Employment Opportunities & Internships


Communications Associate

The Justice Policy Institute seeks a full-time Communications Associate, with a passion for social justice, to join our Washington, D.C. based team.

Organization description: The Justice Policy Institute is a national nonprofit dedicated to reducing the use of incarceration and the justice system by promoting fair and effective policies. JPI does this through groundbreaking research and analysis, strategic communications, organizing, and technical assistance to advocates and policymakers.

Position summary: The full-time Communications Associate is responsible for assisting in the development, design and implementation of communications strategies, including both traditional media pitches and social media campaigns. The position calls for creative and innovative thinking to attract and engage a broad audience of advocates, scholars, practitioners, reporters, impacted individuals, policymakers and donors. 

Key responsibilities:

Work in collaboration with Director of Communications and External Affairs to:

  • Create and implement, for both digital and traditional media, effective strategies, goals, tools and tactics.
  • Create engaging content, for both digital and traditional media, to spark conversations and advocacy.
  • Draft a variety of traditional and social media writing pieces including, but not limited to, op-eds and LTE’s, blogs, social media campaigns, website content and press pitches.
  • Translate field specific jargon into accessible content.
  • Work with JPI and partner organizations’ staffs to create infographics, podcasts and videos from JPI research and reports.
  • Monitor both issues and JPI coverage in press and social media.
  • Track and analyze digital metrics across JPI’s platforms as well as emerging media trends.

Hours: Full-time


  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, criminal justice or related field preferred; equivalent experience considered.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills. Ability to write quickly and accurately. Strong editorial skills.
  • Strong skills in both social and traditional media.
  • Self-starter with the ability to work effectively both independently and as a member of a team.
  • Fluency with current and emerging technology. Experience with broad range of platforms including social media, blogging, CMS and eblast platforms; Adobe Creative Suite and Cision preferred.

Salary: $40,000-45,000, depending on experience.

To apply: Please email a cover letter, resume, and two work samples based on releasing a past JPI report of your choice. Sample 1 consists of 2-3 days worth of social media content across multiple platforms following the release. Sample 2 consists of one paragraph each on 2-3 potential traditional media pitches on the same report release.

Please use subject line “Communications Associate.” Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted.

Please submit (email, preferred) documents to: info@justicepolicy.org. Please, no phone calls or visits. JPI is an equal opportunity employer that values diversity.

Summer 2018 Internship Program

Applications accepted on a semester basis. Deadline: March 26, 2018

The Justice Policy Institute (JPI) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the use of incarceration and the justice system by promoting fair and effective policies. Our research and analyses identify effective programs and policies and we disseminate our findings to the media, policymakers and advocates, and provide training and technical assistance to support people working for justice reform. 

We seek self-motivated interns with demonstrated investment in the field who are interested in gaining experience in the practical application of criminal justice and juvenile justice reform by participating in all aspects of JPI’s work, including research, communications, and organizing. Internships will be structured around the development of one or more work products that will support JPI's strategic initiatives.  This work may include: 

  • Developing research proposals
  • Assisting with and/or authoring research materials
  • Gathering and analyzing data
  • Creating written, video, or audio material for JPI’s digital media platforms
  • Scanning news sources and compiling a daily news digest
  • Participating in and developing materials for state-based strategy meetings 

 Interest in justice reform is critical and familiarity with these issues is very helpful.  In addition, a strong candidate will possess the following qualifications: 

  • Strong writing skills
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Basic understanding of qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • Competence with the tools and methods for literature and web-based information searches
  • Experience with digital media platforms with experience and interest in editing video and blogging a plus

Selected candidates will receive hands-on experience conducting research, analyzing policy, communicating across an array of platforms, and working closely with other organizations to advocate for reform at an organization with a proven record of effectively using research, communications, and organizing to promote social change.

 We are committed to creating a fulfilling and rewarding internship experience and view this as a partnership between our organization, students, and educators. In addition to internship activities, interns will be able to attend justice reform related briefings, hearings, and other events around D.C. to increase their knowledge and network with other justice reform experts in the field. Interns are requested to work a minimum of 20 hours per week.  Schedules are flexible and can work around students school and/or work activities. This is an unpaid internship; however, we are happy to work with schools that provide funding or course credit.

 Interested applicants should send their resume, a cover letter detailing why they are interested in working with JPI and a brief scholarly writing sample or blog via email to jkittredge@justicepolicy.org. Applicants must have specific interest in research, communications, and organizing. Only qualified candidates will be contacted for next steps. No phone calls please.

 We look forward to hearing from you!

Revised January 2018