Rethinking Justice Internship

The Rethinking Justice Internship is a new opportunity for Columbia undergraduates. Students will work closely with the director of the program, Professor Christia Mercer (Philosophy), and other professors to help organize and teach 4-week mini-courses in the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC), a maximum security Federal Prison in Brooklyn. Growing out of Columbia’s Justice-in-Education Initiative, the new Rethinking Justice program offers educational opportunities to incarcerated men whose legal status is too unpredictable for them to take a full semester course. Each intern will assist in 6-8 classes a semester (roughly 10:00-5:00 each Friday, which includes 3-hour class and time for travel) and work 2-3 hours a week on organization and planning.

Find more information here.

Criminal justice reform is one of the most-urgent political, social, humanitarian, and economic issues of out  time. With over 2.3 million people in jail or prison, the U.S. incarcerates more people per capita and in absolute terms than any other country in the world. Arrests and sentences are biased against people of color and other minorities (including gender non-conforming people), and incarceration devastates communities.

The benefits of education in prison are profound. When incarcerated people take courses, their opportunities for reduced sentences, employment, and further education significantly increase. Studies show that prison education increases “social capital” and reduces recidivism. The Rethinking Justice Internships give Columbia students the opportunity to contribute to the lives of the underserved men of MDC (see an Op-Ed about a MDC semester-long course) and gain important insight into US Criminal Justice.

Fill out the interest form here.