Director of Policy and Advocacy

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Job location
Montgomery County Courthouse
PO Box 311
Norristown, PA 19404
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Montgomery County Office of the Public Defender
Street address: 
Montgomery County Courthouse, PO Box 311
Job type: 
Policy Development/Advocacy
Position Description: 

The Montgomery County Office of the Public Defender is accepting applications for the position of Director of Policy and Advocacy. The mission of the Montgomery County Office of the Public Defender is to implement a holistic approach to representation, identifying and reducing the unnecessary contact between individuals and the criminal justice system, strengthening representation models, and improving policies that affect client communities. Through specific policy initiatives, we seek to identify educational gaps, mental health issues, drug and alcohol addiction, lack of housing, unemployment and the myriad other factors that lead clients into the criminal justice system and impact their ability to reform and avoid future law enforcement contact. To that end, we have developed several programs designed to address the extra-legal needs of our clients with the specific goal of preventing their entrance or return to the justice system.

The Director of Policy and Advocacy is a key member of the office and will take the lead in developing and expanding policy initiatives that serve to fulfill our mission of the holistic delivery of legal services. The candidate who holds this position will be the primary representative on policy matters. Other responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

• Keeping the organization up to date on new developments related to criminal justice reform for both adults and juveniles;
• Working closely with the Chief and Deputy Chief of the Public Defender Office to continually define, develop, and expand policy initiatives that benefit public defender clients;
• Holding regular meetings with Attorney Team Leaders in the Adult Unit and all attorneys in the Juvenile Advocacy Unit to identify areas of focus for ongoing policy work;
• Playing a key role in building coalition and sustaining relationships with key partners on a local, state-wide, and national level;
• Preparing comprehensive project descriptions for presentation to staff, community stakeholders and funders;
• Researching information about funding opportunities relevant to juvenile and criminal defense practice;
• Experience in preparing detailed proposals for funding, supervising work done through external funding sources, collecting data on outcomes of grant-related projects and preparing periodic reports on grant progress;
• Preparing sustainability plans for the Chief Defender and Deputy Chief to allow ongoing projects to continue after grant funding expires;
• Creating powerful written internal and external communications.


The Director of Policy and Advocacy will have:

• A Master’s or higher degree in a criminal justice or legal field;
• A minimum of 5 years of juvenile and criminal justice experience including direct representation of clients as well as a deep understanding of the juvenile and criminal justice systems;
• Knowledge of statewide reform initiatives and research in the field of adult and juvenile justice and evidence based practices;
• Experience in coalition-building among key stakeholders in the criminal justice community;
• Experience in and comfort communicating with policy-makers and representatives of multiple stakeholders;
• Excellent project management skills, ability to manage large, long-term and complex projects;
• Demonstrated ability to analyze public policy proposals, including the drafting of detailed proposals for submission for funding;
• A proven track record of submitting and obtaining grants to fund criminal justice policy initiatives;
• Strong organizational and interpersonal skills and an ability to communicate complex information clearly in writing and in oral presentations to a range of audiences;
• Willingness to work evening and weekend hours as necessary to community coalition building, and attending events in furtherance of and in support of policy initiatives;
• Working knowledge of Microsoft Excel and Powerpoint is highly preferred, but not required.

To apply: 
Equal Opportunity Employer
Salary range: 
Submission deadline: 
Monday, August 1, 2016