The Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement (CAIC) and the Urban Justice Center Mental Health Project (UJC) seek an Upstate NY Organizer to further CAIC’s efforts to end the torture of solitary confinement in New York State. The Upstate NY Organizer will support CAIC’s effort to grow local capacity around New York State through public education, grassroots organizing, leadership development, and legislative advocacy.

Specifically the Upstate NY Organizer, working collaboratively with the CAIC organizer based in New York City and campaign members, will advance CAIC’s goal of passage of the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term (HALT) Solitary Confinement Act, A. 3080 / S. 4784, in New York through strategic community outreach and follow-up, organizing in strategic districts, support and leadership development for people who have survived solitary or have family members inside, and consistent engagement with key policymakers in Albany.

The Upstate NY Organizer will be a full-time staff member of the Urban Justice Center Mental Health Project. Our strong preference is for the position to be based in Albany at the Social Justice Center, but we will consider applicants from other regions, provided that they have a workable plan for spending significant time in Albany when the legislature is in session. This new position is funded for one year currently, with a competitive salary and full benefits (health, dental, vision, retirement).


1. Mobilize and Organize People in Strategically Identified Regions in Upstate New York to Oppose Solitary Confinement:

 Set up strategic public education events and actions in areas with constituents of key policymakers needed to support HALT, including Northern NY, the Hudson Valley, Central NY, Western NY, and elsewhere. This organizer will focus on educating people in these regions about the issues of solitary confinement and HALT, work to mobilize people there, and support survivors of solitary and family members to become leaders in the struggle to end this torture.
 Pursue in-depth follow-up with participants and key allies after events to develop important relationships, increase engagement in the campaign’s efforts to end solitary, and build future leaders and partners. The organizer will lead trainings, connect important allies to advocacy efforts, help place articles and op-eds in selected districts of the state, and other related activities.
 Help foster new groups around the state to hold monthly Together to End Solitary actions and other local efforts to put pressure on their legislators.
 Partner with other campaigns and groups who are pushing for policy changes that also challenge incarceration in New York, including campaigns related to parole reform, bail reform, bringing back higher education to incarcerated people, stopping staff brutality and closing abusive prisons and jails, and promoting alternatives to incarceration.

2. Support and Advance the HALT Solitary Confinement Act:

 Push for more policymakers as well as the leadership of the NY legislature and the Governor to support and enact HALT.
 Help organize people to meet with policymakers in their local districts and in Albany. Connect people who have been educated, mobilized, and trained (as described above) with opportunities to meet with legislators and advocate for their support.
 Directly engage with legislators, build strong working relationships with key legislators and legislative allies, and garner additional legislative support for HALT. Have a repeated, consistent presence in Albany and coordinate others to have direct engagement with important legislators from key regions of the state.


The ideal candidate will possess leadership and organizing abilities and have in-depth knowledge of CAIC and the campaign’s strategies and activities. Direct experience of solitary confinement and incarceration is highly valued as important expertise for the position. People of color, people who are survivors of incarceration and solitary confinement, and family members of survivors of incarceration and solitary confinement are strongly encouraged to apply. We seek someone who can work independently and as part of a large coalition. Specifically, key qualifications for the position include:

 Experience and expertise engaging in grassroots organizing and legislative advocacy as part of coalitions and campaigns, particularly in New York State.
 Knowledge of the criminal injustice system, incarceration system, and solitary confinement, preferably including personal experience of solitary and incarceration as a survivor or family member.
 Commitment to CAIC’s mission to end the torture of solitary confinement in NY and to challenge the incarceration system.
 Strong communication and relationship-building skills and experience, including experience carrying out one-on-ones and other community organizing techniques.
 Proficiency at engaging in electronic communications – email listserv communications, social media (including Facebook and Twitter), and other forms of internal and external campaign communications. Ability to use google documents, spreadsheets, doodle polls, and other tools to organize and share information with campaign members.
 Capacity to be a strong self-starter, take direction, and work as part of a team and large statewide coalition.
 Desire to work collaboratively with people of all different backgrounds, including currently and formerly incarcerated people, family members of incarcerated people, advocates, organizations, members of the faith and health communities, and other concerned people.
 Ability to train others, especially people who are directly impacted by incarceration and solitary confinement, and to manage interns and volunteers effectively.


Applications are due by Friday, June 23, 2017. To Apply: Please submit the following by email to CAIC at caichiring@gmail.com. No phone calls.

1. Cover letter
2. Resume
3. Brief writing sample, such as a blog post or article
4. Three references (with daytime phone numbers and email addresses)

This is a bargaining unit position represented for collective bargaining purposes by the National Organization of Legal Service Workers, UAW, Local 2230.

The Urban Justice Center is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from all qualified individuals including veterans, women, people of color, people with disabilities, people with diverse sexual identities/gender expression, people who identify as LGBTQI, and people with lived experience of mental illness and/or incarceration


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