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Sentencing Reform Counsel

The Sentencing Project (TSP) promotes effective and humane responses to crime that minimize incarceration and criminalization of youth and adults by promoting racial/ethnic, economic, and gender justice. The Sentencing Project engages in cutting-edge research on sentencing and related issues and anchors advocacy campaigns that challenge extreme sentencing and racial injustice in both the criminal legal system and the youth justice system. Information about The Sentencing Project is available at

The Sentencing Project focuses its work in three campaign areas: ending life imprisonment & extreme sentences; ensuring universal suffrage; and achieving justice for youth. The Sentencing Reform Counsel is a new position at TSP which will support its overall work on ending mass incarceration through criminal legal reform. TSP seeks a highly skilled, experienced and strategic legal advocate with a deep commitment to social justice to help expand our impact on sentencing reform efforts and support our Campaign to End Life Imprisonment at the state and federal level. This position will be considered for remote work.



  • Supports TSP research, advocacy and executive staff with technical legal guidance and analyses on criminal law issues.
  • Conducts legal and policy research related to criminal code reforms at the local, state and federal level. Makes recommendations for legislative reforms to existing criminal codes in order to support TSP’s sentencing reform goals in consultation with colleagues and outside partners.
  • Drafts proposed revisions to state and federal criminal codes along with explanatory legal and policy analyses.
  • Drafts memos, reports and other publications related to sentencing reform recommendations made by The Sentencing Project.
  • Tracks, analyzes and reports on legislative trends and outcomes on a quarterly basis related to sentencing reform and the Campaign to End Life Imprisonment.
  • Works with TSP colleagues and partners to support efforts to rollback extreme sentences at the state and federal level.
  • Represents TSP in relevant coalitions at the local, state and federal level.
  • Provides legal support and technical guidance for TSP’s Campaign to End Life
  • Manages the work of interns and collaborates with colleagues in the research,
    communications and advocacy departments of TSP and with external partners.
  • Provides expert testimony before local, state, and federal legislative and executive bodies related to sentencing reform.
  • Prepares memoranda on legal issues related to case law developments in sentencing law.
  • Drafts amicus briefs in support of key sentencing reform cases at the state and federal level.
  • Writes articles, op-eds, and other communications related to criminal law and policy issues prioritized by TSP.
  • Works to promote TSP’s efforts to implement a 20-year cap on all sentences by conducting pertinent legal research; liaising with state sentencing commissions and other agencies; convening expert groups; building professional support; and working with local advocates and directly impacted individuals on national and state-based campaigns.
  • Networks with attorneys, law clinics and legal groups working on post-conviction and second-look cases to support ongoing reform efforts as well as the creation of the legal infrastructure for sentencing reforms such as “Second Look” laws; helps create pertinent policy and training materials for the same.



Juris Doctor (JD); minimum of 3 years of experience practicing criminal law; appellate experience and/or post-conviction experience preferred. Demonstrated legal research and writing ability. Comfort with descriptive quantitative data. Experience with public speaking and presentations. Excellent relationship-building skills with  diverse stakeholders. Prior experience with policy reform advocacy, legislative advocacy, and/or work on systems change in the criminal legal system preferred. Ability to take initiative and work both independently and as part of a team.



The position offers a competitive salary based on accomplishments and experience. The Sentencing Project offers employee benefits that include generous paid time off, health insurance, and employer contribution to a retirement plan. The position is full-time.



Candidates who are qualified by experience, skill, and personal motivation are invited to apply. Please send a cover letter, a current resume, a brief writing sample, and the names and phone numbers of three references to the Hiring Manager at The Sentencing Project values diversity and is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. People of color, women, LGBT persons, people with disabilities, and those directly impacted by the justice system are encouraged to apply for all positions.