The Youth Justice Initiative's (YJI) portfolio within the Justice Lab at the Columbia School of Social Work is hiring a Director. The YJI team partners with jurisdictions around the county to support strategic efforts to dramatically reduce or eliminate the use of the youth prison model and move sites toward a more community-centered delivery of justice, and convenes its Youth Correctional Leaders for Justice (YCLJ) group to bring the voices of current and former system administrators to the forefront of the issue.
The Justice Lab seeks a highly qualified Director to build a national movement for youth justice transformation that marries policy, research and strategic communications by educating key decision-makers and stakeholders about effective approaches to youth justice. Specifically, the Director will: oversee and develop work laying the groundwork for youth justice transformation, with a particular focus on managing and coordinating the YCLJ's development into a robust and effective national body; conceptualize, implement, and manage YJI's approach to intensive site advising; guide the development of multimedia materials to support work nationally; shape and build out the administrative infrastructure for future projects and raise funds in partnership with the other YJI Director; assist in development of the Lab's Youth Justice 2.0 messaging and communications strategy; and recruit, hire, and manage 3-4 staff, as well as a cadre of consultants, to help design, manage and execute project components.
Oversee and develop work centered on laying the groundwork for youth justice transformation, particularly around making YCLJ a robust and effective national body. This will include: Recruiting, cultivating and training the YCLJ to advance YJI's mission, including enhancing members' capacity to deliver guidance nationally and identifying specific roles and responsibilities for member engagement; creating a learning community of current criminal/youth justice department heads interested in reimagining their approach to youth justice; partnering with various groups to share information and drive action; planning, drafting, and editing public-facing deliverables from the YCLJ. 25%
Conceptualize and implement YJI's approach for intensive site advising, including defining a range of steps to achieve full transformation away from youth prison model; meeting with key government and community stakeholders to assess landscape for transformation and potential for engagement; helping to structure a menu of supportive activities to advance transformation; establishing a network of partner orgs aligned with Lab's values and approach to support or lead efforts; and deploying staff and presenting/participating in meetings for site-based meetings. 25%
Shape the administrative infrastructure for future projects and raise funds in partnership with the other YJI Director, including identifying and meeting with potential funders; craft project proposals and concept papers; complete grant applications; and communicate project progress via grant reports. Develop and align project work plans, staffing, timelines, and deliverables accordingly. 20%
Guide the development of multimedia materials to support work nationally, including the YJI resource hub, webinars, papers, and other public convenings. 15%
Assist in development of the Lab's Youth Justice 2.0 messaging and communications strategy in coordination with the PI, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, and other project staff. Speak publicly about youth justice transformation, present at various forums and conferences within and outside of the University and connect with the media to advance the Lab's goals. 10%
Recruit, hire, and manage 3-4 staff, as well as a cadre of consultants, to help design, manage and execute project components and promote the professional growth of staff members. 5%
Bachelor's degree and 5-7 years related experience, required.
Well-versed in youth and criminal justice policies and issues, including how youth justice systems operate and the current context guiding new efforts to move away from the youth prison model.
Strategic thinker with strong interpersonal, analytical, and organizational skills who can see the big picture and maximize impact. ● Strong project development and management experience.
Comfortable liaising with high-level decision-maker, activists, the civil rights community, and currently and formerly incarcerated youth and families and handling complex and confidential information with a high level of discretion.
Experience in fundraising, grant proposal development, and cultivating relationships with philanthropies and other external partners.
Strong interpersonal, analytical, and organizational skills with particular ability to prioritize work in an environment with multiple and conflicting interests.
Strong research and writing/editing skills, including an understanding of basic qualitative and quantitative research methods.
Strong public speaking skills and comfortable presenting in front of large audiences and being interviewed by the news media.
Experience supervising and coaching staff members to meet responsibilities.
A Juris Doctor, or Master's degree in Public Policy, Public Administration, or Criminal Justice strongly preferred.
10 years of relevant work experience focused on criminal and youth justice.
Candidates with lived experience relating to criminal justice are encouraged to apply
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