Research Assistant, Criminal Justice Reform

  • Reports to: Vice President, Criminal Justice Reform
  • Staff reporting to this position: None
  • Department: Criminal Justice Reform
  • Position classification: Exempt, full time


The Criminal Justice Reform team at American Progress works to shrink the size of the criminal justice system, make the system fairer and more equitable, and provide opportunities for people who have been directly impacted by mass incarceration. The Research Assistant will assist in developing ideas for new policy prescriptions, provide research and writing support for drafts of reports and other publications, and assist in the conceptualization and execution of a range of projects. Additionally, the Research Assistant will help manage the team’s communications efforts and perform administrative duties as assigned.


  • Conduct research on a range of topics related to criminal justice and public safety issues.
  • Draft materials for publication, individually or in partnership with others, including reports, issue briefs, columns, and op-eds.
  • Develop expertise in assigned areas of responsibility.
  • Assist in the crafting of communication strategies for press and social media.
  • Perform administrative duties such as assisting in the coordination and planning of meetings, calls, and events.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Requirements and qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience.
  • At least one year of relevant professional experience.
  • Knowledge of policy and politics around criminal justice reform and public safety issues.
  • Experience working with people involved in or affected by the criminal justice system; expertise on the impacts of the criminal justice system, including lived experiences, is a plus.
  • Strong analytical, research, and writing skills.
  • Ability to work well within a team in a fast-paced environment and meet multiple, tight deadlines.
  • Commitment to American Progress’ mission and goals.

This position is part of a bargaining unit represented by IFPTE Local 70. This position is budgeted for $46,000 annually.

To Apply

Please follow the link below to the online application. When completing the application, be sure to combine your cover letter and resume/CV into one Word or PDF file and upload this combined document. The system does not allow for multiple files.

This announcement will remain posted until the position is filled. No phone calls, please.
Please note that only those individuals whose qualifications match the current needs of this position will be considered applicants and will receive responses from American Progress.
Thank you for your interest in American Progress.

Additional information

American Progress operates two separate nonprofit organizations to maximize the progressive agenda: the Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “American Progress.” The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) tax-exempt research and educational institute. It undertakes research, public education and a limited amount of lobbying. The Center for American Progress Action Fund is a nonpartisan 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization dedicated to achieving progress through action. It works to transform progressive ideas into policy through rapid-response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing, political advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders. The organizations share office space and employees.

For more information on the Center for American Progress, please go to For more information on the Center for American Progress Action Fund, please go to