Preston Public Interest Career Fund Recipient
In high school, Charlotte intended to attend medical school and researched the prison system purely as a “pastime.” However, after taking philosophy and Africana studies courses at Bowdoin, her casual interest bloomed into an academic, professional pursuit. “The justice system should have no place for injustices or unequal treatment. I am compelled to further understand these societal injustices and to learn more about what I can do to amend them.” Charlotte explored both of these questions through an internship at the Criminal Justice Policy Coalition, which partners with legislators, incarcerated people, and other community members to support criminal justice reform legislation.
Charlotte’s key responsibility was managing CJPC’s liaison program, in which staff members write to incarcerated people and their families. “I was most interested in the liaison project because it was the most direct service option.” She wrote letters to partners, reached out to new liaisons, and digitized the program’s archive. Under Charlotte’s leadership, “the liaison project grew to 120 incarcerated individuals and increased its female liaisons from 2 or 3 to nearly 15.” When she wasn’t connecting directly with liaisons, Charlotte also attended parole hearings, “collecting notes about the specific case, attitudes of the board members, and lines of questioning used,” and researched the progress of specific pieces of legislation.
“One obstacle I faced was access to my supervisor. She was very busy with other tasks, so she was not always available to answer my questions….I overcame this by communicating with my boss through email in the evenings.” Despite this challenge, the experience solidified Charlotte’s commitment to attending law school, maintaining “real, meaningful contact with people I want to serve” throughout her career, and “making change from the inside” in a government position.
- Date July 19, 2016
- Tags 2016, First Year, Law, Preston, Social Service, USA