Policy Analyst/Senior Policy Analyst, Criminal Justice Reform

Reports to: Director, Criminal Justice Reform
Staff reporting to this position: None
Department: Rights and Justice
Position classification: Exempt, full time
Minimum compensation: $61,000/$68,000
Work site: Hybrid (on-site two days per week, Washington, D.C., office)


American Progress is seeking a Policy Analyst or Senior Policy Analyst to join its Criminal Justice Reform team, which is part of the Rights and Justice department. American Progress is dedicated to improving community safety and justice by developing, advancing, and amplifying progressive policies that create safer, healthier, and more equitable communities and provide second chances to people exiting incarceration; pushing back against punitive criminal legal system policies that cause disproportionate harms to people of color; ensuring that federal policies, programs, and dollars are implemented effectively, equitably, and in ways that create openings for more ambitious policies; and shaping and driving the narrative that progressive policies and reforms are good for community safety as well as the economy, public health, and overall well-being of the country. The work of the Rights and Justice department’s Criminal Justice Reform team aims to reduce the footprint of the criminal legal system, reduce barriers to reentry for people returning to the community from incarceration, and create meaningful alternatives to the criminal legal system that improve community safety and public health.

The Policy Analyst/Senior Policy Analyst will contribute to the Rights and Justice department 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. They will join dynamic colleagues to assist in strengthening criminal justice reform policy work and supporting American Progress’ five crosscutting priorities:

  • Building an economy for all
  • Restoring social trust in democracy
  • Advancing racial equity and justice
  • Tackling climate change and environmental justice
  • Strengthening health

The ideal candidate will have excellent research, writing, coalition-building, and analytical skills. Strong oral and written communication skills and the ability to interact well with high-level policy professionals, both internally and externally, are required. Familiarity with the issue of criminal justice reform is preferred.


  • Conduct and support research and analysis on a range of criminal justice reform issues and policies, including compiling and summarizing information, fact-checking, and editing documents.
  • 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.
  • Help design and execute quantitative and qualitative research by gathering and cleaning data, tabulating data and output, tracking policy-relevant databases and statistical sources, and identifying top-line findings.
  • Analyze pending state and federal legislative proposals, administrative policies, and regulatory changes.
  • Build and maintain relationships across the criminal justice reform policy community, including with local, state, and federal legislators; gun violence prevention advocates; and allied nongovernmental and policy organizations.
  • Engage in rapid response to policy developments as needed, including drafting articles, op-eds, blog posts, and social media posts and shareables.
  • Collaborate with other American Progress experts in policy, communications, and advocacy, including identifying crosscutting issues and projects.
  • Represent American Progress in external meetings with 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 for the Analyst position, five or more is required for the Senior Analyst position.
  • Knowledge of criminal justice system issues. 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.
  • Strong quantitative research training and/or experience with data analysis. Ability to manipulate, probe, and clean data sets to ask interesting questions, create responsible analysis, and share findings clearly and convincingly.
  • Excellent writing skills and the 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.
  • Nonprofit or think tank experience is preferred.
  • Commitment to the organization’s mission and goals.

American Progress offers full and competitive benefit packages. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. This position is part of a bargaining unit represented by IFPTE Local 70. The minimum salary for the Policy Analyst position is $61,000 and the minimum salary for the Senior Policy Analyst position is $68,000.

American Progress’ hybrid work policy is posted on our Jobs page. Please visit this page for updates. Any changes to this policy will also be communicated at the time of hire.

Apply Now

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 www.americanprogress.org. For more information on the Center for American Progress Action Fund, please go to www.americanprogressaction.org.

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