Position Overview

An affiliate of the National ACLU, the ACLU of Alabama is a non-partisan, non-profit public interest organization that works in the courts, in the legislature, and in communities to defend and expand individual rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and civil rights laws. Its staff and volunteers work in a fast-paced, friendly, and professional atmosphere with an office located in Montgomery.

The ACLU’s Campaign for Smart Justice is a nationwide campaign committed to realizing a new criminal justice system – one that is substantially smaller than its current size while also keeping communities safe, advancing racial justice, treating people fairly, and using fiscal resources wisely. To achieve our decarceration and racial justice goals, the Campaign for Smart Justice works state by state to win reforms aimed at ending mass incarceration, including reforms to sentencing, pretrial/bail, parole and probation, drug policy, reentry, and prosecutorial policies and practices.

The ACLU of Alabama’s Campaign for Smart Justice program seeks an experienced, highly motivated, and energetic Investigative Reporter to play a key role in the advancement of ACLU of Alabama’s criminal justice work in Alabama. The Investigative Reporter will engage in research, documentation, story gathering, and data analysis that will be used to shift media, lawmaker, and public perceptions around criminal justice reform.

The position is a part time contract requiring 20-25 hours/week. The position can be performed remotely, but will require a moderate amount of travel throughout the state and visits to the Montgomery office. The position reports to the Director of Communications & Public Education.

Responsibilities

  • Perform in-depth, original research by developing sources, filing and analyzing public records’ requests, and working with other organizations on criminal justice issues;
  • Use research to develop policy and advocacy materials such as white papers, reports, fact sheets and policy briefs;
  • Find compelling narratives about the ACLU’s work by engaging with community members to highlight personal stories;
  • Work with the Communications Director to use social media and email to generate stories;
  • Assist with writing and editing other materials as needed, including but not limited to blogs, op eds, press releases, and event promotion;
  • Attend coalition meetings upon request and participate in accountability measures of our Campaign for Smart Justice; and
  • Ability to juggle both short term and long term projects.

Qualifications

The Investigative Reporter should possess the following experience and personal attributes:

  • Personally committed to advancing the ACLU’s values, mission, goals and programs, with an understanding of the range of civil rights and civil liberties issues and their implications, particularly in the area of criminal justice;
  • Experience with or knowledge of Alabama’s criminal justice system;
  • Excellent research skills and investigative experience with an aptitude for engaging with local organizations, community groups, and the general public to identify compelling stories; 
  • A rock-star writer with an established track record for producing clear and compelling prose on short deadlines and for distilling complicated narratives, issues, and data sets down into values-based, human-centered stories that inspire people to take action;
  • Experience telling stories in multiple media formats preferred; and
  • Bachelor’s degree and at least three years professional writing experience, or an equivalent combination of education and work experience. A background in journalism with an extensive publication history is preferred.

Salary: $25-$35 per hour depending upon experience.

Application Procedure: All applications are treated confidentially. Interested candidates should send a cover letter stating the applicant’s interest in this position, a current resume, a brief writing sample, and contact information for three references by e-mail to rseungbickley@aclualabama.org.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

The ACLU of Alabama is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, and veteran status.

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