The Senior Policy Counsel/Advisor will be a part of our new Policy Department and will report directly to the National Director of Policy. The Senior Policy Counsel/Advisor will work with the National Director of Policy to advance policy related to TBP’s mission to eliminate cash bail and secure pretrial reform, working in statewide and national coalitions, providing technical assistance, and educating the public, lawmakers, and other stakeholders. Pivoting from legislative strategy and analysis to policy writing and research to collaboration building and facilitation, the person in this role demonstrates a depth of knowledge in criminal justice as well as an impressive capacity to play many different roles on an advocacy team. The Senior Policy Counsel/ Advisor possesses a strong presence and capacity to engage audiences in public speaking events and will speak on behalf of The Bail Project to advance TBP’s mission. This position has supervisory responsibilities over the Policy Analyst, Fellows, interns, and volunteers.
POLICY ANALYSIS AND STRATEGIC COUNSEL
- Serves as an expert advisor on the full range of complex policy issues related to TBP’s mission by supporting staff in all work related to the organization’s legislative advocacy, policy development, policy-related products, and technical assistance/advisory services.
- Tracks, researches, and prepares materials on state and federal legislation, regulations, and policies impacting pretrial populations and processes.
- Conducts in-depth analysis and provides recommendations for all matters related to pretrial reform and policy, including: presumption of innocence, conditions of release, risk assessment tools, elimination of cash bail, utilization of pretrial services.
- Develops policy alternatives through discussion papers, white papers, talking points, testimony, fact sheets, coalition letters and related policy analysis.
- Confers regularly with TBP staff to identify needs and develops TBP’s advocacy positions related to pretrial reform.
- Participates in internal strategy meetings and develops and implements action plans.
- Collaborates internally across teams that include Communications, Legal, Data, and Operations departments to develop strategy and identify priorities for public advocacy.
LEGISLATIVE AND POLICY ADVOCACY
- Drafts, amends, and analyzes legislation, executive actions, regulatory comments, ballot referendums, and other policy vehicles to advance systemic bail and pretrial reforms.
- Engages in legislative and other policy related advocacy, including working to promote local, state, and federal bail and pretrial reforms, urging key decision makers and stakeholders to advance systemic change, and providing support and assistance to local advocates, organizers, and coalitions.
- Formulates and executes administrative and legislative advocacy with government agencies and officials addressing pretrial detention and the criminal-legal system.
- Provides strategic advice to senior staff working for agencies that interact with the pretrial and criminal legal systems as well as elected officials’ offices to develop legislation and spending bills that lead to pretrial reform.
- Briefs lawmakers, their staff, and state governmental agencies on TBP policy issues.
- Provides lawmakers and staff with technical expertise for hearings and developing legislation.
- Tracks all lobbying activity and expenses and maintains appropriate documentation.
- Collaborates closely with the National Policy Director to identify, develop and lead relationships with strategic partners and coalitions.
- Collaborates with stakeholders in coalitions that are focused on issues related to pretrial reform, such as ending cash bail, risk assessment tools, electronic monitoring, and conditions of release.
- Works closely with TBP teams at local sites to advance local and state policy agendas and systems change, as well as collaborate with local stakeholders.
- Strengthens relationships with local and national allies and develops relationships with potential allies and partners to build coalitions around bail and pretrial reforms.
- Facilitates committees, workgroups, and coalitions.
- Represents TBP positions to partner organizations, key policymakers and staff, among others as necessary.
- Develops and disseminates relevant information to national and local partners, policymakers and coalitions
- Represents TBP policy positions in state and national coalitions and with grassroots partners.
- Extensively engages with coalition partners, system actors, and community stakeholders to ensure that TBP has the information necessary to advance its policy objectives and goals.
- Prepares written communications including discussion documents and memos to gather consensus, comment letters, op-eds, policy briefs, and talking points to support TBP’s policy and operations positions.
- Serves as a spokesperson and subject matter expert for TBP to media when appropriate.
- Participates in interviewing and hiring decision-making as necessary.
- Directs and oversees the work of interns, Fellows, and/or the Policy Analyst.
- Provides performance feedback to Alesha Walker, Volunteer and Intern Coordinator, for use in evaluations.
- JD, MPA, MPP or other related graduate degree with at least seven years of policy or legal advocacy experience preferred; responsibilities will be adjusted based on experience.
- Experience working in legislative advocacy government affairs or related to criminal justice reform preferred.
- Working knowledge of state and federal legislation and policies impacting pretrial detention and processes and experience with US or state agencies serving pretrial or justice-involved populations.
- Significant experience with legislative advocacy, coalition building, and issue advocacy working to dismantle mass incarceration, ideally related to decarceration, bail reform, and/or pretrial reform.
- Exceptional written and oral communication skills and ability to communicate well to a variety of stakeholders, including media, and the capacity to articulate legal concepts and complex policy issues to a variety of audiences.
- Demonstrated skill and comfort in identifying and building relationships with diverse audiences (e.g., community organizers, community members, local stakeholders, coalition partners, public officials).
- Strategic thinker with an ability to anticipate challenges and address roadblocks as they arise.
- Ability to meet quick deadlines, work with efficiency, and execute multiple tasks while responding to different priorities.
- Willingness to work in a collaborative, entrepreneurial, team-based environment and possess an innovative spirit, sense of humor, and ability to adapt to the change inherent in a growing organization.
- Commitment to approaching the work through a racial justice and equity lens.
- Ability and willingness to travel (if and when it is safe to do so).
- Demonstrated commitment to mission, purpose, and values of The Bail Project.