DESCRIPTION: Criminal and Legal Justice System Coordinator

The Philadelphia Reparations Task Force Criminal and Legal Justice Expert will lead community cohorts and a criminal and legal justice system committee to develop reparations proposals that address and resolve the issues of justice and protection under the law for Black Philadelphians. The coordinator will provide pro bono professional expertise, excellent coordinating, and work with reparations stakeholders in Philadelphia. The coordinator will have experience in the sector, and experience in activism, social justice, grassroots community organizing, or reparatory justice. Task Force coordinator will: 

  • Develop, read, review, and write reports.
  • Coordinate meetings, events, and timelines.
  • Build and maintain partnerships in their sector.
  • Conduct surveys and co-create related reports.
  • Advocate for the descendant group’s self-determination.
  • Develop and manage committees, subcommittees, and stakeholder relationships.
  • Participate in and lead courses, conferences, convenings, fundraising efforts, media and community forums, and public events.

The Criminal and Legal Justice System Expert will lead teams and cohorts to investigate and examine how the criminal legal justice system and its apparatuses have evolved from the colonial era, how they impact the descendant group today, and the following:

  • How the histories of racialized chattel slavery informs the present-day criminal legal system
  • Examine the evolution of law enforcement from its origins in enforcing Negro Acts and fugitive slave laws to its role in upholding discriminatory Jim Crow laws and policies.
  • Analyze the relationship between the descendant group and law enforcement from slavery to the present including the history of policing the descendant group originating in slave patrols and surveillance.
  • The effects of the criminal legal system in the United States which has historically protected White citizens and their property as opposed to the descendant group who has been denied human, constitutional, and civil rights. 
  • The dual punishment system that discriminately punishes the descendant group more harshly than white Americans.
  • The over-policing in schools and communities, and
  • The role of the criminal legal system in destabilizing Black families.
  • Unfair sentencing, disparities in sentencing rates, and cruel punishments.
  • Alternative restorative programming, i.e. mental health institutions,
  • How the criminal legal system is deeply unjust to those experiencing poverty, mental illness, housing instability, and drug issues. Behavior like selling or possessing drugs is overpoliced in poor neighborhoods, overcriminalized, and severely punished with loss of freedom. Meanwhile, crimes committed against people experiencing poverty, like wage theft, have historically received rarer, lighter punishment.
  • Interrogation, bribery and corruption

Reparations Proposals and Recommendations

The proposed reparations strategies and recommendations aim to empower the descendant community by actively addressing health disparities and deficits. This vision of health reparations extends beyond mere reform; it seeks to replace the current health system with one that will be collaboratively constructed by the descendant group, aligning with their aspirations for the future, well-being, and comprehensive development. Health reparations will be anchored in principles rooted in repair and healing. Central to this vision is the active participation of descendant families, students, educators, and industry professionals. Together, they will lead, govern, and control their health, create curriculum, and design their community health ecosystems. Reparations proposals and recommendations will seek to:

  • Understand the current state of law enforcement in descendant communities, including issues of trust, unlawful actions, and the potential for self-policing infrastructure.
  • Advocate for reforms in areas like public defense, pretrial incarceration, solitary confinement, and access to legal representation.
  • Engage with the descendant community to understand their experiences and perspectives on the criminal justice system.
  • Promote neighborhood safety and fairness within the criminal justice system.
  • Victim-offender mediation is a restorative-justice driven approach.
  • There will have to be an infrastructure in place for the descendant group to “police” themselves.
  • Alternative systems.
  • Community check and balance systems.
  • Neighborhood safety and fairness within criminal justice.

Qualifications, Necessary Skills and Required Responsibilities:

  • A deep understanding of the criminal justice system historical and current challenges faced by the descendant group within the criminal justice system.
  • Professional experience in the legal and criminal justice system, successfully advancing the rights, freedoms and liberties of Black Philadelphians.
  • Experience in criminal justice, law enforcement, or related fields.
  • Strong research and analytical skills.
  • Ability to engage with a diverse range of stakeholders and advocate for change.
  • Knowledge and review various laws and policies that target and/or disproportionately impact Black Philadelphians.
  • Prepare monthly, quarterly and annual audits of the criminal justice systems and co-create reports of data with committee members.
  • Sharp time management skills.
  • Strong ethics, with an ability to manage confidential data.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Experienced, empathetic, culturally competent, and trauma-informed, with experience working with various communities, children, adults and professionals in the social services, medical, and legal fields.
  • Ability to coordinate committees and collaborate with communities.
  • Display adept organizational abilities in managing the subcommittee’s research efforts, ensuring all facets of the criminal and legal system are thoroughly examined and synthesized.
  • Attend internal Philadelphia Reparations Task Force meetings, subcommittee meetings, and public community sessions.
  • Coordinate with Task Force Members to ensure seamless study of legal and criminal justice research with public comments.
  • Assist with the integration of the Task Force’s policy goals and targeted campaigns.
  • Leadership ability to co-create effective initiatives and solutions that acknowledge and resolve past injustices, and build a new and improved criminal justice and legal system that honors the descendant group.