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Education and Sentencing Practice Specialist

Washington, D.C
Closing date
Sep 30, 2023

Duties include, but are not limited to:
  • Online and in-person training of federal probation officers, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and federal judges on federal sentencing guidelines and related sentencing issues.
  • Use independent judgment and analysis in the design, development, delivery and evaluation of in-person and web-based training programs.
  • Provide guideline application assistance to federal probation officers, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and federal judges through the Commission's telephone "Helpline."
  • Work collaboratively with Commission staff at all levels to produce effective training programs, including drawing on relevant sentencing data and current Commission publications, as appropriate.
  • Represent the Commission through outreach to members of the federal criminal justice community and interest groups involved in the federal criminal sentencing process.
  • Collaborate with inter-disciplinary staff policy teams to develop and critique proposed amendments to the guidelines.
  • Completing other duties as assigned by the Director of ESP.


Conditions of Employment


Applicants must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited university or college in criminal justice or a related field. Applicants must have at least one year of specialized work experience equivalent to the previous level in the federal service. For example, one year of specialized experience at the GS-11 level is required to qualify for appointment at the GS-12 level. Specialized experience is defined as progressively responsible work experience that has equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities that will enable the individual to successfully perform the duties of this position, and that is typically in or related to the work of this position.

Applicants must have demonstrated work experience related to the mandatory requirements listed below and must address the qualification requirements in an attached cover letter.
  • Knowledge of the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 and the functions of the United States Sentencing Commission.
  • Expertise in applying the federal sentencing guidelines.
  • Demonstrated aptitude as a trainer or instructor.
  • Excellent oral and written communication and presentation skills.
  • Ability to work well as a member of a team and independently.
  • Ability to maintain effective working relationships with agency staff at all levels as well as with key individuals in a variety of other federal organizations and interest groups.

Preference will be given to applicants with one or more of the following areas of experience:
  • Experience as a probation officer, federal prosecutor, or federal defense attorney.
  • Experience as a trainer or instructor.
  • Experience in developing instructor-led training programs and materials.
  • Experience with techniques of assessing training needs for training programs.

The Commission participates in the following federal benefits:
  • The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program;
  • the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP),
  • the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) program,
  • federal retirement,
  • the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP),
  • and the federal leave program.
  • In addition, the Commission participates in the Judiciary's Flexible Spending Program for dependent care, health care, and commuter reimbursement, and the government-wide Long Term Care Insurance Program, unemployment, and workers' compensation benefits.
The Commission is conveniently located next to Union Station on Capitol Hill, and is easily accessible by public transportation, including the Metro, and the MARC and VRE commuter trains. In addition to the federal benefits package, the Commission's location in the Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building offers various amenities such as a health unit, credit union, day care center, cafeteria, and free on-site fitness center.

The Commission offers a monthly transit subsidy to employees who use mass transit to commute to and from work, subject to the availability of funds. The Commission offers alternative work schedules (AWS), which are fixed work schedules that enable full-time employees to complete the basic 80-hour biweekly work requirement in 9 workdays.

The Commission offers regular telework (not full-time) to employees in positions deemed eligible by the staff director and who meet the requirements of an approved telework arrangement in which an employee performs official duties at home or at an approved telework site.

The Commission also offers training opportunities to employees through LinkedIn Learning, and the Judiciary's Online University, which offers academic credit and professional credit programs through web-based learning. These training tools assist Commission employees with taking online courses in a flexible way, by offering training courses in the areas of: staff training and development; credit toward undergraduate degree programs; continuing education and non-credit certificate programs; executive education; contract training; credit credentials courses for continuing professional education and credit for individuals who hold credentials and achieve certifications associated with several globally-recognized sponsored organizations.


Applicants must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited university or college in criminal justice or a related field.

Additional information

  • This position is in the excepted service and does not carry the tenure rights of positions in the competitive Civil Service.
  • All information is subject to verification. Applicants are advised that false answers or omissions of information on application materials or inability to meet the following conditions may be grounds for non-selection, withdrawal of an offer of employment, or dismissal after being employed.
  • Selection for this position is contingent upon completion of OF-306, Declaration for Federal Employment during the pre-employment process and proof of U.S. citizenship or, for noncitizens, proof of authorization to work in the United States and proof of entitlement to receive compensation. Additional information on the employment of non-citizens can be found at: . For a list of documents that may be used to provide proof of citizenship or authorization to work in the United States, please refer to .
  • The Commission participates in E-Verify and will confirm your authorization to work in the United States.
  • A background security investigation is required for all selectees. Appointment will be subject to a selectee's successful completion of a background security investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to successfully meet these requirements may be grounds for appropriate personnel action. A background security reinvestigation or supplemental investigation may be required at a later time.
  • All new Commission employees must identify a financial institution for direct deposit of pay before appointment, mandated by the Federal Compensation Act.
  • All new Commission employees, those converted from a temporary appointment to a permanent appointment, and all rehired former Commission employees are required to serve a one-year probationary period. The probationary period begins on the effective date of the employee's appointment, conversion, or rehire.
  • Applicant must relocate to the Washington DC Metropolitan area.

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