The Criminal Justice Policy Coalition works on a number of issues related to police conduct, prison conditions and sentencing reform within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In 2003/04 our major focus is the establishment of a citizen review board for the Department of Corrections, with secondary foci of Mandatory Minimum sentencing and Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) reform.
All work is accomplished by the volunteer board, comprised of community activists, university professors from various disciplines, and individuals who have worked, or are working, as volunteers within the prison system. As well, members of the organization assist in a number of ways. There are no stipends available for working with the CJPC either as an intern or as a citizen activist.
Optimally, interns will engage one particular issue, understanding the differences among the several legislative proposals for that issue where available, and between those proposals and existing legislation or administrative regulations. Where appropriate, the intern will canvas other states to discover other approaches to the issue. This analysis then leads to creating written materials aimed at the public as well as at legislators. Interns will engage in “grass roots” work (e-mails, phone calls, and letters) with the CJPC membership and with the public encouraging them to engage their legislative representatives in a dialogue on the issue.
Interns should provide a writing sample illustrating their ability to communicate with a broad non-specialized audience using persuasion based on logic. Additionally, the student may provide a brief description of course work taken, a declared major, anticipated graduate work or job goals, and/or life experiences which relate to the concerns of the organization. This will enable the CJPC and the intern to select an issue which will provide an opportunity helpful to the intern and to the CJPC. Finally, please advise us of the anticipated dates of the internship and requirements that the school may have of the CJPC as the sponsoring organization.
Short or long term volunteers have the same opportunities; long term volunteers may wish to become engaged with the administrative work necessary to maintain a functioning organization – correspondence with donors, maintaining and servicing the e-mail list, production of newsletters are but a few of the ongoing work possibilities.
Both interns and volunteers will need to have the ability to do either research or administrative tasks working for the most part by themselves, whether at the CJPC office or at locations most convenient for the task at hand. A commitment towards social change, coupled with an understanding that others are so engaged and often dependent on each person’s output, should help individuals reach the agreed upon goals.
Inquiries for interning or volunteering should be directed to the Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 617-807-0111.