I have worked so hard to get to this point in my academic career and I never, in my wildest dreams, thought that I would get an opportunity like this. I remember sitting in a jail cell, facing over 11 years in prison, and thinking to myself that there was no hope of a future but that all has changed. That experience has given me an internal purpose to change policy within the criminal justice system. Addiction is not a crime and yet, we treat it like one. For decades, the criminal justice system has punished us for a disease and rather than offering rehabilitative services, it continues to drive us deeper and deeper into a hole of hopelessness. I want to change that! I want to become a part of the solution but I need your help.
As a Doctoral student, I have an opportunity to study prison systems in Berlin, Germany through a study abroad class this summer. We need to reach beyond our own systems and look at other countries, establish a baseline of comparison, and bring back ideas that are innovative. I am seeking to do that but I cannot do it alone. Together we can make a difference! That is why I am asking for assistance in broadening our perspective and fueling change within our nation. Will you help me, help us?