Director of Community Engagement

Job Type

Full Time


Minimum: $50,000
Maximum: $55,000



Start Date


Application Deadline



New York
New York
United States


The Parole Preparation Project Seeks a Director of Community Engagement

Organizational Background

The Parole Preparation Project collaborates with and advocates for people serving life sentences in New York State prisons. We train volunteers to work alongside parole-eligible people—many of whom have spent decades in prison and have been repeatedly denied release—as they prepare to apply for parole.

Through our programs, trainings and advocacy work, the Project cultivates transformative and long-lasting relationships between those who are incarcerated and community volunteers; supports currently and formerly incarcerated leaders by amplifying their visions; and is at the forefront of the growing nationwide movement for prison and parole justice.

Our work is guided by the belief that all people have inherent value and that everyone is capable of transformation and worthy of compassion, support, and an opportunity to return to their families.

Please see our website for more information about our programs, mission and impact.

Position Description

The Parole Preparation Project seeks a Director of Community Engagement to build relationships with and support Project applicants who have been granted parole and are returning home from prison after serving long sentences. The Director will help ensure applicants’ successful reentry and work to build a vibrant community of directly impacted people and their allies.

The Director will assist former Project applicants with a variety of reentry needs, including: providing individual mentorship and guidance, organizing and facilitating group support sessions, spearheading community-wide events and liaising with partner organizations. The Director will also create and foster leadership opportunities for former applicants and their family members, as well as other formerly incarcerated people, in the movement for parole justice.

The Director of Community Engagement reports to the Parole Preparation Project Coordinating Committee and will work closely with the Parole Preparation Project Executive Director, collaborating daily on programming and other projects.

Job Responsibilities

Reentry Assistance:  

  • Connect with Project applicants prior to their release to establish reentry plans and strategize around potential needs.
  • Coordinate with Project volunteers to ensure effective mobilization of available reentry resources.
  • Meet with former applicants upon release, make necessary referrals, maintain regular contact and offer guidance and support.

Mentoring and Leadership Development:

  • Design and facilitate group discussion sessions for returning applicants and other formerly incarcerated people to ease the transition home and create supportive networks.
  • Design and facilitate trainings that build the knowledge, skills and leadership of people who are impacted by long-term confinement.

Organize and Mobilize:

  • Conduct base-building activities to grow the movement for parole justice.
  • Mobilize former applicants, other formerly incarcerated people, impacted family members, allies and other advocates to participate in rallies, meetings, events and actions.
  • Conduct presentations at colleges, universities, law schools, churches, mosques, and in other institutional settings to galvanize potential supporters.
  • Host social events for former applicants and Project volunteers to gather and network.
  • Liaise with community partners, reentry groups and other allied organizations; attend coalition meetings and events.  

Internal Support:

  • Provide administrative and programmatic support to the Executive Director for ongoing advocacy campaigns, volunteer recruitment and training, fundraising and other organizational efforts.


The ideal candidate for the Director of Community Engagement is energetic, organized, communicative and self-motivated. A sense of humor and an interest in working as a member of a small, vibrant team in a fast-paced, dynamic environment are essential. Candidates must have an interest in the criminal legal system, parole, and/or reentry, and approach these issues with empathy, compassion and care.

Candidates should have one to three years of experience in community organizing and/or other criminal justice related work, whether in prison or on the outside. Occasional evening and weekend work may be required. Basic computer skills, including ability to use the internet, email, word processing and spreadsheet programs is preferred. Knowledge of social media is helpful, but not required.


Employees of the Parole Preparation Project are members of a bargaining unit represented by the National Organization of Legal Services Workers, UAW Local 2320 and covered by a collective bargaining agreement. Salary is commensurate with experience and ranges from $50,000-$55,000. Benefits include 20 days of paid vacation and 100% employer-covered health insurance.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply

Please send a cover letter and résumé to Executive Director, Michelle Lewin, at by October 16, 2018 at 5pm. In the subject line, please put “Application for Director of Community Engagement”. No phone calls please.

The Parole Preparation Project is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, people of color, people who identify as LGBTQI and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. We are particularly seeking people who have direct experience with and have been harmed by the criminal legal system.