Summer Program Intern

The Illinois Prison Project 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.

The Illinois Prison Project seeks a dynamic, energetic Program Intern to join us. The Program Intern will provide programmatic and administrative support to the IPP team in an effort to reduce mass incarceration. 

Interns are asked to work at least 20 hours per week for at least 12 weeks and, 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. Specific start and end dates are flexible. In your cover letter, please specify your approximate start/end dates and your approximate available hours. Currently, IPP internships are unpaid. IPP requires all team members to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Proof of vaccination will be required.

Responsibilities include:

  • Document organizing and review: scan, organize, and synthesize case files for hundreds of incarcerated clients and non-clients
  • Data management: input and track client and non-client data
  • Client communication: assist with client legal calls, review client letters, and communicate with client’s family members to support commutation petitions
  • Programmatic support: assist staff with miscellaneous programmatic and administrative support including strategic planning, intake management, systems development, and client support
  • Local office support: Visit the IPP office (located downtown) to sort, scan, organize, and send client and non-client mail

Desired qualifications:

  • Able to work at least 20 hours per week for at least 12 weeks (start and end dates are flexible)
  • Able to visit the IPP office in the Loop at least one day each week throughout the internship.
  • Exceptionally detail-oriented and friendly
  • Excellent written communication skills in English; ability to compose, edit, and proofread materials
  • Exhibit independence and self-initiative
  • Motivated to learn more about Illinois' criminal legal system
  • Passionate about supporting criminal legal reform 

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 a resume and cover letter via email to with “Program Intern” in the subject line.
  • In your cover letter, please specify your approximate start/end dates and your approximate available hours.
  • Applicants will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
  • Please note: applications that do not include a cover letter will not be considered.