Center for Law and Justice
JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: Community Engagement Coordinator
LOCATION: Albany, NY
TYPE: Salaried, Full time (Some Nights and Weekends Required)
The Center for Law and Justice (CFLJ) seeks a Community Engagement Coordinator to manage its HEAL program — criminal justice-related Health, Education, Advocacy, and CFLJ activities related to LEAD — and to assist in the development of effective working relationships between the community and the criminal justice and health care systems.
The Center for Law and Justice’s HEAL initiative addresses issues emanating from the intricate interactions among health care, poverty, race, and criminal justice in the Capital District. The city of Albany, like many jurisdictions throughout the country, now acknowledges that substance use disorders are more effectively and equitably dealt with in the health care system, rather than in the criminal justice system. In addition to facilitating the transition to treating substance abuse concerns as health matters, the four key elements of HEAL provide a comprehensive approach to addressing the relationships between health issues and the criminal justice system. The first element, Health, recognizes how powerfully the stress of poverty and racism contributes to relatively poorer health conditions in minority neighborhoods. The second element, Education, refers to the Center’s informal partnership with health care providers and others (including Albany Medical College, the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, the University at Albany School of Social Welfare, and the Drug Policy Alliance) for the purposes of identifying major health issues in low-income communities, and educating residents regarding prevention and treatment. The third element, Advocacy, embodies all that the Center does to promote fairness and equal treatment for all in the criminal and social justice systems, guided by Michelle Alexander’s revelation that mass incarceration is today’s racial caste system. The fourth element, LEAD, refers to the Center’s role as one of the founders of Albany’s Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion initiative and is described further below.
The Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program is a community-based police diversion approach to addressing the population involved in the criminal justice system often because of addiction, mental illness, and poverty. LEAD was first implemented in Seattle in 2011, has since been replicated in Santa Fe, and now is in development in many other cities and counties around the U.S., including Albany, NY; Atlanta, GA; Portland, ME; Baltimore, MD; Louisville, KY; San Francisco, CA; and Fayetteville, NC. In a 2015 non-randomized control study supported by the Arnold Foundation and conducted by University of Washington researchers, LEAD was found to reduce recidivism by 58% compared to those who experienced the “justice system as usual.”
About the Center for Law and Justice, and its Role in Albany LEAD
The Center for Law and Justice (CFLJ), founded in 1985, is a community-based organization that envisions a peaceful, just, and compassionate community; seeks the fair and just treatment of all people throughout the criminal justice system; and works to reduce reliance upon incarceration. From 2012 to 2014, CFLJ released a series of reports documenting the disproportionate representation of people of color in the county’s justice systems. In the city of Albany, minorities constitute less than half of the population, yet make up 71 % of adult arrests. CFLJ is collaborating with other county organizations to support the establishment of Albany LEAD, an arrest diversion process. Operating on the principle that the use of drugs should be addressed as a public health matter, rather than a criminal justice matter, within LEAD CFLJ is committed to education and outreach efforts to engage communities in a collaborative relationship with city officials.
Responsibilities of the Community Engagement Coordinator include:
- Manage and supervise all aspects of the Center’s HEAL initiative, including planning, development, implementation, and monitoring;
- Supervise assigned staff, volunteers, and student interns;
- In collaboration with the Albany LEAD Project Director, develop, implement and monitor a community engagement plan as part of the Albany LEAD effort;
- Develop education and engagement materials for dissemination and presentation to the community;
- Develop and implement a schedule of community presentations to educate the community about LEAD;
- Serve as a liaison between the community and Albany LEAD, through meetings, phone calls, and online correspondence;
- Attend Albany LEAD Policy Coordinating Group meetings and Albany LEAD Operational Workgroup meetings when so directed;
- Cooperate with Albany LEAD program evaluators in providing data and information needed for the evaluation;
- Maintain flexibility in scheduled work hours — some work on nights and weekends is required; and
- Other duties as assigned.
- At least 3 – 5 years demonstrated success in either criminal justice, behavioral health, or related field;
- Demonstrated ability to perform all of the Community Engagement Coordinator responsibilities;
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills;
- Excellent meeting facilitation skills;
- A commitment to racial equity and experience working with different cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives;
- Experience in program management and staff supervision;
- A valid driver’s license; and
- A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience.
- Familiarity with software necessary to perform specified duties (i.e. Word, Excel, PowerPoint or equivalent);
- Ability to work independently in an area of innovation without local precedent;
- Experience working in the Capital Region; and
- Graduate degree or equivalent experience.
Commensurate with experience. Partial benefits included.
How to Apply
An application package is required, including:
- Detailed cover letter (no more than two pages) explaining the nature of the applicant’s interest and how they have demonstrated their ability to perform the responsibilities of the Community Engagement Coordinator; and
- Salary requirement.
Send application package by email before June 30, 2017 to: The Center for Law and Justice (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, or current employment status.