Director of Advocacy

21 Sep, 2021

Jobs

Director of Advocacy

Illinois Prison Project
Chicago, IL

The Illinois Prison Project (IPP) is a young nonprofit organization in Chicago that seeks to reduce mass incarceration by providing legal services to individuals incarcerated in the Illinois Department of Corrections. We focus on novel and creative approaches to prison reduction including mass commutation campaigns, sentence restructuring, public education, and advocacy.

 

IPP’s Director of Advocacy will lead policy development and promotion activities for the organization, utilizing a combination of their own experience and that of our diverse board, staff, and partners. The Director of Advocacy will also work with our Executive Director to actively shape and influence prison reform policy. IPP’s Director of Advocacy will be comfortable thinking through policy proposals, building coalitions with advocates and other stakeholders, working with directly impacted staff and allies, and speaking with government officials and legislators.

Responsibilities

  • Develop expertise and a voice on issues related to ongoing incarceration including retroactive sentencing policy, executive clemency, and mechanisms for release
  • Determine our annual policy agenda, understand opposition to that agenda, and develop supporting arguments and materials to mitigate that opposition and to build support
  • Work with other allies, stakeholders, and advocates to build broad coalitions
  • Work with our Communications team to develop and disseminate messaging to create an environment hospitable to criminal legal reform
  • Reach out to, connect with, and engage with reporters, lawmakers, policy officials about our policy goals
  • Set priorities for research and content development, conduct research, and work with team members to ensure all priorities are met
  • Use research on national trends, comparable policies in other states, and relevant local data to ensure recommended policy solutions are feasible
  • Represent IPP in public fora, media, and in Springfield when necessary
  • Work with our Ambassador Leadership Cohort to support formerly incarcerated leadership and to create awareness around the harms of long term incarceration
  • Oversee law clerks and interns who are working on advocacy and/or policy related research projects

Qualifications

  • Have a Bachelor’s degree, graduate or law degree, or have had an equally effective and relevant alternative educational experience (such as non-credentialed education during incarceration or significant time spent working in government affairs)
  • Be a confident writer with excellent personal and professional communication skills
  • Be able to write well, quickly; and, be willing to take the time to work with colleagues on writing for our audiences
  • Be comfortable creating and maintaining relationships with advocates, allies, legislators, legislative staff, and agency staff
  • Demonstrate a deep commitment to issues related to long-term incarceration
  • Have experience in the criminal legal reform movement

Location: A hybrid work environment, including working remotely and out of IPP’s office at 53 West Jackson Blvd in Chicago, IL.

Reports To: Executive Director

Illinois Prison Project is committed to providing an environment of mutual respect where equal employment opportunities are available to all applicants and teammates without regard to race, color, religion or belief, sex, pregnancy, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, military and veteran status, and any other characteristic protected by applicable law. Illinois Prison Project believes that diversity and inclusion among our teammates is critical to our success as an organization, and we seek to recruit, develop and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool.

The Illinois Prison Project (IPP) is a young nonprofit organization in Chicago that seeks to reduce mass incarceration by providing legal services to individuals incarcerated in the Illinois Department of Corrections. We focus on novel and creative approaches to prison reduction including mass commutation campaigns, sentence restructuring, public education, and advocacy.

 

IPP’s Director of Advocacy will lead policy development and promotion activities for the organization, utilizing a combination of their own experience and that of our diverse board, staff, and partners. The Director of Advocacy will also work with our Executive Director to actively shape and influence prison reform policy. IPP’s Director of Advocacy will be comfortable thinking through policy proposals, building coalitions with advocates and other stakeholders, working with directly impacted staff and allies, and speaking with government officials and legislators.

Responsibilities

  • Develop expertise and a voice on issues related to ongoing incarceration including retroactive sentencing policy, executive clemency, and mechanisms for release
  • Determine our annual policy agenda, understand opposition to that agenda, and develop supporting arguments and materials to mitigate that opposition and to build support
  • Work with other allies, stakeholders, and advocates to build broad coalitions
  • Work with our Communications team to develop and disseminate messaging to create an environment hospitable to criminal legal reform
  • Reach out to, connect with, and engage with reporters, lawmakers, policy officials about our policy goals
  • Set priorities for research and content development, conduct research, and work with team members to ensure all priorities are met
  • Use research on national trends, comparable policies in other states, and relevant local data to ensure recommended policy solutions are feasible
  • Represent IPP in public fora, media, and in Springfield when necessary
  • Work with our Ambassador Leadership Cohort to support formerly incarcerated leadership and to create awareness around the harms of long term incarceration
  • Oversee law clerks and interns who are working on advocacy and/or policy related research projects

Qualifications

  • Have a Bachelor’s degree, graduate or law degree, or have had an equally effective and relevant alternative educational experience (such as non-credentialed education during incarceration or significant time spent working in government affairs)
  • Be a confident writer with excellent personal and professional communication skills
  • Be able to write well, quickly; and, be willing to take the time to work with colleagues on writing for our audiences
  • Be comfortable creating and maintaining relationships with advocates, allies, legislators, legislative staff, and agency staff
  • Demonstrate a deep commitment to issues related to long-term incarceration
  • Have experience in the criminal legal reform movement

Location: A hybrid work environment, including working remotely and out of IPP’s office at 53 West Jackson Blvd in Chicago, IL.

Reports To: Executive Director

Illinois Prison Project is committed to providing an environment of mutual respect where equal employment opportunities are available to all applicants and teammates without regard to race, color, religion or belief, sex, pregnancy, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, military and veteran status, and any other characteristic protected by applicable law. Illinois Prison Project believes that diversity and inclusion among our teammates is critical to our success as an organization, and we seek to recruit, develop and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool.

Details at a Glance

  • TIME COMMITMENT
    Full Time Schedule
  • JOB TYPE
    Contract
  • PROFESSIONAL LEVEL
    Managerial

Salary

USD 60,000 – USD 70,000

Benefits

This is a full-time position with a salary of $60,000 – 70,000, dependent on experience, and benefits that include generous vacation leave, health, dental, vision, long-term disability…

How to Apply

Please submit a resume, cover letter, writing sample, and three professional references via email to info@illinoisprisonproject.org with “Director of Advocacy” in the subject line.

Job posted: 2021-09-21