Criminal Justice Policy Advocate

About Our Organization:

Texas Appleseed is a public interest justice center. Our nonprofit works to change unjust laws and policies that prevent Texans from realizing their full potential. We anchor a dynamic network of pro bono partners and collaborators to develop and advocate for innovative and practical solutions to complex issues. Texas Appleseed also conducts data-driven research that uncovers inequity in laws and policies and identifies solutions for lasting, concrete change. The many issues on which we work are united by the goal of greater justice. When justice is beyond reach, Texas Appleseed provides the ladder. For more information, visit

Position Summary:

Working with a small team and under the supervision of the Criminal Justice Project Director, the Policy Advocate will be responsible for helping advance reform of the criminal legal system at both the state and local levels.


  • Speaking at public hearings and to the media about our advocacy efforts.
  • Engaging in advocacy efforts at the state and local level designed to reduce the criminal legal/justice system’s burden on people of color and low-income people.
  • Developing and coordinating advocacy strategies and efforts with coalition members and other stakeholders.
  • Presenting to and educating various stakeholders and the public regarding our advocacy efforts. 
  • Maintaining a deep understanding of the criminal justice system and necessary changes to advance racial and economic justice.
  • Assisting in conducting policy research and collecting and interpreting data to understand the impacts of current laws, policies, practices, and procedures.
  • Assisting in the drafting of memoranda, factsheets, reports, legislation, and other advocacy materials.
  • Reviewing and providing feedback on existing and proposed legislation, legal opinions and briefs, rulings from the Attorney General and the courts, etc.
  • Performing other duties as assigned. 

Candidate Qualifications:

  • Has been directly impacted by the criminal justice/legal system and is comfortable speaking with different types of audiences about their experiences.
  • A passion for racial and economic justice issues.
  • Knowledge of the criminal justice system and the failed policies that have led to mass incarceration and the unjust treatment of black and brown communities.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to communicate and develop relationships with diverse individuals.
  • Ability to manage competing demands
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Digital proficiency in Google Suite, Zoom, and Microsoft Office.  
  • A high school degree or GED equivalent.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Advocacy or public policy experience, specifically in criminal justice reform or related issues.  
  • Experience working with the Texas state legislature, city council, or county officials.
  • Experience working alongside other individuals who have been directly or indirectly impacted by the criminal legal/justice system.

Background Information:

The policy advocate will report directly to the Criminal Justice Project Director. This position is based in Austin, Texas. This is a full-time position at 40 hours a week. Some in-state travel required (post-COVID-19 restrictions).

Texas Appleseed offers competitive pay, paid health, life, dental and vision insurance for full-time employees, a generous paid leave package, as well as retirement matching and flexible hours in an inclusive culture. The approximate salary range is $55,000 to $60,000 per year, commensurate with experience.

Due to COVID-19, our office is currently working remotely, but this position will require working in the Austin office in the future. Texas Appleseed is an equal opportunity employer.  People of color, women, LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

How To Apply:

Please email (using the subject line: Criminal Justice Policy Advocate) your resumé and a cover letter, to the attention of Jennifer Carreon, Criminal Justice Project Director. The cover letter should describe your interest in the position and include a detailed explanation of how your experience meets the minimum qualifications and prepares you for the responsibilities outlined in the job description. Please no phone calls. Only candidates that we decide to interview will be contacted. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, so applicants are encouraged to submit their materials soon and no later than May 20, 2022.