Internship Opportunities


The Initiative has partnered with a number of prison reform organizations in the D.C. area offering internship opportunities to college aged students.  Through our partnerships, we hope to streamline the intern application process to provide opportunities to interested Georgetown students and serve as a resource pool for these organizations.  The Initiative is also pleased to present the PJI Fellowship program, which will be available to select candidates who find their internships through us.  As a PJI Fellow, the intern will receive a small monetary honorarium from the Initiative to help offset expenses.

For more information on how to apply for any of these internships or to be considered as a PJI Fellow, please contact Aliyah Graves-Brown at

 Catholic Charities 

  Welcome Home Reentry / Prison Outreach Program

Catholic Charities' Welcome Home Reentry Program provides mentoring to men and women returning to their communities after incarceration.  Their goal is to help prevent returning citizens from falling back to previous mistakes by helping them find and follow a path to a new career. The program does this by creating a support network centered around volunteer mentors who work closely with returning citizens. Together, they help overcome big and small obstacles on route to finding a job, a safe place to live, and a community of support.

 Coalition for Juvenile Justice 



Communications Intern:

(Unpaid) The Communications Intern will assist with the execution of projects to develop and manage the overall provision of email, web-based, and social media communications with CJJ members and other key audiences. S/He will assist the Communications and Member Relations Associate with the monthly newsletter, Facebook and Twitter posts and responses, the CJJ blog, and other forms of member communications. Other duties include data management and administrative/logistical support.  

More Information

Candidates are expected to be fast-learners who are flexible and team-oriented, have strong interpersonal skills, and have proficient-to-advanced skills with MS Office suite. Experience with basic HTML, data analysis, and familiarity with juvenile justice issues are preferred. The Communications Intern may be required to write short products and content on specific juvenile justice related topics.

Major Areas of Responsibility:

  • Update and maintain CJJ’s social media pages, including Facebook and Twitter;
  • Assist in planning, writing, and managing monthly newsletter;
  • Design publications, graphics, and emails to CJJ members;
  • Update CJJ’s website;
  • Reach out to members and allies to create blog content;
  • Fact-check and revise a range of products to conform with CJJ style requirements and to ensure accuracy;
  • Maintain CJJ’s listservs and other sources of data;
  • Analyze, synthesize, and summarize dense and complex information accurately, clearly, and within a short time-frame;
  • Provide additional project support; and
  • On occasion, attend relevant meetings, briefings, and events for the purposes of taking notes and reporting back to staff.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Completed Bachelor's degree in advertising, journalism, or marketing field, social sciences, education, social work, law, and justice related fields or other relevant fields;
  • Prior internship or related experience with a nonprofit, advocacy organization, or on Capitol Hill preferred; experience in marketing and communications a plus;
  • Excellent oral and interpersonal communications skills;
  • Persuasive writing, editing, and research skills, and ability to frame and draft cogent messages;
  • Must be a team player who enjoys working in groups but can function individually to meet goals;
  • Experience working on websites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and/or YouTube in a professional capacity; and
  • Proficiency in MS Office and Adobe; experience in graphic design and basic HTML a plus.

Policy and Legal Research Intern:

(Unpaid) The Policy and Legal Research Intern will assist with the execution of projects to develop resources and information to support CJJ’s federal policy agenda and juvenile justice reform efforts. CJJ has specific goals to advance leadership development and youth involvement, as well as current and growing projects in the following areas, among others: eliminating racial/ethnic disparities, improving outcomes and preventing detention of youth at risk of court involvement, and promoting detention reform and alternatives to detention for youth charged with delinquency. 

More Information

Candidates are expected to be fast-learners who are flexible and team-oriented, have strong interpersonal skills, and have proficient-to-advanced skills with MS Office suite. Experience with data analysis and familiarity with juvenile justice issues are preferred. The policy analyst/legal researcher will be primarily responsible for researching and producing digests of federal and state juvenile justice statutes and regulations, and may be required to write short products and content on specific juvenile justice related topics.

Major Areas of Responsibility:

  • Research federal and state regulations governing the treatment and disposition of cases involving juveniles in the juvenile court;
  • Prepare periodic research summaries for staff as necessary or requested;
  • Fact-check and revise a range of products to conform with CJJ style requirements and to ensure accuracy;
  • Analyze, synthesize, and summarize dense and complex information accurately, clearly, and within a short time-frame;
  • Provide additional project support including but not limited to preparation of PowerPoint presentations; and
  • On occasion, attend relevant meetings, briefings, and events for the purposes of taking notes and reporting back to staff.

Like many national nonprofit organizations, CJJ operates in a dynamic environment. Therefore, growth opportunities and responsibilities for this position may evolve in response to new strategic priorities and funding opportunities. CJJ values diversity in all aspects of its operations and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Bachelor’s degree in social sciences, education, social work, law, and justice related fields or other relevant fields; preference for J.D. (2L or 3L preferred);
  • At least two years’ experience researching state and/or federal statutory or regulatory authority, including familiarity with the Congressional Record and THOMAS;
  • Ability to write clearly and cogently for a variety of audiences; and
  • Prior experience working with a nonprofit, advocacy organization, or on Capitol Hill preferred.


 Council for Court EXCELLENCE 


The Council for Court Excellence internship program provides a unique opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to improve justice for the DC community. Our internship offers hands-on experience to exceptional students interested in law, access to justice, and nonprofit policymaking, and is designed for students interested in research, analysis, and systemic change within the justice system.

CCE’s internships provide the opportunity for students to:

  • Strengthen their understanding of the justice system in Washington, DC;
  • Participate in the reform of local and federal justice system policies and practices, including the jury system, civil case processing, administrative justice, criminal and juvenile justice, and other issues related to the welfare of children;
  • Improve the general public's understanding of the civil, criminal, and juvenile justice systems through publications and educational programs;
  • Assist in the development of local and federal legislation affecting the justice system; and
  • Work with a dedicated staff and volunteer board of lawyers, business leaders, judges, and other civic members on key justice issues.

More Information

About Council for Court Excellence
The Council for Court Excellence is a nonprofit, nonpartisan civic organization that works to improve the administration of justice in the local and federal courts and related agencies in the Washington metropolitan area. The Council has a small staff which is governed by and works with a large Board of Directors whose members come from the legal, business, judicial, and civic sectors of the community.

General Responsibilities
Council for Court Excellence interns are involved in research, analysis, writing, project committee support, and community relations in program areas including, but not limited to:

  • Primary and secondary research of local and federal justice system and associated agencies’ practices;
  • Creating public education guides which increase the general public's understanding of the civil, criminal, and juvenile justice systems through publications and educational programs;
  • Development of local and federal legislation pertaining to the justice system;
  • Providing support to the various project committees through attending meetings, researching project leads, etc;
  • Assisting with report release events and other special events as needed; and
  • Attending board meetings with local and federal lawyers, judges, businesses, and civic members.

Please check other portions of the Council's website for information about the range of current projects and initiatives,

Eligibility and Qualifications
Undergraduate, graduate, and law students are eligible for CCE internships. Applicants should have a background in policy or legal research and an interest in one or more of the following areas: public policy, law, courts (civil, criminal, and administrative), civic engagement, government, journalism, public relations, or resource development.

Internships are unpaid, though CCE covers public transportation costs. The Council cooperates fully with academic credit-granting programs. Students receiving academic credit should consult with their professors or advisors concerning evaluation forms or other requirements.

Internships are generally 12-16 week unpaid positions located in Washington, DC. We offer three internship sessions that align with the academic calendar: Spring from January to May, Summer from June to August, and Fall from September to December. Positions can be full-time or part-time, based on the needs of the organization and student availability. For best placement results, please apply before the closing deadline listed below for each semester.


 DC Books to Prisons



Since 1999, DC Books to Prisons Project has provided free books to incarcerated citizens around the country. They also develop and support local prison libraries. Their work is done solely by concerned volunteers on donated time and resources. Yearly, they send out over 5,000 packages that go to incarcerated citizens in over 600 prisons in the United States.  Volunteers will help send books to prisons, usually by reading letters from incarcerated citizens and matching up their requests with donated books.

To volunteer, attend an orientation session (required).  The next orientation session is on Monday, May 16th at 6:30pm in the basement of Foundry United Methodist Church, 16th & P Streets NW.  


DC Detention Visitation Network

Title: Intern

Term: Flexible

DC Detention Visitation Network interns assist with administrative, communications, and programmatic work of the organization.  They will be supervised by Erin Hustings, DC DVN’s Coordinator, and by other members of the DC DVN Steering Committee.

Logistical details:

Hours – 5-15 hours per week as schedule permits.

Location – Location flexible; intern may choose to work from River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 6301 River Rd., Bethesda, MD 20817.

Compensation – We can offer a stipend of $500 per semester for the Spring or Fall of 2017.

Deadline: 8/1/17 for the Fall 2017 semester.


Answer inquiries from potential volunteers and others interested in DC DVN
Conduct proactive outreach to community-based organizations most likely to be interested in DC DVN, including faith-based communities, immigrant community organizations, and student groups
Make presentations to community groups about DC DVN
Assist with logistics and management of volunteer trainings, visits to detention centers, and other events
Refine, improve, and build upon DC DVN’s standard materials, web and social media presence
Work on new initiatives which may include initiating use of CIVIC’s VIANEY system for scheduling visits, planning social events for volunteers, or investigating feasibility of providing supplemental support to people who may be released from custody

Qualifications Desired:

Personal belief in and commitment to ensuring equal treatment of all people, with unfailing respect for each person’s dignity and humanity
Interest in immigration policy and related fields
Ability to communicate with sensitivity to people who have experienced trauma and isolation
Confidence in decision-making ability; comfort with working independently
Strong writing and contemporaneous speaking ability
Previous experience with event planning and management desirable
Multilingual ability desirable

Skills Interns Will Develop:

Technical understanding of the immigration enforcement system
Informal counseling experience
Experience crafting communications to targeted audiences, designing educational presentations, and recruiting and managing volunteers
Fluency and confidence in public speaking
Event planning expertise; ability to anticipate and fulfill logistical needs

drug policy alliance

title: legislative affairs intern

term: flexible


The Drug Policy Alliance, the country's leading independent drug policy reform organization, seeks two interns each semester in our Washington, D.C., legislative affairs office. Applicants should either be pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree, or have received their degree within one year of the start date of the applicable internship semester. Interns will work closely with staff to research policy issues, develop issue briefs, analyze federal legislation and assist with administrative work. See the Introduction to the Office of National Affairs Internship Program for more program details. Interns and their supervisor will work together to create a regular work schedule with a minimum of 24 hours per week. Interns are encouraged to work more than 24 hours per week if they are willing and able, and many interns opt to do so.  We will be happy to work with students to obtain credit towards coursework.

Qualification: Interns must possess strong research, writing, and communication skills. Applicants should be able to demonstrate effective problem-solving skills, as well as the ability to multi-task without constant supervision. Individuals with the desire and ability to work in a self-starter organization are especially encouraged to apply. Interns should demonstrate interest in drug policy reform. Some prior experience in policy research and administrative affairs is preferred but not necessary.


Families Against Mandatory Minimums


Title: Communication Assistant Intern

Term: Summer/Fall/Winter

Who We Are:

Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), the nation’s leading nonprofit sentencing reform organization, seeks a dynamic, creative, organized, hard-working intern to join the FAMM team and work with our communications and research departments. 

Who Should Apply:

The ideal candidate is a current undergraduate or graduate student with a concentration in communications, journalism, public policy, political science, sociology, or other related fields and is interested in criminal justice issues. FAMM is willing to work with our future interns and their universities to provide course credit and can be flexible to work and class schedules.


Strong verbal and written communications skills
Exhibits strong initiative and is self-motivated
Interest in and willingness to learn about criminal justice issues, specifically sentencing policy
Ability to work in a fast paced environment and meet deadlines
Organized and detail-oriented
Experience with digital media
Personable; has enthusiasm for teamwork and enjoys interacting with new people
Proficiency with Microsoft Office applications including Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint required
Experience with database management, Adobe Suite, and/or cinematography a plus but not required

What You’ll Do: FAMM is committed to providing a formative educational opportunity in which students can learn, apply what they’ve learned in academia, and develop new skills. Our interns have pursued photography projects, created social media strategies, assisted in interview filming, collated prisoner surveys, and much more. Day-to-day activities can include:

Interview former prisoners and/or their family members
Write, develop, and assist in updating prisoner profiles on
Assist with digital media and production
Assist in developing creative advocacy messaging
Fact-check and update resources for affected family members
Media monitoring and analysis
Compile and manage press lists

Important Dates:

Summer 2017 (April/May to August)

Fall semester 2017 (August/September to December)

Spring semester 2018 (January to April/May)

Where We Are:

FAMM’s office is located in the heart of DC, Gallery Place Chinatown, 3 city blocks from the White House, and a mere 20 minutes from Capitol Hill. We are surrounded by Smithsonian museums, dozens of great eateries, and are less than 5 minutes’ walk from both the Red and Green/Yellow Metro lines. 

 Free Minds Book Club



Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop works to introduce youth incarcerated as adults at the DC Jail to the transformative power of books and creative writing. We are currently seeking a dedicated and enthusiastic individual to serve as Program Support Intern. This position is a great fit for students interested in prison justice, education, creative writing, social justice, or event planning.  This position is for 10-20 hours each week, and we can be somewhat flexible on scheduling. This internship offers a unique chance to make a direct and meaningful impact in the lives of young people and in the larger DC community, using the innovative tools of books and poetry.  

Internship available starting Fall semester. Start/end dates are flexible but we ask for a 3-month commitment. Applications accepted until August 15. Please visit for more information on our program.

More Information

Responsibilities may include:

  • Typing member poetry and providing constructive feedback
  • Writing letters to the incarcerated youth in our program
  • Researching information on job training and educational programs
  • Decorating birthday cards for incarcerated Book Club members
  • Creating activity kits and educational worksheets for Book Club members on solitary confinement
  • Assisting with the preparation and planning of our “On the Same Page” violence prevention programs in DC public high schools
  • Preparing and setting up for Write Night, our monthly community volunteer event
  • Occasionally taking pictures at events, distributing evaluations, and following up with event partners and potential volunteers
  • Tracking evaluations from violence prevention events
  • Assisting with other program support as needed


  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Interest in the nonprofit sector and social justice
  • Flexible self-starter with willingness to take on a variety of assignments a must
  • Strong work ethic and a good sense of humor
  • Experience with word processing software required; experience with Microsoft Excel or Photoshop a plus
  • Ability to manage time effectively and work independently in a fast-paced environment
  • Comfortable working closely with a prison and returning citizen population
  • Passion for books, creative writing, and the power of expression as a tool for change
  • Creative with basic art skills a strong plus
  • Available to work 10-20 hours per week


Goucher Prison Education Partnership 



The Goucher Prison Education Partnership (GPEP), a division of Goucher College, gives men and women incarcerated in Maryland the opportunity to pursue an excellent college education.  GPEP offers Goucher College courses to students at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women (MCIW) and the Maryland Correctional Institution - Jessup (MCIJ). They also provide college preparatory courses for prospective Goucher students at the prisons needing additional support to be ready for college coursework.

Tutors commit to at least one evening of tutoring per week for the full semester and attend several tutor trainings on the main campus. Tutors should be able to assist with academic writing (across the disciplines), math (PreAlgebra, Algebra I & Algebra II, Statistics, Precalculus, and/or Calculus) and/or Intermediate to advanced Spanish language (speaking, reading and writing). The ideal candidate is someone with demonstrated success in advanced academic work with some teaching or tutoring experience. Next semester, tutoring will take place on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6-8:30 pm. *Faculty, staff, undergraduate upperclassmen, graduate students, and other adult professionals from the Baltimore community are invited to apply for this role.* (Goucher students: Current and former writing tutors and SIs are strongly encouraged to apply.)

Research assistants
Research assistants serve as a bridge to key academic resources, gathering materials needed by incarcerated students to complete research papers and other academic projects. These assistants work closely with a specific professor and carefully follow institutional and programmatic guidelines regarding materials brought to the prisons. The ideal candidate should be conscientious, a problem solver, and able to work independently.

Administrative Help: 
A small number of volunteers provide administrative support. This work includes creating student files, assisting with various types of communications, data entry, and other tasks. Candidates should be detail oriented and willing to pitch in where needed. Familiarity with Excel is helpful. (Administrative help takes place on Goucher's main campus, not at the prisons.)


International Family Alliance Association

position: intern

term: Flexible

The International Family Alliance Association is a nonprofit membership organization established to advocate for Offenders and Ex-Offenders entering and exiting prison. In particular, the IFAA hopes to change the current policies and practices of mandatory sentencing, unreasonably lengthy sentencing, ethnic sentencing disparity, voting rights of Offenders and Ex-Offenders and privatization of correctional institutions.

They are seeking interns to assist the organization with the development of a business plan written in both English and Spanish, the development of a website in English and Spanish, and social media follow-up with other organizations.


Justice Research and Statistics Association


The Justice Research and Statistics Association (JRSA) hosts interns in the Fall, Spring and Summer. Interns for this summer would likely be working on developing content for a Learning Management System that is intended to improve the skills of State Statistical Analysis Centers (SACs).  SACs are the core members of JRSA and they are the designated agencies at the state-level that are responsible for reporting state criminal justice statistics to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.  The JRSA also has a number of research projects which interns may have an opportunity to work on. 


 National Juvenile Defender Center



Policy Internship:

The Policy Intern supports a full range of state and federal, local and national policy projects and campaigns, in addition to grant research and writing to fund and expand NJDC’s policy initiatives. NJDC is launching major policy activities and events as they gear up for the 50th Anniversary of the In re Gault decision that established children’s right to defense counsel in juvenile delinquency court.

Please review the official posting for more information.

Administrative Assistant Internship:

NJDC is looking for talented individuals to provide administrative support and executive assistance. NJDC is eager to support the development of non-profit and administrative professionals interested in supporting their mission and work plan, by providing an opportunity to receive academic credit or public service hours for part-time office work. This is otherwise a non-paid volunteer position.

Please review the official posting for more information.

Spring or Fall Internship:

NJDC also occasionally accepts well-qualified undergraduate students for a fall or spring semester internships.  While interns will not be assigned legally substantive work, there are many substantive ways interns can engage in NJDC's work and learn about juvenile defense issues. Interns may be assigned a variety of tasks that could include website management, social media campaigns, non-legal research, event support, and administrative assistance. 


National Criminal Justice Association

Title: Intern

Term: Spring, potentially longer


The National Criminal Justice Association hires interns for semester long internships throughout the year, including the summer. The NCJA's undergraduate internship program is designed to provide substantive experience in criminal justice policy to undergraduate students.

Interns primarily research and write articles for two NCJA newsletters and participate in other projects as assigned. Much of their time is spent summarizing and analyzing criminal justice research reports, as well as attending and reporting on congressional hearings, Justice Department briefings and other meetings around the city. Clerical duties are minimal.

Because the interns spend much of their time writing, the NCJA is looking for prospective interns who have excellent writing skills. However, prospective interns are not required to have a specific academic major.  We are looking for inquisitive, hard-working students who have a genuine interest in criminal justice or journalism.

The unpaid internship positions are available on a full-time or part-time basis throughout the academic year and during the summer.  We prefer that students work between 30-40 hours per week but are willing to accommodate students' academic schedules.

Students who would like to be considered for an internship are asked to send a cover letter, resume and writing samples (no more than five pages).

*A copy of a current transcript is encouraged.

Transitional Associates, Inc.

position: Intern

term: Flexible

Transitional Associates, Inc. is a nonprofit organization established to provide services to men, women, and juveniles entering and exiting the prison system, as well as to Ex-Offenders currently in our communities. Transitional Associates, Inc. exists to produce programs that will reduce recidivism, create safer communities, and allow Ex-Offenders to become productive members of society. Transitional Associates, Inc., also plans to utilize established government agencies, churches, and private organizations that will target the returning Offender’s needs in the area of education, literacy, vocational and job placement, with a comprehensive range of services for physical and behavioral health care, including a continuum of drug abuse and substance rehabilitation services.

They are seeking interns to assist the organization with the development of a business plan written in both English and Spanish languages, the development of  a website in English and Spanish, and social media follow-up with other organizations.


 Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice 




The Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice typically takes on 2 interns during each semester of the academic year and 3 during the summer.  DJJ interns typically work full time or close to full time to gain the full experience of what it means to be a Juvenile Probation Officer. As the interns progress in the program they will be assigned cases that they will have to work and make important decisions concerning a Juvenile's case.  Interns will learn how to come to decisions; they will learn how to assess and interview a Juvenile and their families and complete our Youth Assessment and Screening Instrument.  Interns in the program will get exposure to DJJ's Juvenile Detention Center, Juvenile Correctional Center’s and Adult Detention Center. The DJJ also has interns complete a ride along with the Sheriff’s Department.    

Read the Intern Training Checklist to learn more. 

Voices for a Second Chance

Title: Intern

Term: Immediately

*Looking for 2 interns

1-      Develop white paper/fact sheet

2-      Develop research and identify potential funders by interpreting policies, procedures and laws as well as making recommendations for changes to existing policy or procedure or implementation of new policy or procedure by identifying institutional/community needs and attempting to meet such needs.

3-      Support our Reentry Action Network. A new program by supporting its issues, identify and network with organization with shared ideas, demonstrate knowledge of principals and processes involved in reentry; this includes strategic planning and resource allocation. Identify issues or policy areas to explore, collect and analyze information, then report their findings and propose new policies for addressing problems.  Conduct cost-benefit analyses of existing policies to assess whether this  program's outcomes outweighed the expenses or if the program will cost more than anticipated