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Cuyahoga County Jail Coalition is hiring!

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Cuyahoga County Jail Coalition

Fall 2023-Fall 2024

Lead Organizer Position

The Cuyahoga County Jail Coalition is seeking a full-time lead organizer for a one year position (subject to possible renew) to help coordinate our active campaigns and help us to transition the organization from a volunteer-led grassroots initiative into a robust nonprofit that can steer substantive policy changes in Cuyahoga County’s criminal justice system. The ideal candidate is an experienced community organizer or campaigner, coalition-builder, and strategist who deeply believes in the importance of building community leadership, capacity, and people power.

The coalition was formed in 2018 in response to a rash of eight deaths in three months at the Cuyahoga County Jail. Over the last five years we have been one of the primary grassroots organizations advocating for deep systemic change in our justice system as the situation on the inside has continued to deteriorate and people incarcerated there have continued to die. We believe the jail’s problems start with the fundamental lack of compassion and respect for the human beings incarcerated there, who by and large have not been convicted of any crime. Dysfunction in the courts, the local police departments, and the county government have created an environment that is consistently overpopulated, abusive, and incapable of providing for the basic needs of those locked up.

We believe that profound change is both possible and necessary, and are currently engaged in two active campaigns:

  • Care not Cages: Focused on organizing a base of public support for more rehabilitative practices and alternatives to incarceration through community education and advocacy with legislators.

  • No New Jails: Focused on preventing the construction of an expensive and less accessible new jail facility when the local government has consistently proved incapable of improving conditions at the current one, which consultants have suggested can be renovated if the daily population can consistently be lowered.

The lead organizer will be responsible for supporting the ongoing campaigns in addition to taking primary responsibility for guiding the growth of the organization and building the infrastructure for a third campaign: Stop the Inhumanity, focused on creating an effective independent watchdog for conditions inside the jail. This will be achieved through volunteer recruitment, meetings with stakeholders and elected officials, attendance at community meetings, and direct outreach to both currently and formerly incarcerated members of the community. The lead organizer will be the sole full-time staff position but will be supported by a part time administrator, two part time campaign organizers, and a number of part time fellows. The Lead Organizer will report directly to the Coalition Steering Committee.


  • Coordinate between campaigns and programs including No New Jails, Care Not Cages, Stop the Inhumanity and be knowledgeable about their work and its intersections with yours.

  • Spend 3-5 hours per week assisting with Care Not Cages work

  • Lead Stop the Inhumanity program (current jail conditions)

Monitor news for misconduct

Outreach to affected community

Connect with services

Manage mutual aid fund for those victimized (including fundraising)

Create and implement effect advocacy campaigns for systemic problems

Develop overarching campaign for existing conditions (around food, staffing, etc)

Engage with other city/county/NE Ohio/state groups on jail conditions

Become community spokesperson for existing jail conditions

  • Lead base building group, develop vision and plan

  • Develop Jail Co outreach/base building plan

Manage tabling and other outreach

Help coordinate quarterly mass movement meetings for Jail co

Work with comms to make persuasive, appropriate outreach materials

  • Attend steering meetings and present current work

  • Attend relevant coalition meetings as rep of Jail Co (ACLU, NEOCH, REACH, GCC)

  • Maintain notes/information in jail co cloud based archives

  • Attend relevant county/city council meetings

  • Manage one/two fellows per fall/spring


  • Ability to manage a constantly shifting workload and proactively communicate needs and issues that may arise

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

  • Digital literacy and comfort using social media to conduct outreach

  • Research skills

  • Comfort with public speaking and meeting with elected officials

  • Experience with the social tools used by community organizers to build campaigns including agitational conversations, 1 to 1’s, maintaining a base of volunteer leaders, etc.

  • Ability to learn on the job, ask questions, and admit a need for help

  • Tact and emotional sensitivity when dealing with affected community members is essential

  • Familiarity with: Canva, Action Network, Wix, Google Suite, Zoom

Special consideration may be given to candidates who meet any of the following criteria:

  • Direct personal experience of incarceration

  • Experience with legislative advocacy or policy research around criminal justice

  • A background in trauma-informed care

  • The ability to speak a second language (Spanish, Mandarin, or Arabic in particular) and conduct additional outreach within Greater Cleveland’s large immigrant communities.

Cuyahoga County Jail Coalition provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), parental status, national origin, age, disability, genetic information (including family medical history), political affiliation, military service, or other non-merit-based factors. NNJ-C encourages people who have been directly impacted by the criminal legal system and policing systems to apply.

All interested candidates should send a resume and cover letter to with the subject line “Lead Organizer Position”. This is a full-time hybrid position and will require residence within the Greater Cleveland metropolitan area.

Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as they are ready. We will close the application process on November 8, 2023.

Cuyahoga County Jail Coalition


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