The Center for Justice 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.
The Center's research teams are staffed with social scientists, data analysts, and lawyers who are academically-trained or have lived experience and who conduct research in the U.S. and globally on diverse criminal-legal system and justice issues. Their work includes evaluating programs and policies; conducting exploratory, community-based studies; and providing research translation and strategic planning for system actors. The Center has published studies on topics including court and jail reform, intimate partner violence, restorative justice, gun violence, reentry, sixth amendment rights, and progressive prosecution. The research teams strive to make their work meaningful and actionable to the communities they work with, policymakers, and practitioners.
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 Action Research Associate will lead a six-month research project running out of the new Queens Community Justice Center in Far Rockaway, Queens. This project is the second step of a two-year project intended to explore community perceptions of public safety and needs to help guide priorities for local Justice Center initiatives. Stage one will be focused on youth; stage two will focus on adults. Work will include collaborating with the Project Director and Justice Center staff to hire a local team and guide them through the process of identifying key research questions, designing instruments, implementing data collection, analyzing data, and creating relevant deliverables (e.g., reports, public-facing projects or local actions, policy or programming recommendations). It requires the ability to guide diverse teams through the entire research process and to collaborate closely with a wide array of stakeholders, from local community residents and leaders to funders to political actors.
This is project-specific work, with a final deliverable of a report synthesizing findings from the data and providing a set of recommendations and related actions drawn from the data developed by the full research team.
Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Work closely with program staff and research colleagues in early planning stages;
- Hire community research assistants;
- Train community research assistants on the fundamentals of research and data collection;
- Lead research team and program staff through the process of designing research questions;
- Design appropriate research instruments;
- Manage fieldwork, including safety, data collection, adherence to timelines, etc.;
- Support community research assistants through the process of data analysis;
- Support community research assistants with the creation of project-specific deliverables;
- Collaborate with program staff to ensure buy-in and support for the project from key local constituents;
- Identify and work with supervisors to secure supports needed for community research assistants;
- Additional relevant tasks, as needed.
Position Type: Full-time for 6 months. The standard work week is 35 hours, Monday through Friday.
Qualifications: An ideal candidate will have a Master's degree in sociology, criminology, positive psychology or a related field with a minimum of two years of field research experience. In addition, an ideal candidate will have:
- Experience working on participatory research projects, ideally including action phases, and be familiar with the challenges and benefits of this approach;
- Implementing various research methodologies and designs, particularly focus groups and interviews;
- Analyzing qualitative data;
- Designing and conducting trainings for research assistants, and experience leading researchers with various levels of formal training a plus;
- Working closely with communities in hands-on data collection and community change.
- Commitment to shared methods of knowledge production, social justice, and collaborative community-building;
- Excellent communication skills;
- The ability to use a computer and Microsoft Office required; and
- Strong team skills and ability to work in a fast paced environment.
Compensation: The compensation range for this position is $66,400 - $76,000 and is commensurate with experience. The Center for Justice 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 Justice 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.