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Policy Advisor, Sentencing Commission of the District of Columbia (SCDC)



This is position located in the Sentencing Commission of the District of Columbia (SCDC), which is an independent agency within the District of Columbia government.  The mission of SCDC is to implement, monitor, and support the District’s Voluntary Sentencing Guidelines, to promote fair and consistent sentencing policies, to increase public understanding of sentencing policies and practices, and to evaluate the effectiveness of the Guidelines system in order to recommend changes bases on actual sentencing and corrections practice and research.  SCDC is responsible for implementing and monitoring the District’s Voluntary Sentencing Guidelines used in felony sentences imposed by the D.C. Superior Court, determining compliance with the guidelines, and providing training to the court, practitioners, and the public regarding the application of the sentencing guidelines.  SCDC is also responsible for developing and maintaining an extensive data system used to conduct research and evaluate sentencing policies and practices within the District.

This position functions as an expert Policy Advisor, responsible for supporting D. C. sentencing policy issues, which involves conducting in-depth research and analysis of issues related to reforms to the District’s criminal laws and procedures. The results of the research and analysis may range from a complete revision of the guidelines to modifications to specific rules or offense rankings.

Major Duties:

The incumbent will be responsible for engaging with Commission members, the agency’s Executive Director, the project’s Attorney Advisor, and other Commission staff to plan for, develop, and implement changes to the Sentencing Guidelines and the Commission’s activities based on potential changes to the D.C. Criminal Code. Engages with the Commission, the Executive Director, and the project’s Attorney Advisor to develop the process the Commission will use to review and evaluate potential reforms.  Prepares proposed reforms to the District’s Voluntary Sentencing Guidelines, along with explanatory policy analysis. Ensures that all proposed changes are fully researched and briefed. Examines and analyze proposed legislation and other legal documents from various sources for legal sufficiency, both as to the form and substance of rulemaking decisions.

Performs data-gathering studies that are designed and integrated as to provide an assessment of the impact of particular legislation or policy initiatives. Studies, analyzes, evaluates, and prepares opinion papers and final reports on sentencing policy, issues, and economic, or social policy issues. Conducts in-depth research of policy issues. Designs research methods for sentencing policy issues. Initiates, formulates, plans execute, and coordinates sophisticated sentencing research and statistical analysis on sentencing policy issues using statistical software.

Qualifications And Experience:

Specialized experience is experience which is in or directly related to the line of work of the position and has equipped the applicants with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position.  To be creditable, one (1) year of specialized experience must have been equivalent to at least the next lower grade level in the normal line of progression.

Working Conditions/Environment:

The work is performed in an adequately lighted and climate-controlled office.

Domicile Requirements:

Applicant will be subject to the domiciliary requirements for Excepted Service appointees, who must be domiciled in the District of Columbia at the time of appointment or become domiciled in the District of Columbia within 180 days after appointment and maintain such domicile for the duration of his or her appointment.

Other Significant Facts:

Tour of Duty: 9:00am – 5:30pm Monday – Friday

Pay Plan, Series, Grade: ES-0301-07

Salary Range: $93,188 – $139,770 per year

Promotional Potential: None

Collective Bargaining Unit: This position is not covered under a collective bargaining unit.

Position Designation: This position is designated as Security Sensitive. The incumbents of this position will be subject to enhanced suitability screening pursuant to Chapter 4 of DC personnel regulations, suitability.

How to Apply:  Interested candidates must submit a cover letter and resume to [email protected]. Only individuals who meet the minimum qualifications will be contacted.  
Please include the answers to the following questions in your cover letter:

  1. Describe your experience working with sentencing guidelines or sentencing policy.
  2. Describe your training or experience researching and/or drafting statutes, codes, rules, regulations, or policies.
  3. Describe your experience working with or analyzing model penal code statutory schemes.
  4. Describe your training or experience with DC criminal law or the DC criminal code.

EEO Statement: The District of Columbia Government is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified candidates will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, matriculation, physical handicap or political affiliation.