Specialist, Community Engagement Job at Center for Justice Innovation, Far Rockaway, Queens County, NY

  • Center for Justice Innovation
  • Far Rockaway, Queens County, NY

Job Description

Job Description

Job Description


The Center for Justice Innovation (formerly the Center for Court Innovation) is a non-profit organization that works with communities and justice systems to advance equity, increase safety, and help individuals and communities thrive. The Center's goal is to identify and resolve as early as possible the challenges that bring people into the criminal and civil legal systems. It does this in a number of ways—by developing and running programs that reduce the need for incarceration and enhance economic opportunity, conducting original research to identify what works, and sharing what we learn from our programming and research with those seeking to transform the justice system around the world.

The Center is an 800-employee, $100 million nonprofit that accomplishes its vision through three pillars of work: creating and scaling operating programs to test new ideas and solve problems, performing original research to determine what works (and what doesn’t), and providing expert assistance and policy guidance to justice reformers around the world.

Operating Programs

The Center’s operating programs, including the award-winning Red Hook Community Justice Center and Midtown Community Court, test new ideas, solve difficult problems, and attempt to achieve systemic change within the justice system. Our projects include community-based violence prevention programs, alternatives to incarceration, reentry initiatives, and court-based initiatives that reduce the use of unnecessary incarceration and promote positive individual and family change. Through this programming, we have produced tangible results like safer streets, reduced incarceration, and improved neighborhood perceptions of justice.


The Center's research teams are staffed with social scientists, data analysts, and lawyers who are academically-trained or have lived experience and who conduct research in the U.S. and globally on diverse criminal-legal system and justice issues. Their work includes evaluating programs and policies; conducting exploratory, community-based studies; and providing research translation and strategic planning for system actors. The Center has published studies on topics including court and jail reform, intimate partner violence, restorative justice, gun violence, reentry, sixth amendment rights, and progressive prosecution. The research teams strive to make their work meaningful and actionable to the communities they work with, policymakers, and practitioners.

Policy & Expert Assistance

The Center provides hands-on, planning and implementation assistance to a wide range of jurisdictions in areas of reform such as problem-solving courts (e.g., community courts, treatment courts, domestic violence courts), tribal justice, reducing incarceration and the use of fines/fees and reducing crime and violence. Our current expert assistance takes many forms, including help with analyzing data, strategic planning and consultation, policy guidance, and hosting site visits to its operating programs in the New York City area. 


Queens Community Justice Center- The Rockaways (QCJC-TR) is a local hub for alternative-to-incarceration programming, youth development, and community safety services. Queens Community Justice Center- The Rockaways invests in residents and provides services to address public safety, support the mental health and trauma facing residents, revitalize underutilized public spaces, promote economic mobility, and prevent further justice system involvement.

The Queens Community Justice Center-The Rockaways (QCJC-TR) is seeking a Community Engagement Specialist to support the community, youth, and justice initiatives. Reporting to the Program Manager for Youth and Justice Initiatives, the specialist will be responsible for supporting the development and implementation programming.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Provide outreach and engagement across Far Rockaway neighborhoods including canvassing and street outreach to engage residents;
  • Develop, implement, and oversee outreach and engagement strategies to solicit and strengthen community engagement;
  • Collaborate with community stakeholders to identify and develop programs and services that are responsive to and reflective of the needs and interests of community members;
  • Organize and execute community engagement projects and events;
  • Support day-to-day operations of programs, including data-entry, planning, scheduling, relationships with courts and community partners, project implementation, and program support;
  • Communicate with service providers to facilitate, follow-up and assist participants with service referrals;
  • Maintain needed communication with all program partners to ensure proper services are being delivered to all participants;
  • Attend trainings, ongoing professional development, and support related to all aspects of work;
  • Work collaboratively with an interdisciplinary team of community programs staff;
  • Assist with data collection and complete all necessary documentation and input data into computer database;
  • Assist with grant implementation and reporting, ensuring all requirements and deliverables are met; 
  • Attend all scheduled supervision and professional development trainings;
  • Attend staff meetings and on-going trainings as well as participate in community events held by the Queens Community Justice Center-The Rockaways;
  • Provide administrative support to the program department team, including assisting with data entry, stipend payments, and contracts.
  • Identifying potential referrals to and from court, educational, and vocational services;
  • Represent the QCJC-The Rockaways at community events and meetings, as requested;
  • Actively maintain a work culture conducive to innovation and team building;
  • Attend all weekly supervision and staff meetings to report on program progress; and
  • Preform other duties, as assigned by Project Director and/or Program Manager.

Qualifications:  The ideal candidate will have a high school diploma and at least two years of experience, an associate degree or a bachelor's degree is preferred but not required. This demanding position requires a creative, highly organized, aggressive self-starter who can get things done in a high-paced environment. Candidates must be comfortable navigating interdisciplinary settings and must be willing to roll up their sleeves and be actively involved in day-to-day operations. The ideal candidate will have experience in direct social services and/or criminal justice, community engagement skills and experience. Additional requirements include:

  • Ability to manage multiple priorities simultaneously;
  • Excellent communication, organizational and administrative skills;
  • Ability to effectively manage team projects and initiatives;
  • Exceptional analytical, written and oral communication, presentation, and writing skills;
  • Ability to set and adhere to firm timelines;
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with a variety of community stakeholders and partner agencies;
  • Experience in community outreach and organizing and must have the ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds in a culturally competent manner;
  • Flexible schedule with the ability to work evenings and weekends;
  • Familiarity with the Far Rockaway neighborhood and commitment to community engagement;
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, Excel, PowerPoint, Google Suite.

Position Type: Full-time 11am -7pm, some mornings, late evenings and weekends as needed

Location: Far Rockaway, Queens

Compensation: The compensation range for this position is $52,000 - $62,000 and is commensurate with experience. The Center for Justice Innovation offers an excellent benefits package including comprehensive healthcare with a national network, free basic dental coverage, vision insurance, short-term and long-term disability, life insurance, and flexible spending accounts including commuter FSA. We prioritize mental health care for our staff and offer services like Talkspace and Ginger through our healthcare plans. We offer a 403(b) retirement plan with a two-to-one employer contribution up to 5%.

The Center for Justice Innovation is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace, and as such, we do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, national origin, age, military service eligibility, veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, or any other category protected by law. We strongly encourage and welcome applications from women, people of color, members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities, as well as individuals with prior contact with the criminal justice system. Our aim is to create a supportive and respectful environment where every individual, irrespective of their background or identity, feels valued and included.

As of February 10, 2023, New York City Executive Order 25 rescinded the requirement of the COVID-19 vaccination for City workers, new hires, and contracted employees. Accordingly, the Center does not require all new hires be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus; however, the Center recommends all staff, interns, and volunteers stay up-to-date on the vaccination.

In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete an employment eligibility verification document form upon hire. Kindly refer to the job posting for the relevant contact information. If the contact details are not provided, we kindly ask that you refrain from making inquiries via phone or email, as only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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Job Tags

Full time, Temporary work, Local area, Flexible hours, Weekend work, Afternoon shift,

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