Field Associate, Criminal Justice Reform

Job Type

Full Time




United States



The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate, teaching tolerance, and seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society. With offices throughout the Southeastern United States, the SPLC employs litigation, legislative advocacy, and public education to advance criminal justice reform; protect the rights of children, immigrants and LGBT individuals; and combat policies and practices that punish people for being poor.

The Field Associate will conduct public engagement and outreach efforts throughout Florida to build support for criminal justice reform—specifically: (1) reforming the juvenile, criminal justice, and immigration detention 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 Florida. Under the direction of the Supervising Field Director, the Field Associate will help to create and support a sustainable advocacy network by building on and expanding SPLC’s partnerships with community leaders and grassroots stakeholders. This will require cultivating relationships with individuals, families and communities impacted by the criminal justice system; public office-holders; the faith community; and other individuals and groups invested in reducing mass incarceration in Florida.

The Field Associate will be responsible for developing and empowering leaders in local communities to advocate individually and collectively for reform.

The focus of the position may change as warranted by changes in the law, the circumstances in Florida, and/or the needs of the organization.

Primary Job Functions:

Under the supervision of the Supervising Field Director, the Field Associate will:

  • Help to strengthen and expand existing coalitions and policy campaigns dedicated to criminal justice reform, including both adult sentencing reform and juvenile justice reform across the state of Florida;
  • Foster alliances with traditional and new allied organizations and community groups;
  • Organize lobbying trainings for constituents;
  • Recruit, train, and assist an active volunteer base to participate in local events and support education and advocacy activities;
  • Help to develop advocacy materials including, for example, social media posts and flyers;
  • Help to identify and recruit potential witnesses for public hearings and/or press conferences;
  • Organize both small and large-scale public events statewide to educate and mobilize communities to support criminal justice reform. Events may include community forums or town halls, presentations, trainings, panel discussions, tabling events, and rallies;
  • Represent SPLC in various forums, including before community groups, county commissions, and local agencies;
  • Monitor and prepare for legislative committee hearings, including helping to prepare testimony;
  • Attend regular field associate meetings;
  • Provide written and oral reporting on a regular basis; and,
  • Other duties as may be assigned to meet SPLC needs


Education and related work experience

  • College degree or relevant work experience;
  • Two years of experience in grassroots organizing, training, mobilizing, and outreach with diverse coalitions and/or socioeconomically disadvantaged communities to advance reforms to public systems, including but not limited to juvenile or criminal justice systems;
  • Demonstrated ability to work with volunteers;
  • Demonstrated ability to train leaders from socioeconomically disadvantaged communities; and
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity.

 Knowledge, skills and abilities: 

  • Excellent group facilitation, coalition-building, and leadership skills;
  • Strong communication skills, both written and oral, showing attention to detail and capacity to relay complex information effectively to a variety of audiences;
  • Strong interpersonal and relational skills;
  • Capacity to think strategically about social, economic, cultural, and political issues affecting a community;
  • Passion for working with and building power in historically disenfranchised communities;
  • A proven commitment to the struggle for social justice;
  • Ability to maintain a sense of humor in a high-energy, fast-paced work environment;
  • Excellent and consistent attention to detail and the ability to prioritize and meet deadlines;
  • Aptitude for and willingness to be a team player as well as to work independently;
  • Familiarity with Florida’s electoral, juvenile justice, criminal justice, and/or immigration detention systems and grassroots groups working to reform these systems is a plus;
  • Knowledge of either Florida’s legislative process or administrative process is a plus; and
  • Fluency in written and oral Spanish or Creole is required.

Other Special Considerations:

This job is performed under general office conditions, and is not subject to any strenuous physical demands or dangerous conditions.


The statements herein are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by the employee in this position. These statements are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of a person in this position.

To Apply:

Please submit your resume, cover letter, and an example of a campaign plan you have worked on and/or advocacy materials that you have drafted. Please include a short statement describing the overall goals of the campaign, your role, and the outcome of the campaign.

An Equal-Opportunity Employer with a Commitment to Diversity

Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, and as an organization committed to diversity and the perspective of all voices, we consider applicants equally of race, gender, gender identity, color, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, disability, political affiliation, national origin, or prior record of arrest or conviction.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree