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Policy Advisor

Friday, November 18, 2022
Join the Commission's Team

The D.C. Sentencing Commission (the Commission) is currently looking to hire a Policy Advisor who will be responsible for working on the Commission’s efforts to evaluate and significantly modify the D.C. Voluntary Sentencing Guidelines and Commission functions in response to changes brought on by the potential passage of the Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022 (RCCA). This Excepted Service position is in the District of Columbia Sentencing Commission, which is an independent agency of the District of Columbia. The Commission developed and implemented Sentencing Guidelines used by judges in felony cases in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The Commission monitors compliance with the Guidelines and evaluates reasons for authorized and unauthorized departures, provides training to judges and practitioners on Guidelines application, and conducts research on sentencing in the Superior Court.


The Policy Advisor will be responsible for working on the Commission’s efforts to adapt the D.C. Sentencing Guidelines and Commission operations to a new Model Penal Code based criminal code. The result may range from a complete revision of the Guidelines and Manual to modifications to specific rules or offense rankings. This effort includes conducting extensive legal research related to reforms to the District’s criminal laws and procedures.

A successful candidate will:

  • Work 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.
  • Provide detailed oral or written opinions with respect to proposed actions, alternative actions, and hypothetical situations related to these reforms.
  • Draft proposed reforms to the District’s Voluntary Sentencing Guidelines, along with explanatory legal and policy analyses.
  • Ensure that all proposed changes are fully researched and briefed.
  • Examine and analyze proposed legislation and other legal documents from various sources for legal sufficiency, both as to the form and substance of rulemaking decisions.
  • Work 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. P2 11-29-22
  • Work with Commission staff and contractors, evaluate and propose necessary changes to the Commission’s data system resulting from the enactment of the RCCA.
  • Assist other Commission staff members in fulfilling the Commission’s duties and mandates (for example, assisting with Sentencing Guidelines inquiries, trainings, and Commission publications and reports).
  • Review and research sentencing, guidelines, and MPC based statutory schemes from across the country.
  • Develop policy and position statements and papers, as necessary. Prepare policy statements and reviews and assesses the impact of proposed Sentencing Guidelines and agency operational changes on functional or operational policies. Develop other quantitative and qualitative analyses, as required, consistent with commonly accepted practices for program evaluation.
  • Assure that policy issues and recommendations are well-defined; and recommend needed amendments to the Sentencing Guidelines, laws, regulations, and other rules. Review documents and reports, identifying complex and unusual problems; discusses with the appropriate staff personnel; and provides substantive recommendations.
  • Take direction and feedback from the project Attorney Advisor and the Executive Director.
  • Perform any other legal and administrative work associated with a task or the conclusion of assigned matters.
  • Recommend appropriate courses of action to the Executive Director, as deemed necessary.
  • Keep abreast of judicial, agency, and other changes in laws and regulations related to the D.C. Criminal Code, Court rules, stakeholder business practices, and the functions of the Commission.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned.


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.

Preferred Qualifications and/or Experience:

  • Experience working with Sentencing Guidelines
  • Experience drafting criminal statutes, rules, regulations, or policies
  • Experience working with or analyzing model penal code based statutory schemes
  • Extensive knowledge of D.C. criminal procedure and criminal justice operations
  • Experience training and educating others on complex legal issues
  • Experience working with criminal law, court, or law enforcement data P2 11-29-22
  • The ability to write polished publishable memoranda, position papers, and reports in a clear, concise, and timely manner.


Work proceeds under the supervision of the Executive Director with additional direction from the Project Leader. The successful applicant will, to a considerable extent, exercise independent judgment in carrying out assignments, including selection of methods, approaches, problem solving, and other related functions. Unprecedented problems and proposed solutions are brought to the Executive Director’s attention. Work is generally reviewed for the soundness of decisions or conclusions, and to determine compliance with established laws, regulations, rules, and policies.


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


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.


Tour of Duty: 9:00am – 5:30pm Monday – Friday (a flexible work schedule may become available)

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

Salary Range: $93,188 – $139,770 per year (Note: The annual salary for this position will not start above $100,000 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. Candidates who are scheduled for an interview will be asked to provide a writing sample.

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.