The Center for Court Innovation is a non-profit organization that works to create a more effective and humane justice system by performing original research and helping launch reforms by guiding justice innovators, nationally and internationally. The Center creates operating projects that have been documented to reduce the use of jail and prison, assist victims of crime, and strengthen communities.

Research-Practice Strategies spans the Center’s three primary areas of work: research, operating programs, and expert assistance. The Research-Practice Strategies department is a cross-disciplinary team of researchers and subject matter experts who conduct original research and provide nationwide technical assistance in a variety of justice system reform areas. The Research-Practice Strategies team focuses on a range of criminal justice initiatives, and projects seek to improve justice system responses to both defendants and victims, and to promote racial justice.

The Research-Practice Strategies (RPS) department is seeking an Associate Director. The Associate Director will be a practitioner (lawyer) embedded within the Research Department to provide research translation and training and technical assistance to jurisdictions around the country. They will work directly with researchers to inform the development, implementation, and interpretation of original research studies. Reporting to the Director of Research-Practice Strategies, the Associate Director will play a leading role on projects related to system-level reform efforts in the criminal legal system, with a focus on topics related to: (1) enhancing indigent defense practices and progressive prosecution, (2) pretrial system reform, including the use of pretrial assessment instruments, and (3) successful reentry programming.

At the outset, specific projects will include a national research project on the practice of defender fees; a national research project on the intersection of race and indigent defense practice; a national research and technical assistance partnership to develop evidence-based pretrial reform models; a national research study of prosecutorial responses to cases involving violence; and a national technical assistance project on reentry programming. Projects require extensive knowledge of evidence-based and promising practices that reduce the use of incarceration while promoting community safety and wellness and racial equity. Although specific research skills are not required, an understanding of how to use research and data to inform practice is strongly preferred. Additional projects will be added based on the successful candidate’s skills, interests, and experience.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
  • Provide data-driven training and technical assistance (e.g., research translation for practitioners, strategic planning, data-driven reform strategies) to partner jurisdictions;
  • Collaborate with a variety of stakeholders (e.g., police, defense attorneys, prosecutors, judges, funding entities, community, etc.) in partner jurisdictions across the country to facilitate strategic planning around pretrial improvements;
  • Assist researchers in the development of research materials (e.g., surveys, interview protocols) to ensure they accurately capture statutory and system-based issues;
  • Assist researchers with data collection efforts including the co-facilitation of interviews and focus groups with system actors and community;
  • Assist researchers in the interpretation and framing of findings;
  • Draft, revise, and edit practice and policy-oriented products (white papers, presentations, web content, fact sheets);
  • Draft, revise, and edit grant proposals for Federal and private funders;
  • Disseminate research findings and policy implications to policymaker and practitioner audiences;
  • Collaborate with other staff in the Research Department and across the Center in the planning and implementation of new and ongoing initiatives;
  • Additional relevant tasks, as needed.

Qualifications: The ideal candidate will have a J.D. as well as experience as a legal system practitioner – preferably as a former public defender or prosecutor. Candidate must have knowledge of evidence-based and promising pretrial system improvements, including an openness to grappling with the challenges of certain reform strategies (e.g. risk assessment). Candidate must have the ability to facilitate and engage participants in large group discussions and presentations. Experience developing strong relationships across a varied group of criminal legal system actors is especially important. Excellent time management skills, along with strong oral and written communication skills are a must. Candidates must be committed to criminal justice reform, systems change work, and racial equity. Must be able to sometimes work autonomously, and have a passion for driving even the most challenging efforts forward. Candidates must be committed and open to learning and engaging in healthy debate with team members who have different professional backgrounds. Sense of humor, critical thinking skills, and ability to manage a fast-paced work environment are a huge plus.

Position Location: Manhattan, NY

Compensation: Salary is commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits package including comprehensive health, dental and life insurance, four weeks paid vacation, paid sick time, WageWorks, Flexible Spending Account plans for health and dependent care, a 403(b) retirement plan and a 401(k) retirement plan with an employer match.

Deadline to Apply: 1/31/2022 (application review will take place on a rolling basis)

The Fund for the City of New York/Center for Court Innovation is an equal opportunity employer. The Center does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, national origin, age, military service eligibility, veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, or any other category protected by law. We strongly encourage and seek applications from women, people of color, members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities as well as individuals with prior contact with the criminal justice system.

As of September 9, 2021, all new hires are required to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, unless they have been granted a reasonable accommodation for medical, disability or religious reasons by the Center’s Human Resources Department.

In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete an employment eligibility verification document form upon hire. Only applicants under consideration will be contacted. No phone calls please.