Ex-Incarcerated Peoples Organizing (EXPO)

Internship Location: Madison, WI (Hybrid)

Organization Type: Nonprofit

Policy Areas: Criminal Justice Reform; Criminal Legal System Reform; Anti-discrimination and Equal Rights

I interned with Ex-Incarcerated Peoples Organizing (EXPO) as a legal intern. Their mission is to fight mass incarceration in Wisconsin and fight discrimination against formerly incarcerated people. They were founded by and for directly-impacted people. Empathy is one key component of their organization, so having formerly or currently incarcerated people in their circle is crucial. I primarily worked on policy analysis and legal research. When new policies or changes to old policies were proposed in the Wisconsin state legislature, I would analyze their language, the motivations behind the proposal, the benefits and drawbacks of the proposal, specifically the impact the policy would have on the criminal legal system. I would also read and summarize criminal cases and research criminal statutes in Wisconsin. Through this experience I was able to hone my policy analysis skills, particularly as they relate to my ability to see the “other side’s” reasoning. Because I envision law school in my future, being able to work on criminal cases and being tasked with researching differences in Wisconsin’s criminal statutes versus other states’ statutes was very beneficial. I also got to see what working with the government is like and learned how to lobby state representatives, particularly from opposing sides of my own. This significantly improved my advocacy and argumentation skills, which will undoubtedly be crucial in my future.