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Nat'l Prison Project Seeks Public Policy Coordinator

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

  • ACLU, National Prison Project
Career Opportunity Public Policy Coordinator, National Prison Project [NPP-08] Washington, D.C. The National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation invites applications for the position of Public Policy Coordinator. THE NATIONAL PRISON PROJECT: Founded in 1972 by the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Prison Project seeks to ensure constitutional conditions of confinement and strengthen prisoners' rights through class action litigation and public education. Our policy priorities include reducing prison overcrowding, improving prisoner medical care, eliminating violence and maltreatment in prisons and jails, and minimizing the reliance on incarceration as a criminal justice sanction. The Project also publishes a semi-annual Journal, coordinates a nationwide network of litigators, conducts training and public education conferences, and provides expert advice and technical assistance to local community groups and lawyers throughout the country. The work of the National Prison Project has never been more vital than it is now. The population in American prisons and jails has tripled in the past 15 years with the predictable consequence that facilities are overcrowded; medical systems are overwhelmed; work, education, and treatment programs are inadequate; and idleness and inadequate supervision lead to greater levels of violence. As our national prison and jail population has climbed to over two million persons, it has grown increasingly racially skewed. On any given day, one-third of all African-American males are under some form of criminal justice supervision, and for black males in their twenties, one in every eight is in prison or jail. These trends have been exacerbated by the impact of the "war on drugs," with three-fourths of all those convicted of drug offenses being persons of color. The consequences of these racial disparities in the criminal justice system reach beyond the prison gates: as a result of state felony disenfranchisement laws, an estimated 13% of all black males are not eligible to vote. The Project, with a staff of seven attorneys, has fought and continues to fight unlawful prison conditions and practices through successful litigation on behalf of prisoners in more than 25 states. Since 1991, the Project has represented prisoners in five cases before the United States Supreme Court. We are the only organization litigating prison conditions of confinement nationwide on behalf of men, women, and juveniles. The Public Policy Coordinator plays a central role in the work of the Project by developing and promoting our public policy commitments and coordinating our public education initiatives with the Project's litigation. JOB DESCRIPTION: The Public Policy Coordinator promotes the Project's policies on criminal justice issues and, in conjunction with the Project Director, develops and updates policy priorities in the context of National ACLU policy. The Public Policy Coordinator represents the Project on various coalitions concerned with criminal justice issues; provides support to ACLU affiliates on criminal justice issues; writes press releases and other press materials; coordinates media contacts; develops media strategy; responds to requests for information from organizations, legislators, and the general public; participates in coalitions and organizations interested in promoting sound criminal justice policies; edits Project publications, including the National Prison Project Journal; and coordinates legislative activities on behalf of the Project. QUALIFICATIONS: A Bachelor's degree in a related field or equivalent experience is preferred and a minimum of one to three years experience in criminal justice advocacy or media work is required. Must have excellent writing, editing and oral advocacy skills. Must be detail-oriented and highly organized. Must be able to work effectively with other organizations and offices. Specific knowledge of correctional issues preferred. SALARY AND BENEFITS: The salary is based on the ACLU salary scale. Excellent benefits package provided. APPLICATION PROCEDURE: Applications should consist of a current resume, the names and phone numbers of three references, and at least one writing sample. Applications should be sent to: E.M. Bigelow Re: Public Policy Coordinator, [NPP-08] National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union 915 15th Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20005 Or Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, which will not be before September 21st, 2005.
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