Interview, Intro, & First Day | #2

Note the dates: These are older blog posts that I did not have a chance to post.


Navigating Ypsi was pretty frustrating. Finding the office and parking space was difficult and the frequent one way streets (that I am not accustomed too) only made things worse. Of course the office was in front of my face the entire time.

I first went in to get to know the mission and talk to my now supervisor about my duties. It was a lot of information, which was exactly what I wanted. This wasn’t a fetch coffee for me kind of internship. We discussed mass incarceration, the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) as well as the racial, socio-economic, and environmental factors that land people in prison.

My job is to assist with the cases; AFSC responds to at least two thousand letters from incarcerated individuals all over Michigan. They ask for help with medical issues, grievances with the administration, over crowding, living conditions, etc. We aim to help them navigate the prison rules and regulations on their own first and when that doesn’t work, staff reaches out to advocate on behalf of the prisoners.

I began by logging in the mail. We need to have a copy of everything for future reference. Then I got into the letters. Responding to them can be difficult as there is a lot of prison jargon. Slowly but surely, I am getting a handle on it.

2 thoughts on “Interview, Intro, & First Day | #2

  • July 25, 2018 at 10:20 am

    Hello Azhar! Thanks for sharing more about your internship experience with AFSC. I’m so happy to hear that the work you were doing feels like “real work”.

    It’s impressive to hear about the sociological topics you have had the chance to discuss so far in your experience. As you have learned more and more about the corrections world, and especially as you have learned from inmates through the letters, how have you been impacted so far? Do you find yourself thinking about the work your doing as a potential (first) career? Or, have you thought about other areas of interest you might be developing from this experience?

    Looking forward to hearing more about your experience!

    • August 6, 2018 at 7:58 pm

      Hi Tyler,

      I feel more connected with folks on the inside; but then again, it’s only through letters. Writing is very powerful in creating human connection and empathy, but it can only do so much. I feel a need to work directly with more people. I’m still trying to piece together the ramifications of this, but i’m glad my internship helped me figure this much out already.



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