Council of State Governments
  • 18-Apr-2017 to 17-May-2017 (EST)
  • Justice Center, Behavioral Health
  • New York, NY, USA
  • Full Time




The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center is a national nonprofit organization that provides practical, nonpartisan, research-based strategies and tools to increase public safety and strengthen communities. The CSG Justice Center works closely with government executives, legislative leaders, judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, victim advocates, and others to develop consensus on criminal justice issues and to translate this consensus into comprehensive reports, policy briefs, state and federal legislation, model policies, and innovative programs. The CSG Justice Center produces original research, develops print and web-based materials, and provides on-the-ground technical assistance to policymakers and practitioners from multiple systems (corrections, behavioral health, housing, etc.) in state and local jurisdictions.


Posting: Policy Analyst

Job Title: Policy Analyst, Stepping Up Initiative


FLSA Status: Exempt

Department: Justice Center, Behavioral Health Division


Type of Position: Full-time, Regular

Reports To: Deputy Program Director, Behavioral Health


Reporting to This Position: N/A

Location: New York, NY, or Bethesda, MD




Job Summary

The policy analyst will work on Stepping Up, a national initiative to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses and co-occurring substance use disorders in jails. The policy analyst will be responsible for providing technical assistance and supporting projects to support counties' efforts as part of Stepping Up. The policy analyst will work directly with county elected officials, criminal justice leaders, and behavioral health stakeholders to assist in their efforts to develop and implement system-wide plans on their own. The policy analyst will also be responsible for supporting qualitative and quantitative analyses of existing programs, policies, and practices and provide policy recommendations to counties for reducing the number of people with mental illnesses in jails.The policy analyst will assist with coordinating a team of expert consultants providing on-site, intensive technical assistance; developing policy options; and coordinating and participating in politically sensitive meetings with high-ranking local, state, and federal officials, advocates, and other experts across the country.The policy analyst works with a small team, and will report to the Deputy Program Director of the Behavioral Health Division. This position offers a significant level of responsibility and opportunity for growth to an individual seeking to advance a career in criminal justice and behavioral health policy. Travel is a requirement of this position.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provide technical assistance to counties, initially by supporting senior staff and/or consultants in coordinating, participating in, and documenting on-site and off-site technical assistance in jurisdictions across the country and eventually leading these technical assistance efforts;
  • Develop written products, including policy briefs, research memos, and presentations that concisely and clearly describe complex analyses and policy options to policymakers;
  • Collaborate with senior staff to develop long-range strategies to guide the Justice Center's Stepping Up and Behavioral Health Division work;
  • Work with a wide range of stakeholders focused on county government, law enforcement, criminal justice, and behavioral health technical assistance efforts;
  • Monitor timelines for project deliverables to ensure that responsibilities to funders are met;
  • Contribute to writing grant proposals and developing presentations as needed;
  • Synthesize complex qualitative and quantitative information on local policies, programs, practices, and outcomes and create clear, accessible, actionalble takeaway reports;
  • Contribute to the development of Justice Center website content, and broad-based reports, resources, or presentations relevant to a national audience to promote specific policy goals;
  • Plan and participate in policy-focused meetings of high-ranking government officials, advocates, and national experts;
  • Ensure that senior staff and, where applicable, Justice Center 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;
  • Participate in staff discussions and strategic planning meetings; and
  • Develop/expand a knowledge base on criminal justice and behavioral health systems and how they function at the local level.


Skills & Abilities

  • Excellent research, writing, and editing skills and 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, including maturity and an ability to work independently and in a team setting;
  • Efficient, organized work style and an ability to prioritize quickly and confidently and manage multiple deadlines;
  • Effective meeting facilitation skills;
  • Strong skills in working with the MS Office platform, PowerPoint, Word, and Excel; and
  • Experience tailoring messaging effectively to different groups of stakeholders at a local level.


Experience Requirements

At least four years of policy experience in the criminal justice or behavioral health fields, or local government; preference for experience working with county policymakers.


Education Requirements

A college degree (required) and a graduate degree in a related field, such as public policy, criminal justice, or behavioral health (preferred).




       Frequently communicates with internal and external coworkers and customers;

       Frequently views the computer to create policy briefs, memos and presentations;

       Frequently remains in a sitting position to perform desk duties;

       Frequently uses the computer with fingers and hands;

       Frequently works in a well lit, tempered room;

       Occasionally walks throughout office to communicate to coworkers; and

       Seldom lifts objects, such as files or paper boxes, with weight up to 25 pounds.



Interested individuals should upload the following elements (in PDF format) to:

1.     Cover letter

2.     Resume

3.     Two writing samples (preferably no more than three pages)

4.     Names and contact information for references (at least three)



Incomplete applications will not be considered.


CSG is an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Employer


Council of State Governments
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