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.