Justice Equity Fellowship

Diverse group of colleagues laughing
Support for this work was provided by the AIR Equity Initiative.

People who were previously incarcerated have disproportionately been excluded from education and workforce opportunities upon their release from incarceration—and access is further constrained for people from marginalized racial and gender identities. Upon reentry, people who have been in prison face social inequities due to an array of constructs, such as criminal history disclosure requirements on housing, school, and work applications. In this way, U.S. justice system contact exacerbates long-standing social and economic inequities, thus reinforcing chronic disparities by race and place.

The 12-month Justice Equity Fellowship aims to help address systemic inequities and to create an opportunity to honor the often-shared perspective that those closest to the problem are also closest to the solution.

AIR is developing a 12-month part-time Justice Equity Fellowship for individuals directly impacted by the justice system. The goals of the Fellowship include (a) advancing employment opportunities in research and technical assistance positions for individuals directly impacted by the justice system and (b) supporting AIR’s organizational learning and development to create a more inclusive workforce.

Fellows will use participatory action research methodology—with guidance from AIR staff mentors—to learn about current organizational policies and practices, understand barriers to recruitment and retention, and recommend guidance for AIR staff to better incorporate perspectives of those affected by the U.S. justice system. Throughout the Fellowship, AIR will draw upon the expertise of a Fellowship Advisory Council comprising external partners who specialize in assisting individuals who were previously incarcerated to secure employment.