Judicial Education Manager for Debtors’ Prisons (Pittsburgh based)

The ACLU of Pennsylvania (ACLU-PA) seeks a dynamic and driven professional with prior experience working in the Pennsylvania judicial system and a demonstrated commitment to civil rights and racial justice for a part-time (25-30 hours per week), two-year position to address how magisterial district judges and court of common pleas judges in Allegheny County and surrounding counties interact with people who owe court-imposed fines, costs and restitution (collectively, legal financial obligations, or LFOs).

The Judicial Education Manager will implement a grant-funded project with explicit objectives and activities. The project aims to reduce the number of people who are jailed for failure to pay LFOs; educate judges about the legal requirements and best practices when dealing with indigent defendants who owe LFOs; and develop a core of enlightened judicial leaders committed to eliminating illegal and oppressive LFO collection practices.  The employee will work out of the ACLU-PA’s Pittsburgh office.

Reporting to the Deputy Legal Director who serves as the overall director of the debtors’ prison project, as well as the Criminal Justice and Poverty Attorney, the Judicial Education Manager will recruit, train, and then partner with judges who are willing to serve as peer educators. This position is situated within ACLU-PA’s Legal Department, but the Judicial Education Manager will collaborate with members of other departments as needed. Limited travel, mostly but not exclusively within Allegheny and surrounding counties, and occasional evening and weekend work may be required.

The ACLU-PA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public interest organization, dedicated to defending and enhancing personal freedoms protected by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights through litigation, legislative advocacy, organizing, and community education. It is a fast-paced environment that addresses headline-making issues with powerful personal stories and dynamic, precedent-setting solutions. The ACLU-PA has ten volunteer chapters, 40,000 members, 30 full-time employees, and a $4.7 million operating budget.

JOB RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Gain a thorough knowledge of law and procedure concerning the collection of LFOs.

  • Assist with the development of a judicial education campaign, in consultation with project staff, to correct LFO collection practices in Pennsylvania’s magisterial and common pleas courts, with a particular focus on Allegheny and nearby counties.

  • Coordinate and staff judicial education events, including all logistics (location, food, CLE accreditation if applicable, etc.).

  • Build strong partnerships with key stakeholders, especially in Allegheny County and Southwestern Pennsylvania, but also with stakeholders across the Commonwealth, including criminal defense attorneys, judicial staff, District Attorneys, judicial education professionals, and judges.

  • Participate in and help coordinate consultations with other ACLU staff working on debtors’ prisons issues.

  • Assist with maintaining the project’s website, https://www.aclupa.org/issues/criminaljustice/debtors-prisons.

  • Produce regular updates on program plans and activities. Assist in the development of reports to funders.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Two or more years of experience in the Pennsylvania court system. Experience working directly with judges and in the Pennsylvania criminal justice system preferred.

  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with a variety of stakeholders, including judges.

  • Strong written skills, including the ability to produce fact sheets, memos, and PowerPoints.

  • Strong verbal communications skills.

  • Strong interpersonal skills.

  • Strong organizational skills.

  • Ability to work independently, while knowing when to consult.

  • Knowledge of criminal justice reform work preferred.

  • Proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel, and G Suite. Experience doing basic analysis of data a plus.

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS

Salary is commensurate with experience and within the parameters of the ACLU-PA compensation scale. Benefits include generous vacation and sick leave; defined contribution plan with employer match; and 10 paid holidays. This position is part-time, hourly, and non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

To apply, send a letter of application (cover letter), resume, and a short writing sample to legalsearch@aclupa.org.  Please include your last name and “Judicial Education Manager” in the subject line of the email.  

DEADLINE

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, at which time the job announcement will be removed from our website, www.aclupa.org/jobs.  

The ACLU-PA is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU-PA encourages women, people of color, persons with disabilities, people with records of arrest or conviction, veterans, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals to apply.

The ACLU-PA comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union (the “Union”) of Pennsylvania and the ACLU Foundation (the “Foundation”) of Pennsylvania.  The Union is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation, and ACLU membership dues fund its lobbying work. Donations to the Union are not tax-deductible. The ACLU Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Foundation funds support litigation and public education efforts. Donations to the Foundation are tax-deductible. The Judicial Education Manager is an employee of the ACLU Foundation of Pennsylvania.

Both the ACLU of Pennsylvania and the ACLU Foundation of Pennsylvania have the same overall mission, and share office space, employees, and the same board of directors. The two entities are jointly known by the term “ACLU of Pennsylvania.”

ACLU-PA’s hiring process will comply with Philadelphia’s Fair Criminal Records Screening Standards (“Ban the Box”) ordinance.

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