Ronald “Elder” Freeman Memorial Policy Fellowship

Legal Services for Prisoners with Children seeks formerly incarcerated persons with a strong commitment to social justice and prison reform for four 2018 Policy Fellowship positions.

About LSPC: LSPC organizes communities impacted by the criminal justice system and advocates for the release of incarcerated people, to restore human and civil rights, and to reunify families and communities. We build public awareness of structural racism in policing, the courts and prison system and we advance racial and gender justice in all our work. Our strategies include legal support, trainings, advocacy, public education, grassroots mobilization, and developing community partnerships.

What is the Elder Freeman Memorial Policy Fellowship?

The Ronald “Elder” Freeman Memorial Policy Fellowship is project of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children. Ronald “Elder” Freeman was a legendary revolutionary pillar in the Bay Area, a lifelong Freedom Fighter in the Black Liberation Struggle and an original member of the Southern California chapter of the Black Panther Party. This fellowship honors his work and legacy.

We are looking for four (4) formerly incarcerated people to join our office for an intensive 12-month fellowship program to learn grassroots organizing, legislative and administrative advocacy, and other strategies to run local and state campaigns with the goal of elevating the leadership of formerly incarcerated people in criminal justice reform.

This year’s Policy Fellowship will also provide the opportunity young adults between the ages of 18-24 to participate in the program by reserving two slots specifically for the age demographic. Historically, young adults have often been at the forefront of most any successful social movement. This will ensure LSPC’s Policy Fellowship includes multi-generational representation, is consistent with this rich history, and includes formerly incarcerated individuals with diverse backgrounds and life experiences fighting collectively to reform the criminal justice system.

The work is based in San Francisco, with routine travel to Sacramento. Program participants should also anticipate traveling to other locations such as Washington D.C. as well.


Policy Fellows Will…
•        Work with coalitions and legislative offices to draft bill language and move up to three bills through the legislative process.

•        Monitor state legislative bills, write support and opposition letters, and engage in other advocacy as needed.

•        Advocate for releasing incarcerated people, reunifying families, and restoring human and civil rights through storytelling, public speaking, and social media campaigning.

•        Engage with and empower their communities through grassroots organizing.

•        Build and maintain relationships with supportive state and local policyholders.

•        Advance the right and responsibility of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people to speak and be heard, transform lives and communities, and fully participate in all aspects of society.

•        Develop a critical understanding of the root causes of mass incarceration.

•        Use the skills they gain to advocate for the empowerment and enfranchisement of all formerly incarcerated people.

•        Develop critical skills and experience necessary for a full-time position as an organizer or criminal justice advocate.

 What is the time commitment?

Each fellow commits to a full-time organizer’s schedule (at least 40 hours per week) for 12 months of intensive training, beginning January 2018.

What is the compensation?

Compensation is $18 per hour, paid every two weeks. Benefits include medical, vision and dental insurance, 2 weeks paid vacation, and 5 paid sick days.

Who should apply?

Anyone who has been incarcerated, who wants to be part of a pilot project to help shape the structure of a Fellowship Program run by and for formerly incarcerated people, and who meets the following requirements:

  • A passion to be empowered and to empower others through political engagement.
  • A commitment to ending the mass criminalization and incarceration of black and brown bodies.
  • A commitment to ending state violence perpetrated against black, brown, and poor communities.
  • A commitment to abstaining from and challenging gender violence in any form.
  • A desire to learn.
  • A desire to work collaboratively with groups and individuals from different communities, backgrounds, and professions (from organizers to attorneys to politicians).
  • A willingness to commit to periodically reading and discussing dense political materials.
  • A willingness to commit to crafting multiple persuasive letters and written works during the course of the fellowship.
  • Mastery of, or willingness to master, Microsoft Word, Google Documents, Gmail, Facebook, Twitter (and other internet and computer tools).

How to apply:

Please provide:

  • A resume,
  • A cover letter explaining your interest in and qualification for the fellowship, and
  • A short (2 pages or fewer) personal statement describing either (1) a specific public or institutional policy that has impacted you, your family, or your community or (2) your vision of how you would end mass incarceration through policy.

We’ll open up applications for the 2019 Policy Fellows in Fall 2018.
Hope to see you then!