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RESEARCH CENTER - Pathways to Research and Advocacy Fellow

The Fortune Society

Job Description

RESEARCH CENTER - Pathways to Research and Advocacy Fellow

Full Job Description

The Fortune Society, Inc. (Fortune) has been working for over 54 years in service to our mission: to support successful reentry from incarceration and promote alternatives to incarceration, thus strengthening the fabric of our communities. The organization has evolved into one of the nation’s preeminent reentry and justice-informed service organizations, providing formerly-incarcerated people with the skills and wrap-around services needed to break the cycle of crime and incarceration and to build productive lives in their communities. Fortune has a highly specialized skill set to serve this population, with over 54 years of experience serving formerly incarcerated individuals in New York City and over 20 years of experience managing supportive housing.

Title: Pathways to Research and Advocacy Fellow (PtRA Fellow)
Unit: Center for Research, Inquiry and Social Justice (CRIS-J)
Reports to: Senior Director of Research
Status: Full Time; Temporary; Non-exempt
Timeframe: August 2022 – July 2023 (12 months)
Hours: 35 hours per week; Monday – Friday; 9am-5pm
Location: On-site,Manhattan and Long Island City, New York

The Organizations:
The Fortune Society’s mission is to support successful reentry from incarceration and promote alternatives to incarceration, thus strengthening the fabric of our communities. We do this by: believing in the power of individuals to change; building lives through service programs shaped by the needs and experience of our participants; and changing minds through education and advocacy to promote the creation of a fair, humane, and truly rehabilitative correctional system.

For 25 years, the Center for Court Innovation has been working to transform justice, both changing practices inside the system, and investing in community-led programming to shrink the system’s reach and harms and ensure long-term safety for all. We accomplish these goals by conducting original research, and by working side-by-side with communities in jurisdictions across the country to translate evidence-based research into local innovations and cutting-edge policy reforms.

Purpose of the Position:
The Pathways to Research and Advocacy Fellowship program (PtRA) is a comprehensive one-year fellowship created by The Fortune Society (Fortune) and the Center for Court Innovation (the Center). The aim of the fellowship is to increase experience-based research and advocacy within the field of criminal legal system reform while building bridges with directly impacted communities.

As a multi-stage Fellowship, the PtRA Fellow will first learn cutting-edge research methodologies and implementation, as well as training in the fundamentals of advocacy. In the second stage, the Fellow will put that training to use by conducting research to support Fortune and the Center’s robust portfolios of programs, research projects, and policy and advocacy work on behalf of directly impacted communities.

During the entirety of the program, the Fellow will be immersed in the criminal legal system reform space in New York City. The Fellow will shadow long-time researchers and advocates specializing in everything from community organizing to leading nonprofit organizations. At the end of the Fellowship term, the Fellow will be highly marketable and Fortune and the Center will assist them in acquiring employment as professional researchers and advocates.

Core Competencies:
Mission, Culture and Fit – Selected candidate must embody the values and mission of the Fortune Society. This includes meeting our participants where they are in the re-entry process, demonstrating our values through compassion and understanding; and affirming that none of us should be measured against the worse things we have done. Second chances are the Fortune Way.

Communication – The PtRA Fellow should demonstrate writing, speaking, and listening skills that enable them to communicate effectively and compassionately with participants, colleagues, and communities impacted by the criminal legal system.

Responsible Research Conduct – The PtRA Fellow will be trained in study protocol as well as ethical guidelines for how to conduct research. The PtRA Fellow must be able to follow these guidelines.

Knowledge of the Criminal Legal System Reform Landscape – The PtRA Fellow should have an understanding of the criminal legal system reform movement and key reform issues in NYC.

Principle Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Fellow will receive trainings on cutting-edge research methodologies and implementation, as well as training in the fundamentals of advocacy.
  • Fellow will select one to three projects within Fortune and the Center to focus on during fellowship. Activities on projects may include (but are not limited to): Research (scholarly and legislative), instrument development for surveys and focus groups, data collection, qualitative and quantitative data analysis, synthesis of findings, writing multiple kinds of documents (literature reviews, policy memos, project reports, and social media posts), event planning, stakeholder outreach, delivery of presentations/trainings, and meeting with advocates.
  • Fellow will attend weekly supervision with the Senior Director of Research.
  • Fellow will conduct independent research on a topic of their choice and independently produce a final paper and presentation with the goal of creating a product to share with potential employers and/or academic programs.
  • Fellow will participate in a research, analytical and writing skills assessment at 1 month and 12 months.
  • The Fellow will participate in 3 surveys and 1 interview providing feedback on the PtRA Fellowship.


  • Interested in a career in research and/or advocacy;
  • Reside in NYC;
  • 18 years of age or older;
  • Spent time in prison;
  • Some college a plus but not required; and
  • Have been turned down for a position in research or advocacy due to lack of experience is a plus but not required.

Travel Requirements – Travel to Fortune Society and Center for Court Innovation offices and designated project sites (e.g. other community-based organizations), as well as travel for research and advocacy related events.

Physical Demands (if applicable):
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The responsibilities and requirements listed are representative of the knowledge, skills, minimum education, training, licensing, experience and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

All new hires are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or World Health Organization (WHO) authorized vaccine (or approved for an exemption as a reasonable accommodation due to a qualified disability or sincerely held religious belief or other legal basis). Applicants should not provide medical or genetic information in their applications.

The Fortune Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will be afforded equal employment opportunities without discrimination because of conviction history, race, religion/creed, citizenship status, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, military status, predisposing genetic characteristics, victim of domestic violence status or marital status

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