Prison Program Associate: York, NE
Position Location: York, NE - Lincoln, NE or surrounding area
The Prison Program Associate will teach and facilitate RISE classes at the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women (NCCW) located in York, NE and Community Correctional Center Lincoln (CCC-L), serving the women at that facility. This opportunity is ideal for someone with an educational and/or social service background who is comfortable working with diverse populations. The Prison Program Associate will lead six-month cohorts from kick-off to program completion, facilitating innovative curriculum focused on reentry planning, character development, job readiness and entrepreneurship. This position reports to the Director of Programs.
RISE is the largest nonprofit organization in Nebraska focused solely on habilitative programming in prisons and reentry support. At RISE, transformation starts pre-release and continues post-release. Our inside/out model bridges incarceration to the community and considers all the critical steps in that journey. We prepare and train people for each phase through intensive character development, employment readiness, job creation through entrepreneurship, family programming and case management. We transform people in the community by building awareness and empathy that leads to support and opportunity. These connections heal families, create employment pathways and lower recidivism. The mission of RISE is to break generational cycles of incarceration.
- Facilitate classroom discussion, activities and curriculum that fosters deep social emotional growth at NCCW and CCC-L, working mostly with women who have been incarcerated
- Foster a learning environment that leads to self-reflection, positive community and peer support, and leadership development
- Have difficult conversations that are both affirming and direct
- Maintain class rosters; update and remove any participants who are regularly absent or pose disciplinary problems
- Help answer participant questions about the program and curriculum
- Ensure homework assignments are completed on time and provide written feedback
- Communicate weekly via phone with RISE’s Director of Programs regarding class progression
- Update program database to reflect changes in the class roster weekly and provide brief explanation for any attrition (e.g., disciplinary, transfer, dropout, release) and maintain records of homework grades
- Assist with visit and event preparation (e.g., helping plan for logistics, communicating with facilities regarding event needs, etc.)
- Build effective relationships with prison staff and organize class needs (bringing in supplies, class rosters, etc.)
- Attend approximately three volunteer events over the course of each six-month class session
- Other duties as assigned
- Strong interpersonal and communications skills; skilled at building relationships with the ability to intelligently and credibly articulate RISE’s story and mission
- Teaching experience or a Bachelor’s in Social Work, MSW, or other related degrees is a plus
- Collaborative team player with a "can do" attitude; willing to roll up sleeves and do whatever it takes to support team priorities
- Available to work full-time (40 hours per week)
- Hours include attending classes 3-5 days per week, class prep time and grading/recording
- Classes are typically 2-3 hours
- Classes will take place in the mornings and afternoons during the week.
- Some evening and weekend hours may be required.
- Strong presentation and facilitation skills; able to hold space for conversations that challenge people to grow and balance accountability with empathy
- Excellent judgment and ability to maintain effectiveness, professional demeanor, and positive attitude, even in ambiguous situations and during high-pressure periods
- Highly organized and also adaptable
- Able to assess student needs and quickly pivot to adopt different teaching styles
- Comfortable working with populations who’ve experienced trauma, mental illness, homelessness and/or substance dependency
- Experience leading and facilitating groups
- High emotional intelligence and ability to create an inclusive environment and a safe space for sharing
- Familiarity with concepts such as ‘Motivational Interviewing’ and pro-social communication preferred
- Ability to work independently and as a part of a team