Latest from VISTA

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Our VISTA Abbie Hustead serving at the Office of Appellate Defender in NYC, shares in a blog post the inspiration of her service to Johnny Cash and his advocacy for rights for those experiencing incarceration.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Before I joined AmeriCorps, I’d worked in politics for the better part of my college career. I’d worked for the Tennessee Democratic Party, my home state’s governor, a Nashville councilmember, and a Chancery Court judge.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

My journey to AmeriCorps started when I won a scholarship to go to the Arctic back in high school. It was my junior year, and I was supposed to be looking for college scholarships, but Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s office advertised an opportunity for high schoolers to go to the Canadian Arctic.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Emma, serving for the Maryland Office of the Public Defender, played an instrumental role in creating a Data Dashboard for the statewide agency. Read on to learn how Maryland is using it to expand holistic defense. 

Maryland Office of the Public Defender IT first introduced Power BI to the agency about a year after switching to a new case management system, eDefender. The process of adopting the new system included working with developers to customize the features of eDefender to do what OPD attorneys need and training attorneys and staff on data entry and case searching.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Read on to see how Aidan, serving in Santa Barbara, California, has learned how holistic defense matters to clients and public defender staff.


For those working in indigent defense – or criminal defense of any kind – “holistic defense” is a frequent goal and popular buzzword. But what does it mean? What does it look like for attorneys and their clients for each case to be handled “holistically,” and what is missing from conventional indigent defense?


Friday, October 22, 2021

Read on to hear how serving at the Moran Center gave Anya confidence in her future career and deepened her understanding of how the criminal justice system impacts youth and their families.


Friday, October 15, 2021

Anya, serving at the Moran Center in Evanston, IL has seen the impact of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) on their clients and dives into the current challenge to ICWA below. 

Monday, October 4, 2021

Meet Aidan who started serving in Santa Barbara, CA in September and learn why he serves. 

Friday, October 1, 2021

Guest post by Shantih Kleen

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Luis began his service at the Office of the Appellate Defender in NYC in August, focusing on bringing community resources for clients reentering society. Below, he talks about the importance of relationship building and advocacy for clients while they are incarcerated.