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We are currently accepting applications for The Sentencing Project’s internship program for undergraduate and graduate students interested in criminal justice reform.

Applicants may submit a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to The cover letter should include the applicant’s availability as well as information about the nature of experience the applicant hopes to gain during the internship. The writing sample should be between 3 and 10 pages.


Director of Strategic Initiatives
Washington, D.C.

Organizational Overview

The Sentencing Project in Washington, DC, established in 1986, works for a fair and effective criminal justice system by promoting alternatives to incarceration, reforms in sentencing and drug policies, and reducing racial disparity in the criminal justice system.  The Sentencing Project engages in research on sentencing and related issues, advocates for criminal justice policy and practice reform, and conducts broad-scale public education through media, online and other communications.  Information about The Sentencing Project is available at

Job Description and Responsibilities

In conjunction with other program staff, the Director of Strategic Initiatives will be engaged in advancing federal criminal justice reform and other advocacy and public education initiatives. At the federal level, this will include advocacy on Capitol Hill, within the Department of Justice and the White House, and with the U.S. Sentencing Commission to promote reforms in the areas of sentencing, drug policy, reentry, juvenile justice, racial justice and felony disenfranchisement. The Director will partner with allied organizations in the fields of civil rights, criminal justice reform, faith-based communities, formerly incarcerated persons, and others.

Other areas of work will involve providing support and leadership in areas of public education, constituency development, and advocacy to address mass incarceration and racial injustice. This will include writing and editing briefing papers, policy analyses, and editorial commentary on issues of concern, aiding in organizational strategy development, and engagement with advocacy partners nationally to advance mutual goals.


Desirable skills and experience include the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree preferred
  • A minimum of five years relevant experience in federal advocacy, public policy and/or Capitol Hill experience
  • Ability to communicate effectively in writing, including strong editing skills
  • Good working knowledge of the criminal justice system
  • Demonstrated commitment to criminal justice reform and racial justice
  • Strong oral communication skills, including experience and comfort in public speaking
  • Ability to work independently as well as collaborate as part of team
  • Demonstrated ability working with a broad range of constituencies, ranging from grassroots coalitions to policymakers and their staff


Commensurate with experience and duties. Current benefits package includes paid vacation; health, dental, life and disability insurance; contribution to 403(b) retirement plan and Metro transportation subsidy.

Application Procedure

Candidates who are qualified by experience, skill, and personal motivation are invited to apply. The Sentencing Project is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer committed to cultural diversity and recruits without regard to gender, race, ethnicity, color, age, religion, sexual orientation, disabilities, or prior convictions.


Submit cover letter, resume, and a writing sample to:

Director of Operations

Open until filled.

June 7, 2016