Council of State Governments
  • 09-Jun-2017 to 09-Jul-2017 (EST)
  • Justice Center, State - Managers
  • Seattle, WA, USA
  • Salary
  • Full Time

The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center is a national nonprofit organization that provides practical, nonpartisan, research-driven strategies and tools to increase public safety and strengthen communities. In general, the CSG Justice Center works closely with government executives, legislative leaders, judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, victim advocates, and others to develop consensus on various 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 develops written and web-based materials, conducts complex data analysis, and provides on-the-ground technical assistance to policymakers and practitioners from multiple systems (corrections, behavioral health, law enforcement, etc.) in states and local jurisdictions.

Job Title: Senior Policy Analyst, Justice Reinvestment

Job Summary

Working as part of a team of staff assisting states engaged in justice reinvestment, the Senior Policy Analyst brings expertise and experience with what works in correctional supervision, programming, risk assessment, and behavioral health to help states implement new policies and practices to reduce recidivism, corrections spending and improve public safety. Justice reinvestment is an intensive, data-driven technical assistance approach to assist state policymakers with reducing spending on corrections and reinvesting in strategies to increase public safety and reduce recidivism. The Senior Policy Analyst will work with multiple justice reinvestment state projects at a time and in each state, he/she will lead the implementation technical assistance efforts to assess current practices in risk assessment, programming, supervision and behavioral health at the state and local level, and implement policy changes to improve correctional outcomes, reduce recidivism and help create safer communities.   

The successful candidate will be able to leverage his/her understanding of the research about what works as well as his/her practical experience in corrections and/or behavioral health to help policymakers and practitioners alike improve state criminal justice policy and practice through interbranch, collaborative efforts. This position reports to the Program Director, State Initiatives, but will be in regular communication with the Division Director and Deputy Directors, other division staff, and occasionally members of the CSG Justice Center Board of Directors, and funders. The position requires extensive travel.  The Senior Policy Analyst position offers a significant level of responsibility, autonomy and the opportunity to influence important advancements in criminal justice policy at the state and local level.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Specific responsibilities of the Senior Policy Analyst include, but are not limited to:

  • Lead implementation efforts in states engaged in the Justice Reinvestment Initiative
  • Assess agency and state correctional and supervision systems to provide recommendations for improvements based on current research
  • Review proposed legislation to ensure it is reflective of evidence-based practices, determine the scale and scope of the implementation required and provide clarity for the implementation process
  • Coordinate and facilitate meetings and collaboration with key stakeholders, agency leadership and practitioners to consider and design new approaches to the states' criminal justice challenges
  • Provide leadership, expertise and guidance to agency leadership, and in consultation with other Justice Center staff, over a 1-2 year implementation period
  • Develop and conduct presentations and trainings on what works to change behavior for people in the criminal justice system for stakeholders in correctional and supervision agencies
  • Develop implementation protocols that build consistency in technical assistance service delivery among the team
  • Cultivate a network of stakeholders, legislators, parole board members, board administrators, supervision agency heads, and opinion leaders to further the goals of the Justice Reinvestment initiative
  • Identify or create opportunities in county and state governments to improve the administration of the justice system
  • Represent the organization at national and regional conferences on behavioral health, risk assessment, recidivism reduction programming and/or probation and parole supervision
  • Develop relationships with funders in local, state, and federal government, as well as with private foundations, that enable the CSG Justice Center to sustain and expand its work

Skills and Abilities

  • Efficient, organized work style and an ability to prioritize quickly and confidently
  • Ability to juggle multiple projects, all of which have competing deadlines and require cooperation of various people inside and outside the organization
  • Proficiency in facilitating strategic meetings with high-level stakeholders
  • Experience working with reticent stakeholders; to build consensus and sustain momentum around reforms
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including maturity, keen judgment, the ability to facilitate challenging conversations, quickly read interpersonal dynamics and the ability to work with people from a wide array of backgrounds and perspectives and across projects
  • Ability to deliver content-specific trainings on risk assessment, research-based correctional programming or effective supervision practices to key stakeholders in the criminal justice system
  • Proficiency in explaining the Risk-Need-Responsivity principles and underlying research and other evidence-based principles of effective correctional and behavioral health efforts to reduce recidivism
  • Expertise in translating complex ideas into concise and compelling written products and presentations and presenting to key stakeholders and policymakers
  • Mastery of Microsoft Office Suite
  • Ability and willingness to travel frequently, up to two or three times per month to deliver technical assistance on site in states across the country

Experience Requirements

  • Extensive knowledge of the correctional and behavioral health research literature and practical experience (5+ years) with data analysis, policy development, and/or implementation within the correctional, supervision or forensic behavioral health fields
  • Previous work with correctional, behavioral health or supervision agency required
  • Experience providing technical assistance to officials in state and local government and across various criminal justice systems
  • Preference given to candidates with demonstrated success working with policymakers and elected officials to shape policy and funding decisions and to design new and innovative approaches to complex problems within the criminal justice system.

Education Requirements

A bachelor degree (required), with preference given to candidates with a postgraduate degree in the social sciences such as criminal justice, psychology, sociology or public policy.

Physical Requirements Essential to Perform the Duties of the Job

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Frequently communicates with internal and external coworkers and customers.
  • Frequently operates a computer to perform administrative duties such as drafting reports, letters, and documents.
  • 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 moves throughout office to communicate with colleagues.

Application Instructions

Interested individuals should upload the following elements (in PDF format) with their application:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Two writing samples that demonstrate writing competency and mastery of subject area (each preferably no longer than five pages)
  • Names and contact information for references (at least two). One reference should be able to speak to the candidate's experience facilitating organizational change. The second reference should speak to the candidate's understanding of the latest research and literature on the subject of correctional supervision, recidivism reduction programming and behavioral health programming.

CSG is an Equal Opportunity Employer (Minorities/Females/Veterans/Disabled)

Council of State Governments
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