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Policy Advisors – Youth Justice and Offender Policy (Up to 12 roles) – 59707
£30,451 – £38,373
Multiple Locations


We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging. To find out more about how we do this visit:

The Youth Justice and Offender Policy Directorate is recruiting permanently for Policy Advisors HEO – up to 12 roles available.


Successful candidates will have the option to be based at one of the following locations:

  1. 102 Petty France, London
  2. 5 Wellington Place, Leeds (occasional travel between Leeds and London may be required post Covid-19)

The current Location Strategy for Policy Group is that all staff with a base location of 102 Petty France or 5 Wellington Place Leeds must be present at their base office for a minimum of 2 days every week, however this is based on business need and could be subject to change going forward.  This hybrid working arrangement is not contractual and as a result staff could be asked to attend their base location more frequently.

Ways of Working

At the MoJ we believe and promote alternative ways of working, these roles are available as:

  • Full-time, part-time or the option to job share
  • Flexible working patterns
  • Flexible working arrangements between base locations, MoJ Hubs and home.

If we receive applications from more suitable candidates than we have vacancies for at this time, we may hold suitable applicants on a reserve list for 12 months, and future vacancies requiring the same skills and experience could be offered to candidates on the reserve list without a new competition.

We welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including groups currently underrepresented in our workforce and pride ourselves as being an employer of choice. To find out more about how we champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace, visit:

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ)

MOJ is one of the largest government departments, employing over 80,000 people (including those in the Probation Service), with a budget of approximately £9 billion. Each year, millions of people use our services across the UK – including at 500 courts and tribunals, and 133 prisons in England and Wales.

Further information can be found at

The Youth Justice and Offender Policy Directorate

About us

We are a collaborative, friendly, high-performing Directorate that brings together people from a wide range of different backgrounds. We put a real focus on learning, training, flexibility and future career development. Collectively, we encourage a culture of change and innovation and adopt smarter ways of working to provide flexibility.

Together we are responsible for driving forwards policy which is critical to MoJ’s strategic priorities to tackle crime and reduce reoffending, making our criminal justice system more efficient and effective in the process. We work in partnership with criminal justice agencies, other Departments and wider stakeholders to ensure these goals are at the heart of the Government’s agenda.

As a Directorate, we make a real difference: our policy has a tangible impact on the services provided for people who come into contact with the criminal justice system, whether that’s at court, in custody or in the community. This is a big part of why we’re so engaged in the work we do. Our 2021 People Survey results found that 95% of us are interested in our work and 91% of us are confident that we work together to find ways to improve the services we provide, both significantly above the civil service benchmark.

  • Probation Policy

The Probation Policy Team works closely with other policy teams, Her Majesty’s Probation Service and Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunal Service to support both the future development of the probation service and delivery of community justice.

We do this in a range of ways, including developing long-term strategy and communicating this within government and beyond; conducting and managing projects and pilots (such as Integrated Offender Management and Pre-Sentence Reports); problem solving on delivery and implementation issues together with HMPPS; finding new ways to work with key stakeholders to deliver our priorities and horizon scanning to ensure that the department is prepared for future probation challenges, particularly in the community space.

Our specific areas of work include Service User Behaviour, policy around how we can change Service Users’ behaviour in their contact with probation; Service User Integration, policy around how Service Users are integrated back into the community on a community sentence; Service User Management, policy around how Service Users’ sentences are managed – including Integrated Offender Management; and Community Justice Strategy, including high-level scoping and horizon scanning for future probation policy issues, linking to thematic scrutiny work. The Community Diversion Policy team also sit in Probation Policy. They are responsible for delivering a fundamental transformation to how Out of Court Disposals are used, ensuring that there are meaningful consequences for behaviour that can be dealt with without charge; and working in partnership with HMPPS and HMCTS to design and deliver up to five Problem Solving Courts pilots which will trial innovative ways of more intensive management of offenders in the community rather than in custody.

  • Youth Justice Policy

The Youth Justice Policy Unit has policy responsibility for the whole youth justice system – from diversion and early intervention, through courts and sentencing, community-based interventions, custody and resettlement.

We work closely with the Youth Custody Service within HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) and the Youth Justice Board to improve the outcomes for children who come in to contact with it, and to ultimately reduce and prevent crime committed by children and young people. We develop policy on how can make youth offending and allied services not only support children formally managed by youth justice services, but also work preventatively with children on the cusp of offending. This is, by definition, a cross-government and cross-system effort – exploring how wider social issues – school exclusion, mental health issues, family dysfunction, substance misuse – affect youth offending and what reforms should be made. We also support initiatives and programmes focused on early intervention – a particular ministerial priority and area of close interest. Youth Offending Teams are critical parts of the local community-based justice system, responsible for working with young people at risk of becoming involved in, and drawn into, crime as well as overseeing community-based sentences for those who have been convicted.

  • Female Offenders and Offender Health

The Female Offenders and Offender Health Policy Unit has policy responsibility for issues relating to some of the most vulnerable offenders in the criminal justice system – female offenders, and those who have needs relating to mental health, neurodiversity and drug and alcohol misuse. Our response, both for offenders in the community and within prison, is critical to improving rehabilitation and reducing the chances of reoffending. In relation to offender health, this is dependent on the provision of and access to health services, so we work closely with the Department for Health and Social Care in particular, as well as health agencies and HMPPS.

Our work covers substance misuse policy, developing and delivering our approach to tackling drug and alcohol misuse throughout the entire offender journey, from early intervention right through to improving access to treatment for prison leavers. We also cover mental health policy where we are responsible for developing and designing improvements to the way the criminal justice system treats and responds to people with a range of health and wellbeing needs by championing a whole system approach to healthcare provision, improving data collection and driving forward Mental Health Act reform. In addition, we are responsible for health partnerships and neurodiversity, where we are putting a new Health Partnership Agreement in place with health partners to ensure the right arrangements are provided for offenders in prison and on probation and leading on an action in plan in response to a joint inspectorate report on Neurodiversity in the Criminal Justice System.

  • Bail, Sentencing and Release Policy

The Bail, Sentencing and Release Policy Unit is a friendly and fast-paced team. It is high profile, sitting at the heart of policymaking in MoJ and responsible for delivering on a number of ministerial priorities. We are a diverse group of people with a wide range of professional skills and expertise, we work collaboratively with colleagues across and beyond MoJ and we are outward facing; working in partnership with other government departments, the judiciary, Sentencing Council and the Parole Board, amongst others.

We develop and advise on policies relating to bail, custodial and non-custodial sentencing, release from custody – including the role of the Parole Board – and strategic issues such as prison demand. This includes the root and branch review of the parole system, consideration of the Review of Domestic Homicide Sentencing being conducted by independent expert Clare Wade QC; we provide the policy lead for electronic monitoring, which is undergoing significant expansion initiated by policy development, and we are publishing a new Electronic Monitoring Strategy.Ministerial ambition and funding for electronic monitoring has grown significantly over the last two years.   

The Role

As a Policy Advisor, you will have a range of different responsibilities.

  • You will be responsible for supporting a range of policies and reforms. This includes cross-cutting strategic projects, many which are ministerial priorities, and often require cross-government collaboration.
  • You will help build influence at the heart of the department, as well as within the centre of government, on policies that affect offenders, defendants and stakeholders delivering the Criminal Justice System. The Youth Justice and Offender Policy Directorate make a real difference to the department and the services provided for both those coming out of prisons and those in the community.
  • You will work at pace on a variety of high-profile issues and will have confidence managing competing priorities independently. This might include drafting briefings, responding to parliamentary or public correspondence, conducting research to inform policy and developing advice for Ministers and senior leaders. You will also provide vital support to the team by maintaining core policy documents, providing secretariat support for meetings and managing requests from other policy teams and operational colleagues.
  • You will work closely with stakeholders across the Directorate, Department, agencies, Arm’s Length Bodies and delivery agencies to support the department’s strategic aims of reducing reoffending and protecting the public.
  • The divisions in the Youth Justice and Offender Policy Directorate are all fascinating policy areas which regularly attract public, Parliamentary and Ministerial interest, making it a great place to build on your knowledge about and expertise of working in Government.
  • We are committed to ensuring that YJOP is a brilliant place to work. You will be expected to work with colleagues across the Directorate on one of our ongoing workstreams to make this happen. This might mean helping us to work smarter by improving the tools and systems we use every day; promoting wellbeing and championing diversity and inclusion in everything we do; developing a culture centred around personal development, which recognises and rewards achievement; or inviting fresh ideas and new perspectives into our policy making.

Skills and Experience

Essential Criteria:

  • Ability to work at pace to support the delivery and development of policy. You will proactively seek ways to work more efficiently and effectively to deliver on team and departmental priorities.
  • Ability to build strong and productive relationships with stakeholders across the Department, Government and wider stakeholders, as well as working collaboratively with team members and senior leaders.
  • Confidence developing and using an appropriate evidence base to support decision making and inform policy development and delivery.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with credibility. This includes briefing senior leaders verbally and in writing on complex and policies and supporting ministerial briefings.

Desirable Criteria:

  • Experience of working in the criminal justice field or related services
  • Experience of working in a policy environment

Application process

You will be assessed against the Civil service success profiles framework.

You will be asked to provide a Work History during the application process in order to assess any demonstrable experience, career history and achievements that are relevant to the role.


Please provide examples of how you have met each one of the behaviours listed below (see Annex A for more information):

  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Working Together
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Delivering at Pace

Please also refer to the CS Behaviours framework for more details at this grade (Level HEO – Band C or equivalent):

Should we receive a large number of applications, we will sift primarily on the lead behaviour of Making effective decisions.

Successful applicants will then be invited to an interview, testing both behaviours and strengths.

Candidates invited to Interview

Please note that interviews will be carried out remotely.

During the interview, we will be assessing you on Behaviours and Strengths from the success Profiles framework.

Interviews are expected to take place in July 2022.

If candidates do not score high enough to be appointed to an HEO role, but have passed the minimal requirements, they could be offered a Policy role at the more junior level of EO / Policy Officer.

The MoJ is proud to be Level 3 Disability Confident. Disability Confident is the approach through which we offer guaranteed interviews for all people with disabilities meeting the minimum criteria for the advertised role as set out in the job description.

If we receive applications from more suitable candidates than we have vacancies for at this time, we may hold suitable applicants on a reserve list for 12 months, and future vacancies requiring the same skills and experience could be offered to candidates on the reserve list without a new competition.

Contact information  

Please do get in touch if you would like to know more about the role or what it is like working in our Directorate.


The national salary range is £30,451 - £34,105, London salary range is £34,262- £38,373. Your salary will be dependent on your base location

Additional Information

Working Arrangements & Further Information

The MoJ offers Hybrid Working arrangements where business need allows. This is an informal, non-contractual form of flexible working that blends working from your base location, different MoJ sites and / or from home (please be aware that this role can only be worked in the UK and not overseas). Some roles will not be suitable for Hybrid Working. Similarly, Hybrid Working will not suit everyone’s circumstances. Arrangements will be discussed and agreed with the successful candidate(s) and subject to regular review.   

For nationally advertised roles, the successful candidate(s) will be appointed to a MoJ office location, which may include their nearest Justice Collaboration Centre or Justice Satellite Office. This will be discussed and agreed on the completion of pre-employment checks. 

Some of MoJ’s terms and conditions of service are changing as part of Civil Service reform. The changes will apply to staff joining MoJ who are new to the Civil Service. Staff joining MoJ from other civil service employers will transfer onto the new MoJ terms if they are already on ‘modernised’ terms in their current post or onto ‘unmodernised’ MoJ terms if they are on ‘unmodernised’ terms at their current post. Details will be available if an offer is made.

Flexible working hours

The Ministry of Justice offers a flexible working system in many offices.


The MoJ offers a range of benefits:

Annual Leave

Annual leave is 25 days on appointment and will increase to 30 days after five years’ service.

There is also a scheme to allow qualifying staff to buy or sell up to three days leave each year. Additional paid time off for public holidays and 1 privilege day. Leave for part-time and job share posts will be calculated on a pro-rata basis.


The Civil Service offers a choice of pension schemes, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.


The Ministry of Justice is committed to staff development and offers an extensive range of training and development opportunities.


The opportunity to join employee-run networks that have been established to provide advice and support and to enable the views of employees from minority groups to be expressed direct to senior management. There are currently networks for employees of minority ethnic origin, employees with disabilities, employees with caring responsibilities, women employees, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.


Staff on fixed term appointments must have been recruited through fair and open competition.


  • A range of ‘Family Friendly’ policies such as opportunities to work reduced hours or job share.
  • Access to flexible benefits such as voluntary benefits, retail vouchers and discounts on a range of goods and services.
  • For moves to or from another employer or moves across the Civil Service this can have implications on your eligibility to carry on claiming childcare vouchers. You may however be eligible for alternative government childcare support schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. More information can be found on UKor Childcare Choices. You can determine your eligibility at
  • Paid paternity, adoption and maternity leave.
  • Free annual sight tests for employees who use computer screens.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles. Should you feel that the recruitment process has breached the recruitment principles you are able to raise a formal complaint in the following order

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As a Disability Confident employer, MoJ are committed to providing everyone with the opportunity to demonstrate their skills, talent and abilities, by making adjustments throughout all elements of the recruitment process and in the workplace. MoJ are able to offer an interview to disabled candidates who meet the minimum selection criteria, except in a limited number of campaigns.

You will be able to request reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process within the application form. If you need additional help completing the application form, please contact the SSCL Recruitment Enquiries Team.

We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging. To find out more about how we do this visit: