Employment opportunities at the Prison Policy Initiative

Currently open positions:

Coming soon:

  • We are exploring adding several more positions in 2021. We are particularly interested in hearing from regular users of our work, including experienced policy analysts in the adjacent fields of racial justice, housing security, income security, education policy, electoral fairness, mental health advocacy, or immigration reform who would like to transition to full-time criminal justice advocacy from our Easthampton, Mass. office. (Updated May 2020)


Policy Fellow

posted May 11, 2020

Do you want to produce cutting-edge research to expose the harm of mass incarceration? Could your research and writing spark policy advocacy campaigns to create a more just society? The Prison Policy Initiative is seeking a recent law school graduate to join our team of eight full-time staff members in shaping the future of the criminal justice reform movement.

Founded in 2001, the Prison Policy Initiative (https://www.prisonpolicy.org) is a leading organization in the fight against mass incarceration. The organization uses data to explain the need for criminal justice reform and spark policy advocacy campaigns on a number of issues.

The Policy Fellow needs to have:

  • A recent or forthcoming law degree
  • An activist mindset
  • Written at least one public-facing piece of writing such as a law review article, court filing, or blog post that makes heavy use of the Prison Policy Initiative’s existing research from one of these 6 focus areas: telecommunications, consumer protection, bail, community corrections, redistricting, or voting rights.
  • A demonstrated commitment to racial justice and criminal justice reform.
  • Attention to detail and a knack for simplifying complex issues.
  • A desire to pursue policy work rather than litigation.
  • An appreciation for the value of data analysis for advocacy, and ideally experience using statistics/numbers to propel reform.
  • A willingness to work collaboratively from our office in Western Massachusetts. (As of May 2020, we are all working remotely; but we’re hoping for that to change.)

The position:

  • Will involve producing timeless reports and timely articles on a number of our issues (in and outside of your original area of expertise). Initial projects will likely build on your existing area of expertise.
  • Will likely involve working with the press, advocates and elected officials who are inspired by your work with us.
  • Will most likely not involve litigation.
  • Is intended to last for a full year, and there may be an opportunity to transition to a different, permanent, position.

To apply, send to jobs [at] prisonpolicy.org:

  • Resume
  • Unofficial law school transcript
  • Unofficial undergraduate transcript (if you graduated within the last 5 years)
  • A cover letter that describes your criminal justice reform experience
  • Two writing samples that demonstrate your ability to write clearly and persuasively. At least one writing sample should show your knowledge of our work and one of the six areas of interest for the fellowship.

Salary & Benefits

The expected salary for this position is $50,000/year plus health insurance, all Massachusetts state holidays & Juneteenth, two weeks paid vacation, two weeks paid sick time, and an IRA match.

Start date

This position has a rolling deadline, but we welcome applicants who cannot start until Fall 2021.

Hiring process

We will be reviewing applications and scheduling interviews on a weekly basis starting in September 2020. We anticipate doing a phone screen with the Executive Director, an interview by Skype with other staff members and then an in-person interview. The position will be filled when the right candidate applies.

Please allow us to keep our daily focus on improving the criminal justice system by refraining from writing or calling the office to check on the status of your application. We'll keep the job page at https://www.prisonpolicy.org/jobs.html up to date with the status of our candidate search.

Status of our search

We began accepting applications in May 2020 and will begin reviewing applications in September 2020.

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