- I always knew I was interested in the criminal justice system, evident from the hours I spent as a child binge watching Law & Order, Rizzoli and Isles, and Dateline when my parents weren’t home. I very nearly pursued criminal justice as a major, but ended up going a different route and tackling English and Theatre degrees instead. Despite my devotion to theatre and acting, criminal justice has always been a part of my academia, and my passion.
I travelled to London, England the summer before my junior year to take a class titled 1000 Years of Crime and Punishment with Michelle Inderbitzin and was immediately invested. It was there where my passion evolved into more concrete interests and pursuits and where I had my first opportunity to begin working and learning right in the field. As a class we visited Brixton Prison, a nearly 200-year-old men’s prison with a dining program that allows prisoners nearing the end of their sentences to work as cooks and servers at the prison’s esteemed restaurant, gaining job experience and the opportunity to work with others in a productive and meaningful way.
I continued to have experiences like this and have now visited three different prisons and made acquaintances with countless prisoners, both currently and previously incarcerated.
I needed a way to get these stories out, to make the general population understand that we have a highly flawed system that deals with some of the most vulnerable members of society, to express all the lessons I learned from my firsthand experiences and to give voice to those on the inside who don’t quite have the same opportunity to do so that I do. I wrote a series of monologues to give you insight into what happens in our country, to allow others to get their stories heard outside of the prison walls, and to inspire a change in the way we think about incarceration as a whole.