, creating key steps in the process, decision points for senior staff, and a timeline for completion;
  • Develop and monitor timelines for project deliverables to ensure that responsibilities to funders are met;
  • Contribute to writing grant proposals and developing presentations as needed;
  • Plan and participate in policy-focused meetings of high-ranking government officials, advocates, and national experts;
  • Ensure that senior staff colleagues, consultants, or funders are aware of relevant project developments and that other CSG work in the field is leveraged for the advancement of project goals.

What you'll bring:

A bachelor's degree (required) and a postgraduate degree (preferred) in the social sciences such as criminal justice, psychology, sociology or public policy. In addition, you have experience with and demonstrate the following skills and capabilities:

  • Strong project manager, ability to drive and manage new initiatives and projects, from initial conceptualization through to development of sound workplans and implementation of such action plans, coordinating effectively across multiple staff and external partners;
  • Expertise in housing and state policy strongly preferred;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the assessment, development, and implementation of change within health, housing, and/or criminal justice systems such able to autonomously deliver technical assistance;
  • Demonstrated success working in the policy arena in policy formulation and implementation, analysis, advocacy, research or the like;
  •  Experience writing and tailoring messaging effectively to different groups of stakeholders at local and/or state levels;
  • Ability to work independently and manage multiple deadlines, seeking guidance as needed but requiring minimal day-to-day guidance;
  • Effective meeting facilitation skills and ability to anticipate senior staff, funder, and partner concerns and to structure meetings to account for this and to complete preparation to ensure the success of high-stakes meetings;
  • Excellent research, writing, and editing skills;
  • Strong critical thinking;
  • Strong oral communication skills, including the ability to effectively distill and present complex information in a concise, accessible way;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, an ability to work independently and in a team setting, and a sense of humor;
  • Experience supervising project assistants, policy analysts, or technical assistance associates for  at least 2-3 years.
  • Efficient, organized work style and an ability to prioritize quickly and confidently and manage multiple deadlines; and
  • Strong skills in working with the MS Office platform, PowerPoint, Word, and Excel.

How you apply:

If you're interested in helping us drive change across the country, you should upload the following elements with your application (incomplete applications will not be considered):

  1. Cover letter with salary expectations 
  2. Resume
  3. Writing Sample
  4. References

Learn more about careers at the CSG Justice Center.


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