Latest from VISTA

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

This month, we asked all of the VISTA members to interview one another to help us all to get to know one another a little better. Below, Amanda interviewed Tanisha uncovering her ambitious career goals and shedding light on what the future of justice reform might hold. 

What is your field of study for your Masters program?

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Check us out! In their October 2018 white paper on Texas Mental Health Defender Programs the Texas Indigent Defense Commission featured one of our pilot year sites and our VISTA, Yamilex Peña, who is serving with them!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

It is Monday morning. I wake up, miss breakfast, wait in traffic, and turn a 25-minute drive into a 40-minute drive. Sitting in the parking for 10 minutes, I enjoy the moments of peace and solitude.  I enter the courthouse and begin my workday. It’s 8:20 am. The first 5 minutes is me finishing the breakfast I missed. Throughout my morning, I check my email for updates from my supervisors. I first edit any materials I created the days before. I will go down my to-do list and check what materials I still need to create, work on, or get approved. My phone will beep.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

A Day in the Life of a Texas VISTA - part 1

Friday, October 5, 2018

Anna and I attended an event by the Marshall Project on Monday titled What’s the Story: Criminal Justice and Narrative Change. The topic of the conversation centered around one question essential to understanding the current state of our justice system: How did we get here? The panelists convened by the Marshall Project had varying fields of expertise and experience relating to policy and justice, creating a unique dialogue about change and progress. They each expressed their beliefs on the origin of our system’s inadequacies.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

We started our Monday morning with the question “How did we get here?” How did we get to incarcerating the most people at the highest rate in the world? How did we get to the place where 700,000 people leave our jails and prisons every year, many without support? How did we get to the place where we incarcerate black people at five times the rate we incarcerate white people?

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Last week we gave you a glimpse into a few of our VISTA’s first week on site, but there are still more stories to be told as the adventure continues! Today, we’re bringing you stories from some of our VISTAs who have relocated to Texas, California, and Guam. They’ve traveled dozens of hours, thousands of miles, and crossed the Pacific Ocean to #GetThingsDone for criminal justice- that’s dedication! These are their stories: *cue the dramatic theme music*


Thursday, September 13, 2018

Our VISTA members really dove into service last week! From the streets of New York, the mountains of Montana, the plains of Oklahoma, and the beaches in California, they are enthusiastic to make a difference. Below, we've shared some of their reflections on how their adventure began and why they’re excited and sometimes a little nervous about this year of service. Read on to hear how their adventures began.

- Anna

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Welcome to the Defending Communities in Service (DCS) VISTA program! This program represents a year of service with some of America’s greatest Public Defenders and is sure to be a year full of growth, learning, and new experiences for all of us. We’re so excited to be kicking off this original initiative as the first VISTAs ever placed in public defender offices as a part of a national program - how cool is that! Our amazing VISTAs will dive headfirst into some hard work, aiming to build capacity in two areas where many public defender offices face difficulty - community partnerships and data systems.