Director of Policy

Common Justice develops and advances solutions to violence that transform the lives of those harmed and foster racial equity without relying on incarceration. Locally, the project operates the first alternative to incarceration and victim service programs in the United States to focus on violent felonies in the adult courts.

Position Location: New York City. Brooklyn, NY preferred

About the Opportunity:

Common Justice develops and advances solutions to violence that transforms the lives of those harmed and foster racial equity without relying on incarceration. Locally, we operate the first alternative-to-incarceration and victim-service programs in the United States to focus on violent felonies in adult courts. Nationally, we leverage the lessons from our direct service to transform the justice system through partnerships, advocacy, and elevating the experience and power of those most impacted. Rigorous and hopeful, we build practical strategies to hold people accountable for harm, break cycles of violence, and secure safety, healing, and justice for survivors and their communities.

Common Justice knows that communities impacted by crime and violence—and crime survivors in particular—have essential expertise about what produces safety, what constitutes accountability, and what facilitates healing. We believe that any social change platform— including a policy agenda, budgetary priorities, local social service needs, and community mobilizations—must be deeply rooted in the wisdom, power, and engagement of the people whose lives are at stake in these changes.

There are a wide range of extraordinary advocacy groups in New York State, most of which are intently focused on winning critical, shorter term victories in the various movement for criminal justice reforms. Common Justice’s organizing and policy work does not compete with these efforts, but rather builds a longer term organizing and policy vision that transforms current ineffective responses to violence ranging from criminal justice and sentencing reform to increasing access to healing services to housing. The work aims to lay the foundation for the long haul, building the relationships and resources necessary to shift power and secure transformative change.

Common Justice is seeking a policy expert who can help the organization win transformative racial justice campaigns that are grounded in the needs of currently and formerly incarcerated people and others impacted by violence. The ideal candidate is an experienced policy analyst and researcher with organizing experience. This person should be committed to Common Justice’s mission and be able to thrive in a fast-paced and evolving work environment, and have a great sense of humor.

The Director of Policy will report to the Vice President of Organizing and Policy.  The salary for this position will be $128,000-134,000.  


Primary Responsibilities:

Director of Policy will:

  • Work with partners to develop campaigns that advance the needs of survivors of violence, as well as those who are formerly or currently incarcerated; this can include regulatory, administrative, and legislative strategies;
  • Implement campaign strategies and tactics, including specialized campaign plans, issue briefings, talking points, reports, and action alerts;
  • Manage coalition and campaign work that Common Justice leads or is part of, including attending and/or facilitating meetings, keeping up to date with and assisting with movement of the bill associated with the respective campaign or coalition, providing updates of the campaign, coalition status to the policy team;
  • Work with organizing team to implement campaign strategies and tactics;
  • Meet and lobby local, state, and federal elected officials to further Common Justice’s policy work;
  • Create and draft reports that further Common Justice’s organizing and policy work;
  • Research, analyze and write legislation and policies that impact survivors of violence, as well as those who are formerly or currently incarcerated;
  • Organize and provide a driving force behind campaign implementation, including press conferences, opinion-editorials, special events, and education outreach;
  • Edit and draft and present testimony on legislation and policies before legislative and other government bodies;
  • Assist the organization adhere to state rules and policies regarding lobbying and c3/c4 status;
  • Other responsibilities as assigned.

Job Requirements: 

  • Six to ten years’ experience in advancing policy campaigns (preference for experience in criminal legal system, racial justice, healing equity and democracy policy and campaigns);
  • Two to three years’ experience supervising a team.
  • Experience with grassroots base-building organizations and community outreach;
  • Demonstrated commitment to social, racial and economic justice;
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including diplomacy and discretion in dealings with others;
  • Excellent writing, communication, and organizational skills;
  • Attention to detail;
  • Demonstrated ability to take initiative and be a proactive team player;
  • Ability to work well independently and to drive projects to completion in a fast-paced environment;
  • Dedication to organizational excellence;
  • Problem-solving perspective;
  • Experience working with survivors of trauma strongly preferred;
  • Well-developed, nuanced understanding of the experience of harm and oppression; well-developed analysis of power and supremacy;
  • Flexibility, creativity, and ability to manage multiple responsibilities effectively;
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail;
  • Formerly incarcerated people and/or survivors or violence strongly encouraged to apply.

To Apply:

Please submit a resume, dates of availability and cover letter to: [email protected]

Common Justice is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, or current employment status. Common Justice values diverse experiences, including educational background and justice system involvement. We depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.