The Center for Court Innovation is committed to reducing crime and incarceration, addressing violence, supporting survivors, and building communities while strengthening public trust in justice. The Center seeks justice for marginalized groups, bringing an equity lens – particularly a racial and gender equity lens – to its work. For 25 years, the Center has worked to foster justice and equity to create safe, healthy, and thriving communities and, ultimately, to transform the justice system.
The Center is an 800-employee, $100 million nonprofit that accomplishes its vision through three pillars of work: creating and scaling operating programs to test new ideas and solve problems, performing original research to determine what works (and what doesn’t), and providing expert assistance and policy guidance to justice reformers around the world.
The Center’s operating programs, including the award-winning Red Hook Community Justice Center and Midtown Community Court, test new ideas, solve difficult problems, and attempt to achieve systemic change within the justice system. Our projects include community-based violence prevention programs, alternatives to incarceration, reentry initiatives, and court-based initiatives that reduce the use of unnecessary incarceration and promote positive individual and family change. Through this programming, we have produced tangible results like safer streets, reduced incarceration, and improved neighborhood perceptions of justice.
Researchers at the Center conduct independent evaluations, documenting how government systems work, how neighborhoods function, and how reform efforts change things. We believe in the “action research” model; accordingly, our researchers provide regular feedback on the results of the Center’s own operating programs. The Center has published studies on topics including youth in the sex trade, reentry, gun violence, and drug treatment as an alternative to incarceration. Our researchers have been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals.
Policy & Expert Assistance
The Center provides hands-on, planning and implementation assistance to a wide range of jurisdictions in areas of reform such as problem-solving courts (e.g., community courts, treatment courts, domestic violence courts), tribal justice, reducing incarceration and the use of fines/fees and reducing crime and violence. Our current expert assistance takes many forms, including help with analyzing data, strategic planning and consultation, policy guidance, and hosting site visits to its operating programs in the New York City area.
The Policy team is seeking an Associate Director, Policy and Practice. Reporting to the Interim Director of Policy, the Associate Director will primarily be responsible for providing technical assistance on a broad range of projects, namely in the areas of criminal legal system reform, decarceration, community partnership, and racial equity. While this role will include national work, particular emphasis will be placed on supporting the Center’s west coast portfolio.
Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Provide on-site national technical assistance in the areas of jail reduction, pretrial release, alternatives to incarceration, and data-driven criminal justice reform;
- Strategize on and envision new approaches to government and community partnerships that contribute to sustainable system improvements;
- Work directly with multiple jurisdictions seeking technical assistance through the Center’s MacArthur Safety & Justice Challenge portfolio, including traveling to communities across the country as needed;
- Lead projects and components of the Center’s West Coast Initiatives portfolio, which include performing consulting work to plan, launch, and support existing and new diversion programs;
- Initiate, prepare for, and lead meetings with project partners, government representatives, and community leaders and members;
- Curate and facilitate discussions around racial equity, and support ongoing efforts to eliminate disparities in jail populations;
- Interface directly with funders and project sponsors to report on progress and impact;
- Conduct visits to courthouses, community meetings, police precincts, and meet with relevant stakeholders in Southern California, as needed;
- Assist with reviewing and synthesizing data on project performance;
- Anticipate, track, and prepare for grant deliverables, schedules, and deadlines;
- Assist with fundraising, proposal writing, new project development, idea generation, and funder relations; and
- Participate in departmental meetings, strategy sessions, and activities; and
- Assist with other Center projects as needed.
Qualifications: The candidate must have a JD and a minimum of five-six years of criminal justice experience – including at least some direct legal practice. The ideal candidate will be based in Los Angeles, California, with a willingness to travel regularly. The ideal candidate will also have experience working in government as well as background in prosecutorial innovation, exposure to indigent defense practices, community engagement, program design and implementation, diversion, and/or pretrial reform. Excellent oral and written skills are a must. Candidate must be a skilled communicator able to work in multi-disciplinary settings and maintain strong relationships with multiple agencies and partners.
The Ideal candidate must be:
- Committed to racial equity, criminal justice reform, systems change work, and social justice;
- Able to work collaboratively with a wide range of justice system partners, including community members and law enforcement agencies;
- Collaborative and supportive with team members;
- Willing to attend in-person community meetings and events across Los Angeles County;
- Known for taking ownership and tackling problems;
- Highly organized, has keen attention to detail; and eager to engage in project management.
- An innovative thinker who seeks out resources to optimize impact;
- Interested in engaging in—or learning—fundraising techniques;
- Able to synthesize complex concepts for understanding by a vast audience;
- Willing to prepare reports, summaries, and presentation materials on tight timelines;
- Able to be autonomous, with a passion for driving even the most challenging efforts forward; and
- Dynamic, bringing a sense of humor, critical thinking skills, and an ability to manage a fast-paced work environment.
Position Type: Full-time. The standard work week is 35 hours, Monday through Friday.
Position Location: Applicant must reside in California, ideally in Los Angeles, California.
Compensation: The compensation range for this position is $86,100 - 120,750 and is commensurate with experience. The Center for Court Innovation offers an excellent benefits package including comprehensive healthcare with a national network, free basic dental coverage, vision insurance, short-term and long-term disability, life insurance, and flexible spending accounts including commuter FSA. We prioritize mental health care for our staff and offer services like Talkspace and Ginger through our healthcare plans. We offer a 403(b) retirement plan with a two-to-one employer contribution up to 5%.
The 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.