Anna's Final Reflection

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Release Date: 
Monday, May 13, 2019

I studied social work and anthropology because I love listening to people. All of my research projects, my internships, and my previous jobs were thinly veiled excuses to talk to people, learn about their lives, and sometimes, analyze and comply the data from our conversations. I’ve gotten to learn and get to know wonderful people from all over the globe this way.  


Serving within the criminal justice space for a year has made me reflect on who we consider “reliable” sources of information and how the messengers change our perception of information. Before this year, I was able to see how race, gender, and socioeconomic class impacted people’s perception of reliable information and how they were listened to (or not listened to). However I had not given serious thought to how society often outright dismisses information from people charged with crimes, people incarcerated, and returning citizens. Through my year of listening to those impacted by the criminal justice system, I began listening differently.


My year of service helped me expand my understanding of how to listen and who needs to be listened to. Through both the stories and numbers, my understanding and imagination for what criminal justice can look like changed.