Jerome Wilson, a Marine Corps veteran and a student at the William H. Bowen School of Law and the Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas Little Rock, recently completed his International Public Service Project with the African Prisons Project (APP), a nonprofit organization providing inmates in African prisons with legal training and services.
Through APP’s Justice Changemaker Program, prisoners and prison staff are taught how to study the law, giving them the ability to provide themselves and others with critical legal advice. Based in London, APP works primarily within prisons in Kenya and Uganda. APP offers a formalized sponsorship program enabling prisoners and prison staff to study law through the University of London’s international program.
Wilson was attracted to the APP program because it related to both his degree programs in law and public service. “Many organizations, especially western organizations, focus on making change but they do it by treating symptoms,” Wilson said. “APP is trying to fix the system by creating individuals that can advocate for their own rights, defend themselves, and advise their peers, giving them skills and knowledge and degrees so that when they leave prison, they don’t fall back into the same patterns as before.”
Wilson had planned to pursue a career as a prosecuting attorney, but after his experiences with the APP, he is considering working in the nonprofit sector after completing his degrees at the University of Arkansas Little Rock.