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2022 Summer Intern Reflections – Zach

My time spent at Georgia Justice Project has produced some of the most enriching experiences of my life. From talking to directly impacted individuals who are attempting to expunge their record, to helping attorneys and our policy team ensure that SB105 is properly implemented to assist with individuals seeking early termination of their felony probation, I have learned to see criminal justice reform from a completely new perspective. Additionally, being a part of weekly lunch-and-learns with a variety of speakers and attending events such as the graduation ceremony at the Metro Reentry Facility state prison have only added to my experience here.

At the beginning of the summer, I was told that I would be taking point in assisting our social services team with our annual Back-to-School drive. What I assumed would be a relatively small undertaking, was actually weeks of tedious planning. Though the drive was more work than I anticipated, it was more than worth it. One of the best parts of this summer was getting to talk to individuals who have directly benefited from our services and providing them and their children with much needed products. Most of my work at GJP is with individuals at the beginning of a long journey through the criminal legal system who are applying for our services. Working the drive gave me a chance to interact with those who have already been through the arduous process and have benefited from our assistance.

There is no other organization like the Georgia Justice Project. Every single person who works here puts everything they have into their work. They ensure that we do not just offer legal assistance, but that we provide everyone who comes through our doors with a safe space to feel listened to and respected. I believe that GJP’s holistic approach provides our clients with the best possible help they could find.

Zach Leach, 2022 GJP Summer Undergraduate Intern

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