Contract position, up to 240 hours over 3 months
ASL version here: https://bit.ly/heard-pc-asl
HEARD provides critical advocacy and direct support to deaf/disabled incarcerated people in the United States. While HEARD is not able to provide direct advocacy support to the majority of the people who write to us, we seek to show solidarity with our incarcerated community by responding to every single letter.
Depending on the needs of the person who wrote to us, we respond with general legal knowledge, knowledge about deaf/disabled communities, ideas about possible self-advocacy, contact information for local organizations, resources for political education and reentry, or information to break down isolation and provide general support. Many deaf/disabled incarcerated people are working together to challenge ableist policies and abusive conditions within their facility and our Prison Correspondence program seeks to support them in doing so. HEARD’s Prison Correspondence program also seeks to connect with deaf/disabled incarcerated people through linguistically and culturally responsive resources.
HEARD currently has four members of the staff collective including our Incarcerated Advocacy Program Director, Reentry Program Director, Development & Operations Director, and Communications Director.
The HEARD Prison Correspondent’s primary role is to correspond with and provide essential referrals to deaf/disabled incarcerated people across the United States. In addition to drafting and sending letters, the Correspondent will research key topics such as resources for legal representation, reentry resources, organizations providing specialized services, movement and prisoner solidarity groups, and more. The Correspondent works closely with the Incarcerated Advocacy Program Director and the Prison Correspondence Assistant.
- Research issues and questions raised in letters from incarcerated people. Topics range from the rights of disabled incarcerated people, accessible information about healthcare, reentry resources and legal aid services, to name a few.
- Conduct outreach to various agencies and organizations to determine whether they provide relevant services or have relevant resources.
- Create and update template letters to include resources and answers to common questions.
- Keep HEARD staff informed of patterns, discoveries, and developments.
- Attend biweekly check-ins to build rapport with colleagues and share key updates.
Respond to Letters
- Draft thoughtful, accessible, and empathic response letters to incarcerated people.
- Determine which resources and referrals to include in correspondence.
- Follow HEARD general and legal mail guidelines.
- Join legal calls with incarcerated people when requested.
- Join meetings between HEARD staff and outside organizations when requested.
- Work with the Washington D.C.-based Prison Correspondence Assistant to ensure that all incoming and outgoing letters are properly uploaded, organized and documented in internal Airtable databases.
- Provide feedback, editing and support to the Prison Correspondence Assistant as needed.
- Support the Prison Correspondence Assistant in scanning, filing, and summarizing all incoming mail as needed.
Candidates must have exceptionally strong English writing skills, be fluent in ASL, and be highly organized and attentive to detail. Strong computer skills, including the ability to use the internet, email, word processing, electronic databases and spreadsheets is also required. Fluency in additional languages is also desirable.
Compassion, empathy, and openness are essential in our work, as is an unwavering commitment to racial and disability justice. As an abolitionist organization, we seek candidates who have a critical analysis of or a desire to dismantle prisons, policing, and medical-carceral systems.
Black, Indigenous, people of color, gender marginalized, queer/LGBTQIA+, deaf/disabled, formerly incarcerated people and members of other marginalized communities are strongly encouraged to apply.
This is a temporary contract position. The Prison Correspondent will be expected to work 240 hours over three months (this averages to about 20 hrs/week) and will be compensated at a rate of $67/hour. This hourly rate was calculated based on HEARD’s staff salaries with additional compensation to cover the costs associated with a contract role (specifically, self-employment tax and independent health benefits). The Correspondent’s work schedule will be flexible and remote. They will not be expected to work on HEARD holidays or on Fridays, but may do so if they wish.
Please apply here: https://bit.ly/heard-pc-application.
All materials must be received no later than March 31, 2023 at 8:59pm PT / 11:59pm ET.
Email us at contact@HEARDadvocates.org if you have any questions.