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Sherry Porter: Reflections

“The experiences and skills I gained at OJPC will be invaluable to the women and men I serve in the future.”

My name is Sherry Porter, and I am entering my 3L year at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. Before coming to law school, I worked as a Probation Officer for almost a decade. I saw firsthand just how unjust the criminal “justice” system really is. After spending many years working with clients involved in the legal system, I felt that I could make a bigger impact as an attorney. My interest in social justice issues and a desire to fight systemic inequalities drew me to this internship at the Ohio Justice & Policy Center (OJPC).

OJPC's 2016 Summer Interns
OJPC’s 2016 Summer Interns

This summer I had the unique experience of working on the beginning stages of a brand new project at OJPC, ‘Women’s Domestic Violence Project.’ This project seeks release from prison for women convicted of homicide related offenses that were a result of domestic violence. Although I participated only in the initial phase of the project, I know that it will have a positive impact on the lives of so many women. Because women are the fasting growing prison population in the U.S., projects designed to fight for their release are extremely important.

I hope to spend a long career in the law working to make positive changes in our legal system and working to aid those who find themselves involved in the court system. Too many people in our society are written off as criminals.  Prisoners are all but forgotten by the public and condemned for their mistakes. Many people do not consider the human rights of prisoners and often do not even acknowledge these rights.

Projects like the ‘Women’s Domestic Violence Project’ and public interest attorneys like those I had the pleasure of working with at OJPC remind me that there is hope and there are people willing to fight for incarcerated men and women. This internship confirmed my desire to work in criminal law. I have built my career on a desire to aid in social change and my ultimate career goal is to become an attorney who will perform social justice feminism and fight for the rights of women and other oppressed or marginalized groups. The experiences and skills I gained at OJPC will be invaluable to the women and men I serve in the future.

Sherry Porter, University of Cincinnati College of Law