Michelle Waksman, BMC ’24

Fair and Just Prosecution

Semester: Spring 2024

Praxis Course: SOCL 420 Social Justice and Social Change

Faculty Advisor: David Karen

Field Site:Fair and Just Prosecution (FJP)

Field Supervisor: Robin Olsen

Praxis Poster: 



Further Context:

This semester, I interned at Fair and Just Prosecution (FJP). FJP works with a network of elected prosecutors to advocate for a more equitable, just, and compassionate criminal justice system. They address many policy areas, including diversion programs, juvenile justice, bail reform, and more.

This placement allowed me to strengthen and hone my research skills. I worked to compile the most recent reports, academic research, new articles, and press releases related to the issues FJP is committed to. This was then sent out to the DAs in our network to keep everyone on the same page, share best practices, and alert them to innovations in the field.

I was also honored to be part of multiple planning teams for the April Convening. There, DAs from the network joined for a two-day conference, hearing from an array of experts and those with lived experience in the criminal justice system. I was part of a few research teams building out the panels. I identified potential speakers, joined meetings with them, and collected the most relevant research to their topics. I also worked to compile extensive background research on the individual and the programs they support. These resources were then sent, in one case, to the Executive Director to provide the necessary context for her meeting with a high-profile speaker.

Something interesting about FJP is that they are completely remote. I was impressed by how well FJP functioned and built relationships across distance. It allowed me to strengthen my communication skills and not be afraid to reach out to any member of the team with questions. They made themselves open and available to help me at every juncture, which truly elevated my experience and integrated me into the team deeper than I would have expected.

Overall, I got a close look into how change is made or attempted. Even if I thought we had hit a wall, the staff showed me how we can always pivot and use what we have learned to advance another effort. Thank you to the Praxis Program and FJP for an incredible semester!