Research Associate, Criminal Justice Reform

  • Reports to: Vice President, Criminal Justice Reform
  • Staff reporting to this position: None
  • Department: Criminal Justice Reform
  • Position classification: Exempt, full time


American Progress has an immediate opening for a Research Associate on the Criminal Justice Reform Team. The Criminal Justice Reform team works to shrink the size of the criminal justice system; make the system fairer and more equitable; and provide opportunities for people who have been directly affected by mass incarceration. The Research Associate will assist in developing ideas for new policy prescriptions; provide research for reports and other publications; write columns and provide writing support for larger reports and issue briefs; and assist in the conceptualization and execution of a range of projects.


  • Conduct research on a range of topics related to criminal justice and public safety and develop ideas on issues to study.
  • Produce materials for publication, individually or in partnership with others, including reports, issue briefs, columns, and op-eds.
  • Coordinate and plan meetings and events as needed.
  • Represent the Criminal Justice Reform team at internal and external coalition meetings.
  • Develop expertise in assigned areas of responsibility.
  • Assist in the crafting of communication strategies for press and social media.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Requirements and qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • At least two years of relevant professional experience.
  • Knowledge of policy and politics around criminal justice reform and public safety issues.
  • Experience working with people involved in or affected by the criminal justice system; expertise on the impacts of the criminal justice system, including lived experiences, is a plus.
  • Excellent analytical, research, and writing skills.
  • Ability to work well within a team in a fast-paced environment under pressure; ability to meet multiple, tight deadlines.
  • Ability to understand assigned issues and communicate them effectively to a lay audience.
  • Commitment to the organization’s mission and goals is required.

This position is part of a bargaining unit represented by IFPTE Local 70. This position is budgeted for $50,000.

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