Alternative to Incarceration

In 2019, in partnership with justice stakeholders in Dallas and Williamson Counties, LSJA launched two pilot programs to test the efficacy of the TJ Model. Both counties implemented the Model within the traditional specialty court structure rather than a true alternative to incarceration.

Nonetheless, LSJA and its research partners continue to monitor the effectiveness of this Model as implemented and modified in both counties.

LSJA launched the Transformative Justice model in Dallas County in partnership with the Second Chance Community Improvement Program (SCCIP), establishing the Rehabilitative Interventions and Supports for Emerging Adults (RISE) Program (now Transformative Justice of Williamson County).

We believe that collective impact is the key to systems change.

Emerging adults in Dallas and Williamson counties who enter the criminal legal system are given the choice to opt into the SCCIP or RISE program rather than being adjudicated in an adult court (the traditional path). Once in the program, a needs assessment is conducted to identify the specific challenges that contributed to their legal system involvement. Case managers then work with participants to develop an individual treatment and service plan and connect them with community resources and supports to address the needs identified.

Because we believe that collective impact is the key to systems change, LSJA trained the county program managers to develop detailed transition plans and empowered local organizations to take leadership roles in the SCCIP and RISE programs. Once the pilots were fully operational, our role shifted from program management to monitoring.

During LSJA’s program management, 62% of clients have successfully completed the program with 12% still currently working toward graduation. Their recidivism rate is just 17%, compared to 75% for those not in the program.

INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

The Lone Star Justice Alliance (LSJA) is seeking interns in its Dallas and Austin offices for Summer 2024. LSJA is a nonprofit legal organization that improves the lives of youth and emerging adults in the justice system. We envision a justice system that uses developmentally-appropriate responses to behavior and treats youth and emerging adults with equity and dignity to promote resilience, conserve costs, and increase public safety.

YOUTH SENTENCING PROJECT

LSJA represents a number of individuals currently serving life or other extreme sentences for offenses that occurred during their youth. We are presently seeking interns to assist with factual and record investigation in these matters. Current law students are encouraged to apply. Intern responsibilities are likely to include record collection and review, interviewing of the client’s social network, correspondence with the client, drafting of memorandum and declarations, and potentially correspondence and collaboration with expert witnesses. Interns will be involved in strategic decision-making concerning the framing of litigation and will have access and input regarding any court filings and proceedings. The position is unpaid but there is a possibility of future employment. 

Duties: 

  • Client record collection (juvenile, child protective services, school, criminal, other) and review; 
  • Client and fact witness interviewing and memo writing; 
  • Regular client correspondence; 
  • Participation in strategic case discussions and decision-making. 

Qualifications: 

  • Demonstrated commitment to social justice; 
  • Strong organizational skills; 
  • Strong interpersonal skills (experience interviewing is a plus); 
  • Strong writing and communication skills. 

Please submit cover letter and CV to internships@lsja.org 

Supervisor: Elizabeth Henneke

CLEMENCY PROJECT

LSJA seeks interns to work on representing survivors of sex trafficking and intimate partner violence in clemency applications. This project will capitalize on the 2020 application established by Governor Abbott as a result of LSJA’s advocacy. The project entails identifying potential applicants and pro bono partners to submit a high volume of meritorious applications, as well as follow-up data collection and reporting to raise awareness about underlying issues. Interns will assist in all aspects of the project, from correspondence and review of records for potential applicants, to communication with pro bono organizations and practitioners, to preparation and review of application materials, to data collection/review and drafting of report sections. This is an exciting and rare opportunity to be part of a new initiative that stands to bring hope and redemption to a large number of people. Current law students may apply. The position is unpaid, but future employment is a possibility. 

Duties: 

  • Drafting and review of correspondence materials; 
  • Record collection and review; 
  • Participation in strategic conferences with partners; 
  • Communication with coalition and pro bono partners; 
  • Data collection/review; 
  • Possible report drafting; 
  • Client file maintenance (Clio). 

Qualifications: 

  • Demonstrated commitment to public interest work; 
  • Background in issues pertaining to sex trafficking, domestic violence, or other forms of trauma a plus; 
  • Strong interpersonal skills; 
  • Strong organizational and communication skills; 
  • Ability to coordinate multiple aspects of a complex project involving many and varied personnel; 
  • Ability to review and compile data/familiarity with statistical analysis. 

Please submit cover letter and CV to internships@lsja.org 

Supervisor: Elizabeth Henneke

IMPACT LITIGATION

LSJA is seeking interns to assist the organization in conducting impact litigation. Interns will help to file lawsuits intended to change the laws and policies that affect incarcerated youth in Texas. Interns will conduct legal research, draft briefs, and speak with clients. Goals include (1) improving the conditions of confinement for children, (2) lowering the number of children in confinement, (3) moving children in confinement closer to home, and more. This is an exciting and rare opportunity to be part of a new initiative that stands to bring hope to a large number of people. Current law students may apply. The position is unpaid, but future employment is a possibility. 

Duties: 

  • Research on incarcerate settings and civil rights violations; 
  • Data collection/review; 
  • Possible report and document drafting; 
  • File maintenance (Clio). 

Qualifications: 

  • Demonstrated commitment to public interest work; 
  • Background in issues pertaining to civil rights in incarcerate settings; 
  • Strong interpersonal skills; 
  • Strong organizational and communication skills; 
  • Ability to coordinate multiple aspects of a complex project involving many and varied personnel; 
  • Ability to review and compile data/familiarity with statistical analysis. 

Please submit cover letter and CV to internships@lsja.org 

Supervisor: Elizabeth Henneke