Emily Allen is a senior at the University of Montana. She is double majoring in Anthropology and Sociology and through her majors she developed an interest in learning more about the US legal system. Working with the Montana Innocence Project appealed to her when she first learned about the organization. She says being involved with the Project makes her feel like she is making a difference. She wanted to work with the Montana Innocence Project when a professor explained how important it was to make sure all Americans have proper legal counsel and presumed innocence until found guilty when placed into police custody. She says interning with the Montana Innocence Project gives her an opportunity to learn more about the criminal justice system and become more aware of how the flaws in this system can influence the lives of the innocent.
Sierra Streuli says being an intern for the Montana Innocence project provides her with the opportunity to learn about the appeals and post-conviction process in an in-depth way that she couldn’t do in any class. It also allows her to gain hands-on experience in the field that she's hoping to work in. She wanted to intern with the Montana Innocence Project because it gives her an opportunity to help right some of the widespread injustices in the Criminal Justice System that she is learning about in her studies.
Thomas Hiett was inspired to work for the Montana Innocence Project by the novel Just Mercy—a story that follows a wrongfully convicted man through the flawed interworking of the American criminal justice system and illuminates the arduous process of proving one's innocence. He says he has had a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for the work put into exonerating innocent men and women from prison. Through his internship with the Montana Innocence Project, he hopes to better understand the lengthy process and hard work it takes to find and exonerate victims of the criminal justice system. He also hopes this will give him a better understanding of the legal processes he will likely see if he continue his pursuit of a career in law.
Nikia Reynolds is a sociology major with an inequality and social justice major at the University of Montana. She wanted to intern with the Montana Innocence Project because she believes the mission and she is passionate about helping others. She says the work done at the Montana Innocence Project is truly amazing and she is excited to be apart of it.