The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Criminal Justice Reform practice group focuses primarily on (1) reforming the juvenile, criminal justice and immigration enforcement systems so they operate fairly and equitably; (2) ensuring the dignity and humanity of those interacting with these systems; and (3) reducing the population of individuals detained and incarcerated in the states where we work.
This position will focus on advancing criminal justice reform in Alabama. Subjects of litigation may include, for example, addressing unconstitutional conditions in Alabama’s juvenile, adult, and immigrant detention facilities; advancing sentencing reform; and combating the effects of over-policing, the denial of due process in the criminal justice system, racial disparities, and collateral consequences of justice system involvement.
The United States’ mass incarceration problem extends beyond just incarceration under criminal laws—it also includes the civil incarceration of noncitizens. Each year the United States detains just over 350,000 people in connection with civil immigration laws. Our legal team’s work includes campaigns and litigation to improve conditions of confinement in immigrant prisons (including medical and mental health care, violence, excessive heat, poor sanitation, failure to protect from harm, First Amendment rights, etc.); end solitary confinement; ensure people detained in immigration prisons have access to counsel; and end the privatization of immigrant prisons.
The Senior Staff Attorney will litigate individual and class action cases raising constitutional and statutory claims in federal and Alabama courts, at both the trial and appellate level. S/he may engage in legislative work and public advocacy. The focus of the position may change as warranted by changes in the law, the circumstances in Alabama or the needs of the organization.
Primary Job Functions:
- Lead litigation and public advocacy, under supervision of the Senior Supervising Attorney;
- Draft briefs, motions, memos, and other documents in support of litigation and policy work;
- Communicate regularly with SPLC’s clients, co-counsel, and partner organizations;
- Collaborate with the Senior Supervising Attorney and the Policy Counsel and to identify and support the advancement of state and local policy priorities;
- Research legal and policy issues related to criminal justice reform, including immigration detention and imprisonment;
- Supervise and manage the legal work and related tasks of Law Fellows, Interns, and Outreach Paralegals;
- Supervise outreach activities related to cases and campaigns;
- Represent SPLC in various forums, including before community groups, legislators, and state agencies;
- Respond to requests for legal assistance; and
- Other duties as may be assigned to meet SPLC needs.