Education and Sentencing Practice Specialist

Washington, D.C
Sep 09, 2019
Sep 17, 2019
Full Time


The incumbent is responsible for developing and delivering training programs for probation officers, prosecutors, defense attorneys and federal judges.

Learn more about this agency


Duties include, but are not limited to:
  • Develop, implement, and administer in-person and web-based training to 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.
  • Assess training needs through participant feedback and conducting surveys. Disseminate feedback in an organized and consistent fashion to Commissioners and senior staff, and determine the most effective ways to present 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.
  • Identify topics and/or areas in need of guideline amendment. Collaborate with inter-disciplinary staff policy teams to develop and critique proposed amendments to the guidelines.
Research sentencing-related topics, and analyze, develop and edit reports on sentencing guidelines.

Travel Required

25% or less - Significant travel will be required.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


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.
  • Experience or aptitude as a trainer or instructor.
  • Experience in developing instructor-led training programs and materials.
  • Experience with techniques of assessing training needs for training programs.
  • Excellent oral and written communication and presentation skills.
  • Excellent project-management skills, with an ability to prioritize competing demands.
  • Ability to work well as a member of a team and independently.

Preference will be given to applicants with one or more of the following areas of experience:
  • Experience as a probation officer, federal prosecutor, federal defense attorney, or in another capacity dealing with federal sentencing.
  • Proficiency in legal research and in interpreting case law, statutes, and sentencing guidelines.


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

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 .
  • 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.
  • If appointed to a temporary position, management may have the discretion of converting the position to permanent depending upon funding and staffing allocation.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

The Commission evaluates applicants through a structured interview. Applicants may also be screened for some jobs through a narrative/application review, and/or a preliminary telephone interview.

Applicants who do not address the qualification requirements (mandatory and preferred) in his or her application materials as stated in the vacancy announcement are automatically disqualified from consideration and must re-apply before the closing date to be considered for employment.

The Office of Human Resources:
  • Reviews the applicant's application to ensure the proper materials are submitted.
  • Ensures that the application addresses all of the qualification requirements (mandatory and preferred) as stated in the vacancy announcement.
  • Determines whether the applicant meets the qualification requirements for the particular position and notifies the applicant about the status of his or her application.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Required Documents

  • Cover letter
  • Resume

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

Similar jobs