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Policy Manager

Job description and person specification.


Job title Policy Manager
Reporting to Director of Campaigns
Job location Office working is in London, with some home working on agreement
Salary £44,000-£54,000
Hours Full time, or part time for the right candidate


Purpose of the post

The Howard League for Penal Reform is the world’s oldest penal reform charity, with a proven record of delivering change. Our successful campaigns have contributed to the abolition of capital punishment, an end to the ban on sending books to prisoners and a massive reduction in arrests of children. Our legal team provides expert advice and support to children and young people in prison.

We want to do even more, so we are looking for a Policy Manager who can help us achieve our goals of less crime, safer communities and fewer people in prison.

The Policy Manager will have legal policy expertise, as the role will involve influencing a range of stakeholders on sentencing policy and working and lobbying on draft legislation. The role will also involve developing an expertise in prisons policy and practice across a broad range of activity, and line managing a policy officer, currently working on a project on racial disparities in youth justice.

Duties and responsibilities

  • Leading on a new stream of work on sentencing policy.
  • Line managing a policy officer and other staff as required.
  • Monitoring and advising on penal and prison policy and practice.
  • Working on draft legislation, including the tabling of amendments and other parliamentary activity.
  • To write reports and parliamentary briefings with clear objectives for change, in line with the organisation’s strategic priorities.
  • Lobbying and influencing a range of stakeholders, developing and nurturing strong relationships with relevant agencies and opinion formers.
  • Responding to consultations and preparing briefings as required.
  • Maintaining statistical data and updating the website accordingly.
  • Speaking at meetings, conferences and seminars as appropriate.
  • Speaking to the press and media as appropriate.
  • Working as part of the whole office team.
  • Working within the political and structural framework to achieve change.

Person specification


  • A degree in law, at Bachelor or Masters level and/or qualification to practice law in England and Wales.
  • Excellent powers of legal analysis and the ability to understand and identify key issues, demonstrating strong political judgment.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills and a proven track record of writing and producing materials to publication standard.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to build and maintain relationships of trust and confidence with senior decision-makers, including members of parliament across parties, civil servants and senior judges.
  • Excellent organisational skills, the ability to keep to a clear timetable and achieve agreed targets with a short turnaround.
  • Expertise of legal policy work.
  • Experience of policy development and securing change.
  • A good team player, with strong interpersonal skills and the ability to build productive working relationships with colleagues.
  • Ability to think creatively and conceive innovative solutions and ideas.
  • Computer literacy with experience in using a range of office software packages (including Word, Excel and Outlook).
  • A commitment to social justice, human rights and prison reform.


  • A university degree or equivalent studies in a relevant field (such as criminology, sociology etc).
  • Experience of practising criminal or prison law in England and Wales.
  • Knowledge of criminal justice issues and the penal system.
  • Experience of working in a public affairs environment.

Conditions of Service

The post is full time. The terms and conditions are as laid out in the contract of employment and the office handbook and include 30 days’ paid leave plus statutory days and 10 per cent contribution to the Howard League workplace pension scheme. You may choose to work in the office each day, or to work some days from home on agreement with management.

The Howard League encourages applications from suitable candidates with lived experience of prisons or the wider criminal justice system.

As an inclusive employer the Howard League actively encourages applications from racially minoritised backgrounds.

How to apply

To apply for this role, please fill in the application form. If for any reason you cannot use the application form, please provide an up-to-date CV and supporting statement, giving evidence and examples of how you meet the criteria, and what you feel you would bring to the role.  

Please e-mail the completed application to

The deadline for applications for this role is Sunday 18 September 2022.

Interviews will be held on Thursday 29 September 2022.

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