Diversion and Reentry Policy Analyst


Position: Diversion and Reentry Policy Analyst

Basic Function:

Access Living is pleased to announce that we are seeking a full-time Diversion and Reentry Policy Analyst to support our work related to people with disabilities impacted by the criminal legal system. The Analyst will join Access Living’s Advocacy Department, which currently addresses a wide range of issues through disability policy and organizing. They will be part of an internal team of staff working on not only diversion and reentry, but also the needs of disabled survivors of gun violence across the city of Chicago. This work is an important piece of Access Living’s overall work on both disability justice and disability rights.

The Analyst will support Access Living’s growing work to address not only the needs of formerly incarcerated Chicagoans with disabilities, but to inform and shape change in diversion, reentry and incarceration of people with disabilities nationwide. Partners to date include local, state and national stakeholders. The primary funder for the position is the MacArthur Safety and Justice Challenge.

Specific Duties:

  • Engaging in policy advocacy and public education related to diversion and reentry from a disability perspective.
  • Support the implementation of the Illinois Community Emergency Services and Supports Act (CESSA), in alignment with Illinois’ rollout of the 988 program. Collaborate with first responder stakeholders, policy advocates and community members interested in non-police emergency response programs for people with disabilities in crisis.
  • Supervise a series of Fellows who are formerly incarcerated persons with disabilities. The Fellowship program is currently in development and will consist of a consecutive series of six-month fellowships over three years. The Fellows will support the Analyst in their work.
  • Facilitate and support a quarterly community advisory committee also consisting of formerly incarcerated persons with disabilities. The advisory committee is also in development.
  • Support Access Living’s current grant project of a Spring 2022 Voices of Reentry webinar series to educate stakeholders on disability needs for diversion and reentry. This project is currently led by contractors in collaboration with Access Living staff and partners/community members.
  • Monitor and stay abreast of best practices for diversion and reentry of people with disabilities, from a cross-disability and intersectional standpoint.
  • Connect with advocates, attend MacArthur’s Safety and Justice Challenge network meetings, and engage in information sharing about the situation of people with disabilities in the criminal justice system on the Safety and Justice Challenge Exchange.
  • Collaborate with Access Living’s Racial Justice Organizer, Immigration and Latinx Organizer, and other staff engaged on restorative justice, disability law and other related topics.
  • Collaborate with Access Living’s Communications Department on media engagement, highlighting the stories of disabled people who have been incarcerated and/or who are at risk of incarceration.
  • Produce public comment or testimony, or education on diversion and reentry of people with disabilities, to policymakers as needed.
  • Ensure internal accountability is met, such as data entry and quarterly reports.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Education and Training:

Advanced degree 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 can affect people with disabilities.


  • 3+ years of experience in diversion/reentry policy advocacy
  • Experience providing general project support, such as activity tracking, task coordination, and document formatting, in a deadline-oriented environment
  • Demonstrated experience in coordinating collaborative groups/coalitions, both in person and remotely, particularly through a task force/planning lens
  • Demonstrated expertise and interest in the criminal justice system, especially as it operates in Cook County, Illinois
  • Demonstrated expertise and interest in oppression facing people with disabilities belonging to marginalized groups such as people of color, people who are LGBTQIA*, immigrants, and others
  • Preferred – understanding of Independent Living Philosophy, disability justice, criminal justice reform and restorative justice, complex topics in inclusion 
  • Comfort with public presentations to a variety of audiences
  • Advanced proficiency in MS Office Applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook

Physical Demands:

Ability to travel within state; will need to travel out of state on occasion.

Working Environment:

Access Living virtual or shared office space. Access Living is currently fully remote but we expect to transition to a hybrid model sometime in 2022.

Access Living currently mandates all employees be vaccinated against COVID-19. Religious or health related exemptions will be considered.

Equipment Operated:

Computers, copier, scanner

Employees Supervised:

None, but will supervise interns and/or Fellows

Supervised By:

Director of Advocacy



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 careers@accessliving.org.  

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.