Opportunities

Graduate Fellow

The UCLA Institute for Technology, Law and Policy (ITLP, a collaboration between UCLA School of Law and the Samueli School of Engineering) and UCLA Law’s COVID Behind Bars Data Project are now accepting applications for a Graduate Fellow with a target start date of September 2022. The fellow will further the mission of ITLP and COVID Behind Bars Data Project by engaging in cutting-edge and high-quality research and analysis related to the intersection of law and technology, with a particular emphasis on transparency and public oversight of carceral institutions.

As a collaboration between new UCLA programs, ITLP and COVID Behind Bars Data Project are keen to onboard a Graduate Fellow with fresh ideas about areas of engagement, and we are hopeful that the candidate will lead on implementing at least one significant project, of their own devising, through their time here. The Graduate Fellow’s project will explore the application of open data and open governance values and standards to the historically opaque and hard-to-understand world of US prisons and jails, and the role of technology in facilitating open and public oversight of these structures. The candidate will also provide research and writing support to other ITLP and COVID Behind Bars faculty and will contribute to self-published reports, academic articles, public comments, amicus briefs and other work. The position will be for one year and will be based in Los Angeles, California.  

The target salary range for this position is $50,000-$60,000.

Required qualifications include the following:

  • JD degree. Dual degree in a technical or scientific field, especially engineering or one involving quantitative social science, would be a significant bonus.
  • Ability to perform comprehensive legal (and technical, if appropriate) research and analysis and produce analytical reports on their findings. Strong research skills and experience.
  • Experience with or exposure to large, complex datasets and using R or another programming language to manipulate data and draw insights.
  • Demonstrated experience with or substantive knowledge of issues related to the intersection of law, quantitative data, and the criminal legal system.
  • Demonstrated ability to produce the highest-caliber legal research and writing.
  • Excellent skill in speaking effectively and persuasively to individuals and groups.
  • Initiative and good judgment.
  • Demonstrated ability to present research findings in written, verbal, or electronic formats to be understood by various audiences (academic and non-scholarly participants).
  • Excellent organizational skills and ability to work effectively under conditions of heavy workload, frequent interruptions, distractions, and deadlines.
  • Knowledge of law and technology, and criminal legal system communities both in Los Angeles and nationwide.
  • Ability to travel and work occasional evenings and weekends as needed to fulfill job responsibilities.

To apply, please submit an application at https://hr.mycareer.ucla.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=84852  with a cover letter explaining your interest in and qualifications for the position, resume, and list of references. Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis, beginning immediately.

UCLA is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected Veteran status.

Communications Manager

In the face of the danger posed by COVID to people incarcerated in prisons and jails, the UCLA Prison Law and Policy Program launched the UCLA COVID Behind Bars Data Project in March 2020. Currently a team of six staff and numerous volunteers, the Project tracks the spread and impact of COVID in prisons and jails and advocates for greater transparency and accountability around the pandemic response of the carceral system. Stemming from this work, our next major focus is creating a national resource for the public’s understanding of deaths in prisons. Our centralized, nationwide project documents deaths in prison, many of which are not reflected in any publicly available data set.

The Project seeks a Communications Manager to research, write, and edit communications projects in collaboration with our interdisciplinary team of data scientists and policy researchers. These projects will include blog posts, white papers, social media posts, and more. The Communications Manager will also contribute to the Project’s larger media strategy by drafting press releases, conducting press outreach, and maintaining our website.

The ideal candidate will be creative, curious, empathic, and proactive about highlighting the Project’s innovative work.

We are a small team and work collaboratively, though remotely. The work we produce is intended for both technical and broader public audiences. Examples include the following:

Responsibilities include the following:

  • Research and write content related to the pandemic and incarceration, deaths in prison, and carceral data transparency
  • Collaborate with data scientists on analyzing and communicating findings from data collection and statistical analyses to various audiences (e.g., the public, journalists, legislators, litigators, advocates)
  • Provide feedback and edit team members’ written products
  • Plan for and draft monthly newsletter
  • Work with Project Director to develop and implement media strategy for all publications and national carceral mortality project
  • Manage COVID Behind Bars Twitter and Instagram accounts
  • Recommend areas to be explored, methods of analysis to be employed, and possible sources of data

Required qualifications include the following:

  • Experience, ideally at least three years, in some combination of journalism, communications, the criminal legal system, health policy, public policy, or related fields
  • Superb analytical and writing skills, including ability to translate research for broad and diverse audiences
  • Familiarity or interest in working with public health and criminal justice data
  • Outstanding initiative, judgement, attention to detail, and the ability to work independently and solve problems creatively
  • Excellent critical thinking skills and capacity to understand, translate, and disseminate complex ideas to varied audiences
  • Excellent editing and proofreading skills, including ability to identify and correct errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation
  • Proficiency in simple graphic design software, or willingness to develop the same

Preferred qualifications include the following:

  • Knowledge of print, broadcast, digital, and online news media and communication strategies.
  • Experience with crafting posts and messaging for various social media platforms, including creation of graphics and identification of key hashtags
  • Undergraduate degree
  • Lived experience with and/or knowledge of the criminal legal system

This position will begin immediately and is funded through January 2023, with a possible extension depending on need and funding. This can be a full- or part-time position. The work will be remote; applicants need not reside in California. The Communications Manager will be supervised by the Project Director. The salary will be $70,000 - $80,000 per annum with limited benefits including health insurance. 

To apply, please submit an application at http://hr.mycareer.ucla.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=84885  with a cover letter explaining your interest in and qualifications for the position, resume, and list of references. Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis, beginning immediately.

UCLA is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected Veteran status.

Data Scientist or Senior Data Scientist  

In the face of the danger posed by COVID to people incarcerated in prisons and jails, the UCLA Prison Law and Policy Program launched the UCLA COVID Behind Bars Data Project in March 2020. Currently a team of seven staff and dozens of volunteers, the Project tracks the spread and impact of COVID in prisons and jails and advocates for greater transparency and accountability around the pandemic response of the carceral system.

The Project seeks a Senior Data Scientist or Data Scientist to join our interdisciplinary team of data scientists and policy researchers to obtain, process, and analyze COVID data from carceral facilities, including state and federal prisons, county and city jails, immigration detention centers, and juvenile detention centers.

We are a small team and work collaboratively, though remotely. The work we produce is intended for both technical and broader public audiences. Examples include the following:

  • Data to power the CDC’s Correctional Facility COVID Data Tracker
    Published research in public health journals (e.g., JAMA, AJPM, MMWR)
  • Blog posts and white papers on data trends and policies related to the pandemic behind bars
  • Social media posts drawing attention to outbreaks and other urgent issues
  • Carceral mortality dataset and associated research

Responsibilities include the following:

  • Accountable for data pipelines which scrape and compile data from a range of sources using R
  • Developing and reviewing reproducible code from team members to integrate and standardize disparate datasets
  • Analyzing and communicating findings from data and statistical analyses to various audiences (e.g., the public, journalists, legislators, litigators, advocates, funders)
  • Partner with nontechnical stakeholders to set data objectives and develop detailed project execution plans

This position will begin immediately and is funded through January 2023, with a possible extension depending on need and funding. The work will be remote; applicants need not reside in California. The Senior Data Scientist or Data Scientist will be supervised by the Project Director. The salary will be $70,000 - $80,000 per annum with limited benefits including health insurance.  

The work will be remote; applicants need not reside in California. The Senior Data Scientist or Data Scientist will be supervised by the Project Director.

To apply, please submit an application at:  https://hr.mycareer.ucla.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=84100 with a cover letter explaining your interest in and qualifications for the position, resume, and list of references. Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis beginning immediately.

UCLA is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected Veteran status.

Volunteers

The UCLA Law COVID Behind Bars Data Project is looking for volunteers to help us track and analyze COVID-19 infections and deaths in prisons and jails.

We welcome volunteers of all ages. We ask our volunteers for a minimum commitment of 4 hours a week for at least 6 consecutive weeks, but we are also open to alternatives. If you are interested in joining us, please email Project Coordinator Anna Norkett at norkett2024@lawnet.ucla.edu with your availability and a short description of why you want to volunteer with the Project.

The UCLA Law COVID Behind Bars Data Project values equity and inclusion and encourages a diversity of candidates from various backgrounds to contact us. We especially welcome the participation of people who have been directly impacted by the criminal legal system.