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Policy Analyst, Criminal Justice Reform

  • Reports to: Senior Director, Criminal Justice Reform
  • Staff reporting to this position: None
  • Department: Rights and Justice
  • Position classification: Exempt, full time; Union - Level 4
  • Minimum compensation: $56,000


American Progress has an immediate opening for a Policy Analyst on the Criminal Justice Reform team. The Criminal Justice Reform team is dedicated to developing policies that (1) shrink the footprint of the criminal justice system while improving public health and safety; (2) promote equity and accountability within the justice system; and (3) provide opportunities for people directly impacted by a criminal conviction. The team’s work stems from principles of fair laws and enforcement of laws; just and proportional responses to crime; comprehensive investments in safety outside of the justice system; and data- and evidence-driven solutions. The Policy Analyst will be primarily responsible for leading a new bail reform campaign initiative, which will leverage American Progress’ multidisciplinary policy expertise, comprehensive communications and outreach apparatus, and relationships with elected officials at all levels of government to shape the debate around bail reform and support urgently needed reforms at the state level. The Policy Analyst will also contribute to the Criminal Justice Reform team’s efforts to further its broad goals by developing and seeking to advance smart, focused strategies through research, strategic communications, and work in coalition with stakeholders at the federal, state, and local levels.

The Policy Analyst will be driven by American Progress’ mission “to improve the lives of all Americans, through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action, with the aim of not only changing the conversation, but changing the country.” They will join a dynamic team of colleagues to assist in strengthening the team’s policy work and supporting American Progress’ five crosscutting priorities:

  • Strengthening public health and ending the pandemic
  • Building an economy for all
  • Securing a sustainable climate
  • Advancing racial equity and justice
  • Restoring social trust and strengthening democracy


  • Lead the Criminal Justice Reform team’s new bail reform initiative, which includes substantial coordination with national and state partners, identification of research and communications priorities, and development of state advocacy strategies.
  • Contribute to other substantive areas of the team’s work as needed.
  • Develop, implement, and manage the production and distribution of a variety of written products such as reports, issue briefs, columns, and op-eds that advance the Criminal Justice Reform team’s work and translate research findings for a broader audience as well as memorandums for internal audiences.
  • Conduct quantitative and qualitative research; analyze pending state and federal legislative proposals, administrative policies, and regulatory changes.
  • Engage in rapid response to policy developments as needed, including drafting articles, op-eds, blog posts, and social media posts and shareables.
  • Provide research support for members of the Criminal Justice Reform team.
  • Collaborate with other American Progress policy teams as appropriate, including identifying crosscutting issues and projects.
  • Represent American Progress in external meetings, such as with partners on the bail reform campaign project and other diverse coalition partners.
  • Develop and maintain expertise in assigned areas of responsibility.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Requirements and qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience is required.
  • Three to four years of relevant work experience is required.
  • Knowledge of pretrial criminal justice system issues, including bail. Knowledge of other criminal justice system issues and experience working on state-level criminal justice reform efforts is a plus.
  • Strong organizational and communication skills and the ability to manage a multifaceted advocacy campaign with external partners.
  • Experience working with coalitions.
  • Research, writing, and analytical skills, including an ability to communicate complicated policy matters for a nontechnical audience.
  • Ability to work under the pressure of deadlines in a team setting.
  • Ability to initiate and engage in creative approaches to advancing policy; willing to take independent ownership and initiative.
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Commitment to the organization’s mission and goals.

This position is part of a bargaining unit represented by IFPTE Local 70. American Progress offers full and competitive benefit packages. This position has a starting salary of $56,000. Candidates from diverse backgrounds, including candidates who have been impacted by the justice system, are strongly encouraged to apply.

To Apply

Please follow the link below to the online application. When completing the application, be sure to combine your cover letter and resume/CV into one Word or PDF file and upload this combined document. The system does not allow for multiple files.

This announcement will remain posted until the position is filled. No phone calls, please.
Please note that only those individuals whose qualifications match the current needs of this position will be considered applicants and will receive responses from American Progress.
Thank you for your interest in American Progress.

Additional information

American Progress operates two separate nonprofit organizations to maximize the progressive agenda: the Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “American Progress.” The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) tax-exempt research and educational institute. It undertakes research, public education and a limited amount of lobbying. The Center for American Progress Action Fund is a nonpartisan 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization dedicated to achieving progress through action. It works to transform progressive ideas into policy through rapid-response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing, political advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders. The organizations share office space and employees.

American Progress is dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Diversity is more than a commitment at American Progress—it is the foundation of what we do. American Progress recruits, employs, trains, compensates, and promotes regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, veteran status, medical condition, and all the other characteristics that make us unique.

For more information on the Center for American Progress, please go to For more information on the Center for American Progress Action Fund, please go to