Criminal Justice Intern - Los Angeles, CA

The Drug Policy Alliance has an immediate opening for a criminal justice intern.

Drug Policy Alliance

Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) is the nation’s leading organization devoted to minimizing the harms associated with both drug misuse and the laws and policies that derive from the war on drugs. DPA’s eight offices across the country pursue these goals nationwide through impact litigation, legislative drafting, and advocacy on behalf of public health interventions that address the problems associated with substance abuse at the individual, family and community levels.  For more information, visit

The Position

The DPA office in Los Angeles is looking for students who are interested in contributing to creating real alternatives to the war on drugs as part of a multi-disciplinary office team.  Projects will focus on, but are not limited to, issues of criminal justice and might include: researching policy and writing legislative briefs; writing press releases and assisting in media outreach efforts; attending community meetings and hearings. Ideal candidates will have a strong ability to function as a team player; enthusiastically tackle a variety of projects; employ a variety of critical thinking, analytical and strategic thinking skills; strong research and writing skills; possess the ability to produce quality work with a minimum of staff supervision.

As a national organization, DPA works on a variety of issues, including (but not limited to) access to substance abuse treatment, including narcotic replacement therapies; provision of harm reduction services, including access to sterile syringes and overdose prevention programs; reduction of drug testing and other pervasive surveillance technologies; eligibility for public benefits for individuals with drug problems or prior drug convictions; lawful use and supply of medical marijuana; adequate treatment of severe and chronic pain; combating the criminalization of pregnant substance abusers; reforming sentencing laws, including advocating for treatment instead of incarceration; and addressing racial disparities in drug laws and sentencing.

The Los Angeles office is seeking an intern who is passionate about the issues of criminal justice and sentencing reform, although work will also include tasks related to medical marijuana; legalizing marijuana in California; policies to reduce accidental fatal drug overdose; defelonization of simple drug possession.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Work directly with the state director to support our legislative efforts
  • Immerse yourself in the criminal justice movement in Los Angeles and represent the organization at local community meetings
  • Assisting with media outreach as needed
  • Research policy briefs and write analyses

This position requires you to work directly with our state director, providing her administrative support and to accompany her on travel to local community meetings.


The ideal candidate will have:

  • Possess excellent writing and research skills
  • Be able to work independently
  • Be able to multitask and prioritize
  • Have some knowledge of the legislative process and system
  • Have some knowledge of the criminal justice and racial justice movement in Los Angeles

Law students and public policy students are encouraged to apply.  The ideal intern will be highly organized, have a good sense of humor, be able to work with minimum supervision, and be able to commit to at least 10 hours a week.  In return, the volunteer will have the chance to work with a highly skilled and fun team of committed people.


This is an unpaid internship. Interns are offered free parking.

Deadline: Ongoing until the position is filled

Application Process: Please submit a cover letter, resume and writing sample to Morgan Humphrey, Policy Associate at

The Drug Policy Alliance is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  Women, people of color, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. We are particularly interested in hiring those who have been adversely affected by the war on drugs.