The Correctional Association of New York (the CA) is an independent nonprofit organization that advocates for a more humane and effective criminal justice system and a more just and equitable society. Founded in 1844 and subsequently granted unique statutory authority by the New York State legislature to visit and monitor New York’s prisons, the CA sheds light on the world behind prison walls. During its visits and extended follow-up activities, the CA gathers information on and seeks to address the full range of issues affecting the lives of incarcerated men, women and youth. This includes their medical and mental health needs and the adequacy of the correctional system’s response to those needs, the sufficiency of education and job training programs, preparation for post-incarceration reentry into society, and the devastating impacts of prisons on both incarcerated individuals and their families, from which they are often separated by great distances because of the generally remote locations of New York’s prisons.
- Using research, policy analysis, prison visits and other monitoring, coalition building, leadership development and advocacy, the CA pursues the following overarching goals:
- Ensuring that conditions in prisons are humane and that the rights of incarcerated individuals and their families are protected;
- Promoting transparency and accountability in the justice system and holding government and prison officials responsible for the proper administration and continuing reform and improvement of the prison system;
- Providing reports on prison conditions, making recommendations for change, and leading sustained efforts to effect the changes recommended;
- Providing information both for the CA’s reports and advocacy efforts and for use by other organizations for their work toward criminal justice reform; and
- Altering the dynamics of policy-making by providing opportunities for the people most affected by incarceration to become active participants and leaders in reform efforts.
The Correctional Association is seeking an Executive Director to guide the organization into its next chapter of service to those incarcerated in New York’s prisons and to their families and the rest of the state's population, building upon its distinguished history of accomplishments.
The Executive Director of the Correctional Association has ultimate responsibility for the programmatic performance, financial strength, and administrative functioning of the organization. The right leader for the organization understands the need to work in partnership with the board and will successfully engage, motivate and excite members of the staff and board, as well as a broad range of other supporters. Key responsibilities include the following:
- Serve as the primary thought leader and visionary for the CA while ensuring that the vision creatively reflects the ideas and values of the board, staff, and the larger constituencies that it serves;
- Engage those constituents and communicate the work of the Correctional Association effectively across a broad range of interests and concerns;
- Possess a comprehensive understanding of and articulate clearly the issues that the CA addresses, the work it pursues, and the actions it is advocating;
- Function as a recognized and effective spokesperson for the organization both with respect to the furtherance of its programs and goals as the leader of its advocacy efforts and with respect for the value that it has to the criminal justice system and to the larger community;
- Develop and expand significantly the financial resources of the CA and ensure rigorous, consistent financial and administrative oversight, assuring, maintaining, and enhancing the long-term financial and institutional security of the CA;
- Provide strong leadership of the staff, encouraging and supporting independence and creativity while assuring rigorous accountability;
- Create clarity for individual board and staff roles and ensure collaborative and productive interaction between and among board and staff;
- Respect the organization’s distinguished history with a perspective on the future and how the organization needs to evolve and adapt; and
- Partner effectively with other organizations in a way that recognizes the particular niches and roles of the CA and those organizations.
The Search Committee seeks an experienced candidate, preferably with experience as an executive director in the nonprofit social justice community and demonstrated, successful experience in institutional administration, including organizational and financial management, partnering effectively with the board and staff members, and engaging donors, volunteers, and others as supporters of the work. Additional experience and attributes that will help the Executive Director succeed include:
- Passion for social justice work and evidence of a track record of successful leadership;
- A clear and compelling connection to the work of the Correctional Association;
- Track record demonstrating successful negotiation skills in developing policy, promoting advocacy, and concluding and administering contracts;
- Prior effective fundraising, including experience and skill in seeking financial support from government, foundations, other organizations, and individuals for support;
- Strong leadership abilities combined with the ability to be a team player and work comfortably and effectively with staff members and a deeply engaged, active board;
- Strong administrative skills to manage the operational details of an organization that requires both hands-on management and encouragement of others to take independent responsibility;
- Communications experience and strong communication skills; and
- Experience addressing issues of systems change.
- Embodying the Right Values for the Correctional Association
- The Correctional Association is defined by values that include expertise, accessibility, and dignity. The CA therefore seeks an Executive Director who embodies these values and excels in the following ways:
- Strong interpersonal skills and a belief in shared leadership and shared power among board and staff;
- Good judgment with high levels of self-awareness and empathy;
- A practitioner mindset with a commitment to high standards and high-quality results;
- Practicality with an understanding that compromise is often a necessary tool for effectiveness;
- An appreciation of the value of the voices of those directly affected by the criminal justice system, including particularly people currently and previously incarcerated;
- A systems-orientation with an eye towards innovation; and
- Openness and inclusivity.
How to Apply
The Search Committee is currently interviewing highly qualified candidates. Candidates who represent or have worked directly with the populations most impacted by the criminal justice system are strongly encouraged to apply. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis with a first deadline of October 15, 2017. Interested candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible by sending a cover letter and resume to CAsearch@supportcenteronline.org. Cover letters should be addressed to the Recruiting Manager.