Digital Communications Intern

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 seeks a dynamic and energetic Summer 2023 Digital Communications Intern. This intern will support the Communications Team in developing messaging for our online platforms, pitching and executing ideas for long-form written material in alignment with IPP’s values and mission for both internal and external purposes, creating visual content including video of our online media platforms and external project, and assist IPP’s Communications Manager in content calendar operations.

Although the team has a hybrid in person/remote work environment, IPP requires interns to visit the office at least one day each week during their internship to help with in-office tasks. Successful applicants will be asked to pursue school funding if available. IPP commits to funding all intern positions at a rate comparable to $14.50 per hour and with the expectation of working 20 hours per week. The start date for the internship is June 5, 2023 and the end date is August 14, 2023. IPP requires all team members to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Proof of vaccination will be required.

Responsibilities include:

  • Pitch and develop mission driven long- and short-form written communications tailored to each of our online media platforms.
  • Write content for external use including newsletters, one-pagers, reports and other external communication materials.
  • Create visual content including graphics, video, pitch decks, and fact-sheets, event promotional material, and other digital media assets for internal and external use.
  • Communicate with IPP’s incarcerated client population, formerly incarcerated clients, their families, and loved ones by phone/mail to conduct surveys and interviews for the purpose of written, audio, and visual storytelling and creation of narrative driven content.
  • Visit the IPP office (located at 53 West Jackson Blvd) to sort, scan, organize, and send client and non-client mail.
  • Review and input non-client letters into IPP’s case management system.
  • Assist in answering phone calls from the community looking for support and assistance.
  • Support with administrative tasks as needed.

Desired qualifications:

  • Able to work 20 hours per week during normal business hours (M-F, 9-5) with some flexibility for potential evening/weekend events.
  • Able to visit the IPP office in the Loop at least one day each week throughout the internship.
  • Strong academic background, previous work/internship experience, or lived experience in relation to the criminal legal system, prison system, anti-racist organizing or activist work, and Illinois’ political landscape as is relates to issues of mass incarceration and criminal legal reform.
  • Strong writing abilities. This internship role requires someone who is both a confident formal or research based writer as well as someone who has compelling narrative crafting and storytelling abilities. 
  • Familiarity with AP Style.
  • Previous professional or volunteer experience managing, maintaining social media presence for organizations or companies - including drafting copy tailored to each unique platform.
  • Independence and self-initiative. This intern must be a confident self-starter with a drive to develop and execute their own ideas for written and visual content.
  • Graphic design and video shooting/editing skills are a plus.

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.

How to apply: 

  • Please submit 1) a resume, 2) cover letter, 3) a writing sample on a topic related to the criminal legal system, mass incarceration, or topics focusing on social justice or inequality (this can be an essay or blog post), and 4) examples of visual and written social media you’ve created via email to with “Communications Intern” in the subject line. Please note: applications that do not include all of the requirements will not be considered.
  • Applications will be accepted until April 9, 2023.