Careers at Access Living
Position: Diversion and Reentry Policy Analyst
Access Living seeks a full-time Diversion and Reentry Policy Analyst, who will be responsible for systems change efforts to improve diversion and reentry for people with disabilities. The Policy Analyst will assess, develop, and advocate for systems change that shifts diversion/reentry processes/programs towards more accessible and effective supports for all kinds of people with disabilities impacted by the criminal system.
Access Living’s diversion and reentry policy advocacy centers the needs of disabled people of color. A critical understanding of the root of racial disparities and a racial equity lens is essential to this role.
A team mindset and creative approach will be essential for this position. This position will work in partnership with the Education Policy Analyst, the Economic Justice Policy Analyst, the Transportation Policy Analyst, the Mental Health Policy Analyst, the Healthcare/HCBS Policy Analyst, and the Organizing staff in the Advocacy Department; as well as with key staff in the Independent Living Department, Civil Rights Department, and the Communications Department.
- Advance/support Access Living’s strategic policy advocacy campaigns and public education related to diversion and reentry from a disability and racial justice perspective.
- Serve as policy lead on Access Living’s advocacy related to diversion and reentry of people with disabilities from the criminal system. Collaborate with stakeholders, policy advocates and community members to advance accessible diversion and reentry opportunities, especially for disabled people of color.
- Conduct extensive relationship-building and build coalitions with elected officials, community providers, grassroots people with lived experience, and other stakeholders.
- Monitor and stay abreast of best practices/policies for diversion and reentry of people with disabilities, from a cross-disability and intersectional standpoint. Engage in relevant coalitions and working groups.
- Draft public comment, policy reports and recommendation memos relating to diversion and reentry from a cross-disability standpoint, including updates on relevant government budgets as needed, and be able to complete projects on deadline, sometimes with quick turnaround.
- Support the Access Living team’s advocacy related to the implementation of the Illinois Community Emergency Services and Supports Act (CESSA).
- Facilitate and support the quarterly Accessible Public Safety Advisory Council consisting of formerly incarcerated persons with disabilities. Recruit new members as appropriate.
- Act as a spokesperson for Access Living on diversion and reentry issues as requested, in collaboration with the Director of Advocacy and the Communications Department.
- Document work as required through data entry, quarterly reporting, and lobbyist compliance requirements.
- Other duties as assigned.
Education and Training:
Advanced degree or equivalent experience preferred in public policy, health, social work or political science. Must have excellent demonstrated writing/research skills. Familiarity with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Olmstead Supreme Court decision, and how these and other disability rights laws/decisions impact the rights of incarcerated/formerly incarcerated people with disabilities. Familiarity with how structural racism, homophobia, xenophobia and other forms of oppression affect people with disabilities.
Lived experience highly preferred. At least 3-5 years’ experience with diversion/reentry policy advocacy, including engaging with elected and career government officials. Familiarity with the diversion/reentry provider service and funding ecosystem. Familiarity with how structural racism, homophobia, xenophobia and other forms of oppression affect people with disabilities.
Familiarity with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Olmstead Supreme Court decision, and the Affordable Care Act as it impacts persons with disabilities, especially those with lived experience of incarceration.
- Existing diversion/reentry policy advocacy network with contacts in the greater Chicago area.
- Prior experience in lobbying and/or political organizing.
- Demonstrated leadership in advancing complex, coalition-oriented policy advocacy initiatives.
- Understanding of Independent Living Philosophy, disability justice, and disability rights.
- Experience with reviewing and interpreting diversion/reentry research/data, policy, legislation, and regulations.
- Comfort with public presentations to a variety of audiences.
Ability to travel within state; will need to travel out of state on occasion.
Computers, copier, scanner
Access Living operates under a hybrid office plan. Staff members are required to come into the office two days out of every week and may work remotely the other three if they so choose.
Access Living’s office environment is one of shared work space with individual cubicles. Masks are required for all members of staff as well as for all visitors to Access Living.
Access Living requires all staff members to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, including a booster shot.
No. Employees Directly Supervised:
None, but will supervise fellows/interns
Director of Advocacy
STARTING SALARY RANGE: $65,000-$68,000
How to Apply:
Applicants should send cover letter, resume/CV, and no more than 10 pages of a writing sample preferably related to this position. Materials should be sent to email@example.com.
People with lived experience of disability, people with first-hand experience with the criminal justice system, people of color, people who are LGBTQIA*, immigrants, and others from underrepresented groups strongly encouraged to apply.