Policy Intern

The Illinois Prison Project (IPP) is a nonprofit organization in Chicago that seeks to reduce mass incarceration by providing legal services to individuals incarcerated in the Illinois Department of Corrections. IPP focuses on novel and creative approaches to prison reduction and engages in public education, advocacy and direct legal representation.

The Illinois Prison Project seeks a dynamic, detail-oriented, organized, and energetic Policy Intern to provide support to the IPP Policy team in an effort to reduce mass incarceration. IPP requires all team members to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Proof of vaccination will be required.

Although the team has a hybrid in person/remote work environment, IPP requires this position to visit the office two days each week during their entire internship to help with in-office tasks. If no school funding is available, IPP commits to funding all intern positions with a $1,500 monthly stipend with the expectation of working 20 hours per week from September 3, 2024 - May 30, 2025. Successful applicants will be asked to pursue school funding if available. 

Responsibilities include:

  • Assist in developing and managing a policy portfolio focused on reducing incarceration rates.
  • Conduct research on policy initiatives, legislative proposals, and related criminal justice reforms.
  • Assist with drafting fact sheets, content for digital advocacy tools, policy briefs, reports, and other advocacy materials.
  • Analyze data and compile information to support policy positions and strategies.
  • Support coalition-building efforts by identifying and engaging with potential partners and stakeholders.
  • Scheduling and attending meetings with advocates, stakeholders, and policymakers as needed.
  • Assist in organizing advocacy campaigns and public education initiatives.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Available  to work 20 hours per week from September 3, 2024 - May 30, 2025 during normal business hours (which are Monday through Thursday 9am-5pm and Friday 9am - 12:30pm);
  • Able to visit the IPP office (located in the Loop) for at least two days each week during normal business hours (listed above);
  • Experience in policy research, advocacy, or communications;
  • Familiarity with the Illinois legislative process;
  • Exceptionally detail-oriented and organized;
  • Has excellent written communication skills in English and the ability to compose, edit, and proofread materials;
  • Has a reliable laptop computer;
  • Has previous experience working with printers and scanners;
  • Exhibits independence and self-initiative;
  • Prior professional and/or lived experience related to experiencing incarceration and/or working to end incarceration.
  • Motivated to learn more about Illinois' criminal legal system; and
  • Commitment to IPP’s mission of reducing mass incarceration and promoting social, economic, and racial justice.

Location: Candidates must live in the Chicago area for the entire duration of the internship. This position provides a hybrid work environment, including working remotely and out of IPP’s office at 53 West Jackson Blvd in Chicago, IL at least two days each week.

Reports To: Director of Policy & Communications

Compensation: Successful applicants will be asked to pursue school funding if available. If no funding is available, IPP provides all academic year interns a monthly stipend of $1,500 with the expectation of working 20 hours per week from September 3, 2024 through May 30, 2025.

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 DO NOT apply via Handshake
  • Please submit a resume and cover letter as PDF documents via email to hiring@illinoisprisonproject.org with “Policy Intern” in the subject line. some text
    • Applications that do not include a cover letter will not be considered.
    • Within your cover letter, please include a rough schedule that you’re able to commit to for the duration of the internship. Applications that do not include this information will not be considered.
  • Applications will be accepted until July 17th and reviewed on a rolling basis.
  • Due to the large volume of applicants, we will not be able to reply to individual emails about an applicant’s status. No phone calls, please.