The Innocence Project is a not-for-profit organization that works to exonerate innocent prisoners through post-conviction DNA testing and develop and implement policy changes to prevent wrongful convictions and otherwise reform the criminal justice system.
The State Policy Advocates assist the Director of State Policy Reform in building support for reform through various vehicles, from stakeholder groups to coalition partners and policymakers in various states. The Policy Advocates report to the Director of State Policy Reform and work in close collaboration with key members of the policy staff.
The duties of this position require approximately 40 hours of work per week to be performed in-office.
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:
- Developing relationships with local/state advocates, stakeholders and policymaker staff
- Representing the organization in specified federal and state-level task forces
- Preparing for and testifying at legislative hearings
- Sparking public interest in the need for innocence reforms
- Supporting organizational participation in specified task forces
- Engaging local partners and creating in-state coalitions
- Cultivating champions for reform among influential legislators and other leaders in state and local government
- Working to enhance the Innocence Project’s presence in each state; establishing formal roots and allies for the work
- Learning and understanding the webs of relationships and influence in specific states
- Facilitating the initiation, leadership and execution of state-level advocacy campaigns on priority issues
- Analyzing and synthesizing research (or other information) for state-specific support or opposition to proposed and existing policies and legislation, preparation of documents and other media to deliver those messages
- Participating in the drafting of legislation, testimony, op-eds and, when appropriate, other advocacy support material
- Monitoring and providing local partners in multiple states with advice and support from the IP Policy Department on policy initiatives
- Identifying social and other media tools, as well as public events, needed to advance specific efforts
QUALIFICATIONS & EXPERIENCE:
- An advanced degree in law, political science or policy, or equivalent additional experience
- A minimum of 2 years of direct policymaking or advocacy experience, legislative preferred
- Demonstrated expertise in political advocacy, preferably in the social justice arena
- Experience building, leading, and/or motivating the productive work of legislative coalitions
KEY COMPETENCIES (SKILLS, ABILITIES and TRAITS):
- Skills and motivation to interact effectively with a wide variety of people of diverse professional and cultural backgrounds and political views, including Innocence Policy Network members, local advocates, politicians, criminal justice personnel, legislators and attorneys simultaneously, across various states and issues
- Ability to work collaboratively as an integral part of a multi-disciplinary policy team.
- Sound judgment, a high level of personal and professional confidence and strong interpersonal, diplomatic and communication (verbal & written) skills
- Social and political savvy
- Ability to juggle multiple tasks in a high-pressured environment
- Ability to work independently, assess priorities and take initiative to excel without significant supervision.
- Passion for the Innocence Project’s mission and a commitment to criminal justice reform
- A sense of humor
- Facility with traditional and social media
- Ability to travel extensively
The salary for this position is competitive and the Innocence Project offers an excellent benefits package, including health, dental and vision insurance, Flexible Spending Account, 401k plan with company-match, and paid Transitcheks.
Please email a brief cover letter and resume as one attachment to: firstname.lastname@example.org, with “State Policy Advocate” in the subject line. All .zip file attachments will be deleted without being read. No phone calls, please. Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.
The Innocence Project is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to workplace diversity.