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    This position is open until filled. The first cutoff date for review of applications will be September 11, 2017.

    The United States Sentencing Commission is an independent federal agency in the Judicial Branch of government consisting of seven members appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate and two non-voting ex-officio members. The agency staff consists of approximately 100 employees. The Commission develops and revises guidelines for federal district court judges to consider in sentencing offenders convicted of federal crimes. The Commission monitors and evaluates the use of the guidelines, conducts research and education programs on guideline application and sentencing matters generally, produces sentencing-related reports, and recommends improvements in federal sentencing practices and policies. Additional information about the Commission can be accessed via the Commission's website at http://www.ussc.gov.

    ORD is the largest unit in the Commission, with approximately 45 employees. ORD staff collect data from sentencing documents which are submitted electronically by federal courts around the country. ORD staff provide statistical analyses to the Commissioners about the nature and extent of federal crime, the people who commit those crimes, and how the federal sentencing guidelines are applied in criminal cases. ORD's analyses are a key part of the Commission's decision-making process about changes to the guidelines. ORD analyses are also used in various publicly available publications such as the Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics, Quarterly Sentencing Updates, Quick Facts, and various reports to Congress.

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    The Research Associate-Programmer (RAP) extracts relational data from the Commission's Oracle data warehouse using SAS/ACCESS to create various offender-based flat files in SAS for data analysis by ORD staff. The RAP updates/maintains existing SAS programs for datafiles creation and cleaning. The RAP is responsible for updating/maintaining existing programs that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) to auto-fill pre-formatted EXCEL spreadsheets for annual and quarterly data reports. In addition, the RAP creates customized SAS code for special data requests from Commissioners, federal judges and probation officers, members of Congress, and other federal agencies. The RAP may assist with the work of Commission policy teams or Congressional report projects by performing more advanced SAS programming including using macros to create sets of tables or charts for each of the 12 federal circuits or 94 judicial districts. To these ends, the RAP is expected to become highly familiar with the Commission's various datafiles, how variables and values have changed over time, and assist with documentation of these changes.

    The incumbent will work with research staff to:

    • Create new SAS programs as well as modify existing SAS programs.
    • Utilize SAS macros to make programs more generalized and adaptable.
    • Modify and create data extract programs to pull data from the Commission's Oracle data warehouse and create offender-based flat files in SAS.
    • Assist with providing quick turnaround statistics on defendants sentenced pursuant to the federal sentencing guidelines, responding to special requests from Commissioners, Congress, the courts, and others, as directed.
    • Create PDFs and EXCEL spreadsheets of SAS output, tables, and figures.
    • Create figures (pie charts, bar charts, line charts, etc.) in SAS including titles, footnotes, etc. in Commission styling for use in special requests, presentations, and Commission reports.
    • Assist in the design and development of tables and figures in SAS, Word, and Excel.
    • Compile, organize, and document research-related datafiles and assist in the preparation of datafile documentation, statistical tables, and graphic displays and presentations.
    • Analyze qualitative and quantitative data and contribute to published reports assessing the sentencing impact of judicial and/or congressional sentencing modifications to the guideline structure and process.
    • Match USSC datafiles with datafiles from other federal agencies or from special USSC data collections.
    • Modify existing SAS prison and sentencing impact micro-simulation model to satisfy requests from Commission staff, Congress, and other government agencies.
    • Train ORD staff in SAS software (procedures and syntax), and review SAS programs written by ORD staff members for possible programming errors.
    • Meet with research associates to discuss data quality issues and use feedback to create new edits to improve data quality.
    • Review existing data for errors and perform edits and data cleaning of research datafiles.
    • Review/verify any data changes/updates to the Commission's Interactive Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics (ISB) website.
    • Study issues pertinent to the development and application of the federal sentencing guidelines.
    • Research, review, and analyze social science research literature.
    • Assist in evaluating research problems and applying or adapting available research methods to solve research problems.
    • Learn and implement new technology, such as Oracle business intelligence tools (e.g., OBIEE) to develop dashboards.
    • Perform support or administrative tasks as needed.
    The job may require occasional travel to give presentations or to attend meetings or conferences.

    Travel Required

    Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

    Supervisory status


    Promotion Potential


    Who May Apply

    This job is open to…

    United States Citizens

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  • Job family (Series)

    0101 Social Science

This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/476978400. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.