Still She Rises, Tulsa: A Project of The Bronx Defenders is a new community-based defender office located in North Tulsa, Oklahoma that seeks to address the epidemic of criminalization and incarceration of women in Tulsa. Women are the fastest-growing incarcerated population in the United States, and Oklahoma incarcerates a higher percentage of its women than any other state. For many women, incarceration does not just mean the loss of liberty, but also means the loss of their children and the total destabilization of their family’s lives. Still She Rises is a project of The Bronx Defenders, a holistic public defender organization that has operated in the Bronx, New York since 1997.
Still She Rises has worked to adapt The Bronx Defenders’ model of holistic defense as the first pro bono law office in the country specifically dedicated to the representation of criminal-justice-involved mothers. Advocates at Still She Rises, Tulsa provide indigent women and their families with access to client-centered criminal defense, family defense, civil legal services, and social work support. Looking beyond the immediate case, interdisciplinary teams of attorneys and advocates work with each family to understand the factors driving them into the criminal justice system and to mitigate the collateral consequences that may uniquely affect them. Still She Rises, Tulsa pioneers a new criminal justice approach with the aim of breaking the devastating cycle of poverty and instability that so often correlates with the incarceration of a mother.
The intern investigator will work as part of legal team including alongside the investigator, attorneys, and advocates to defend Still She Rises clients accused of crimes. Broadly speaking, investigators find evidence that will assist in our clients’ defense in court. The majority of the work of investigators does not take place in the office but is carried out in the community, most often at private homes and businesses. The intern investigator should also expect to interview individuals who are incarcerated.
Typical investigative tasks can include:
• Locating and interviewing witnesses,
• Taking statements,
• Interviewing clients
• Photographing crime scenes and gathering time-sensitive video surveillance,
• Writing investigative reports,
• Testifying in court,
• Performing background checks
There is no requirement that an intern have prior experience with investigations; training will be provided. Interns should have an interest in and a commitment to social and criminal justice issues, excellent written and verbal communication skills, and an ability to adapt in a dynamic environment. The schedule of investigators often varies according to the availability of the witnesses; interns should expect to work on the occasional evening or weekend. It is also strongly preferred that the intern have access to a car.