Alexa’s passion for advocacy is rooted in her personal experience of incarceration and the stigma she faced in her community upon release. She hopes to use storytelling to change the narrative around system involvement. Alexa aspires to provide her unique perspective to elevate the often-neglected voices of incarcerated women of color, and their lack of support in pursuing higher education while in the system. She is eager to participate in research and analysis that will support effective policy reform that will provide access to higher education for all individuals impacted by the justice system. Alexa earned a B.A. in Business Administration from Tarleton State University and completed certification through the Library of Congress as a braille transcriber.
Interests at the intersection of higher education and the criminal legal system
Cost: Those who are incarcerated often cannot afford to pay for classes. Many states do not pay their inmates for labor, and families are already too overburdened to help. Strict qualifications limit participation through grants. If reimbursement is an option, the thought of massive debt upon release when most cannot pay regular parole fees, is extremely discouraging.
Availability: Obstacles such as unit transfers, limited course subjects, security harassment, and lack of supplies frustrate student participation.
Equal Opportunity: Men have more access to higher education in the Texas prison system. They have ways to supplement their income through craft shops that are closed on female units.
Men have better support systems on the outside to help pay for their classes.
Expectations or goals for the Fellowship?
“I expect my system involvement will provide a deeper understanding of the flaws of our justice system. Goals I have for the Fellowship are for the development of my skills in leadership, public speaking, and media relations. I hope to gain experience that perhaps could lead to new career opportunities and to continue my personal growth.”