UCDC Alumni – Zoe Carrell

People carrying a sign

Internship: Justice Policy Institute

Term of Participation: Fall 2019

What was your role during the internship?

I analyzed policies, made policy briefs, spoke with other folks in the criminal justice reform field, corresponded with incarcerated people, and took notes in meetings. 

How did your internship influence your career goals?

Since my time at the Justice Policy Institute, I have become more set on prison abolition than prison reform. Additionally, I didn’t really have a clear idea of what I want to do career-wise before my internship. I now have mixed feelings about working for a nonprofit and have determined that I am interested in teaching. I am not entirely sure where this interest came from. 

What is an exciting memory from your time in D.C.?

I got to travel to Baltimore to meet with family members of people incarcerated. They were really excited to meet with us and made us food. It was fantastic getting to hear from people directly impacted by the criminal justice system.

I also saw Ta-Nehisi Coates speak about his new book, The Water Dancer, at the Lincoln Theatre on U street.

What kind of opportunities did the internship lead to?

I got to develop my own research speaking with trans folks in prison to learn about what issues they felt were being underemphasized by criminal justice reformers. 

How did living in Washington, D.C. change you?

It confirmed for me how much I love living in a city. It heightened my interest in museums. I also really enjoyed the bar scene.

What advice do you have for future students?

Go to the Monday night forums. Go to Rainbow Roundtable if you are queer! Check out as many free museums as you can, and don’t wait until the last week to do it. Bring clothes for very humid weather and very cold weather if you go in the fall. Sign up for the field trips early. Take advantage of the multiple types of public transportation! Take photos for the Photo of the Term contest. You will get a cool water bottle if you win.

Last modified: Jun 14, 2024