Apply HERE (Applications due February 15, 2019)
Location: New York, NY
Address of Internship: 22 Cortland Street, New York 10007
Number of Positions: 2
The Correctional Association of New York (CA) is an independent, nonprofit organization with unique legislative authority to monitor conditions inside New York State prisons. Since 1846, the CA has raised public awareness about the conditions inside prisons, issued recommendations for improvements in correctional policy and advocated for a more humane and just prison system. Our project visits approximately six to ten New York State prisons per year, has correspondence with thousands of individuals incarcerated in NYS prisons and their families, and engages in community education, coalition building, organizing, and administrative and legislative advocacy to challenge the current system of incarceration, improve conditions and programs for people inside prisons, and reduce the overuse and abuse of incarceration. We focus on several key system-wide issues inside prisons, including solitary confinement, staff brutality and abuse, medical care and mental health services, substance abuse treatment, educational and other program opportunities, and parole release. Currently we are involved in leading two major campaigns: Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement (working to end the torture of solitary confinement in NYS) and Challenging Incarceration (working on a comprehensive criminal justice reform platform to end mass incarceration, promote community empowerment, end stat violence and end structural racism). Interns are integral to the mission and work of the CA. Given our limited staff, we rely heavily on interns to work with us on the main substantive issues and tasks of the project. Interns will therefore have a major impact on our ability to carry out our prison monitoring work and our advocacy.
CA interns will work closely with the CA team on all aspects of the monitoring, research, advocacy, organizing, and reporting of the project. In the office, interns will have opportunities to: maintain written correspondence and telephone calls with incarcerated persons and their families; conduct research, data analysis, and draft report writing; prepare for and conduct prison visits and interviews with incarcerated people; and engage in system-wide policy advocacy and community organizing and coalition building. On prison visits, interns will participate in interviews with incarcerated persons and prison staff, observe conditions inside the prisons and assist with follow-up data analysis, reporting and advocacy. Our visits will focus on assessing general conditions, staff violence and abuse, medical and mental health care, the use of solitary confinement, program opportunities, the effectiveness of substance abuse treatment programs, and other conditions. During the visits, interns observe all areas of the prison to identify problems and highlight any positive programs. For research, data analysis, and draft report writing, it may be both specifically related to a particular prison, and/or on a systemic issue confronting prisons. For example, recent Guggenheim interns engaged in data analysis for, and drafting portions of, a report about one of the facilities PVP visited; written narratives of the experiences, insights, and analyses of people currently incarcerated; and engaged in research, analysis, and report writing for system-wide submissions. The intern also will have the opportunity to participate in legislative and administrative advocacy and collaborate with coalitions of individuals, service providers, and advocates on criminal justice issues. For example, recent Guggenheim interns participated in a major statewide campaign challenging the use of solitary confinement and other forms of extreme isolation in New York prisons and jails.
PVP internship candidates should have good writing skills, a commitment to social justice/racial justice/challenging incarceration, an open heart and mind, and the ability to interact with persons from all backgrounds. The ability to read and write in Spanish is preferred, but not required.
A first year student will perform the same general duties of a regular intern with the exception that they would only be present during interviews with incarcerated persons, but not conduct the interview. We would hope that any first year intern would have some experience, interaction or familiarity with the issues confronting those involved in the criminal justice system or other similar social justice issues. If a first year student would have significant discomfort in interacting with an incarcerated person, we would suggest that they do not apply for this internship.