The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Notes From the Field: Christina Reagan '19

Christina Reagan Notes from the Field

Christina Reagan '19 interned at JustLeadershipUSA, a non-profit advocacy organization fighting for criminal justice reform, during the 2018 Summer Term.

Christina Reagan Notes from the Field

Christina Reagan '19 interned at JustLeadershipUSA, a non-profit advocacy organization fighting for criminal justice reform.

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Christina Reagan '19 interned at JustLeadershipUSA, a non-profit advocacy organization fighting for criminal justice reform, during the 2018 Summer Term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

This summer, I was a policy and advocacy intern at JustLeadershipUSA in New York City. JustLeadershipUSA is a non-profit advocacy organization fighting for criminal justice reform on a local, state, and national level. They are comprised of three different pillars—Membership, with the goal of enrolling all incarcerated people in the US as members; Leadership, with the goal of training formerly incarcerated people and lifting up their voices as leaders in the fight against mass incarceration; and lastly, Advocacy, which is made up of campaigns to change the policies that affect communities impacted by mass incarceration.

As an intern, I focused primarily on advocacy, specifically on the policy side. I helped my organization work with other organization to lobby for changes in NYC policy and also helped shape the media strategy of JLUSA’s #CloseRikers campaign. I was the point person at JLUSA on a coalition with other criminal justice groups whose goal was to make all jail phone calls in NYC free for the incarcerated and their families. I attended a number of meetings with other city leaders to plan on how to lobby the City Council members and to shape our demands. I attended City Council hearings and Board of Corrections meetings. I helped organize speakers for a press conference outside of City Hall. After a long summer of hard work, City Council overwhelming voted to make all jail phone calls free, returning $6M/year of wealth back to communities most impacted by mass incarceration in NYC. In terms of media strategy, I was the organization’s point person on leadership at the NYC Department of Correction, as well as the members and actions of the NYC Board of Corrections. I drafted two op-eds to be used in the future and compiled numerous pages of research and strategic recommendations.

Looking back at this summer, I have a newfound clarity on what I plan to pursue after college. As much as I love impacting policy, I didn’t feel like I had the capacity to make as much of an impact as I’d like to. I have decided to pursue government/non-profit consulting after college to really garner a broader understanding of how these entities work and to also learn the business skills that are so important in being able to make a lasting impact. I plan on working for a non-profit doing advocacy work later in my career, as I believe I will be able to make more of an impact once I have that broader understanding and wider skillset. I’d like to thank the Rockefeller Center and the Ventures for Hope fund for making this internship possible.

The Rockefeller Internships Program has funding for Dartmouth undergraduate students to help defray the cost of living expenses associated with a full-time, unpaid, leave-term internships in the fields of public policy, public affairs, and social entrepreneurship.

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