Jayne Molt, now a UMKC law student, won the PeaceWorks-KC peace scholar award for 2018-19, an award of $1,500. Last spring, she graduated from Avila University with a baccalaureate in criminology and justice studies and a minor in women’s and gender studies. In her application for the award, she wrote, “My goal is to be a public defender in Kansas City. I think this is an important way I can attempt to help those accused of crime and understand the many failures of the criminal justice system for all parties involved. … Justice is not being served by our criminal justice system.”
How does Jayne, a first-year law student, know?
Consider these experiences. While she was in Youth Court in high school, she observed juvenile court and became a secretary for it. Then she did an internship at the Independence Municipal Court, shadowing the prosecutor, helping him interview victims, and prepping for cases. “The more difficult cases were domestic violence and assaults,” she wrote. “Working with them (the victims) kept you in tune with what was happening in individuals’ lives in our local area. Trying to work with victims and offenders means you had to be honest to all parties and make a fair deal for everyone.”
During an Avila trip to Cuba, Jane said, “I got to see how the ideals of a revolution changed the course of a country. … It was enlightening to meet dissidents who are allowed to disagree in a system that we consider oppressive.”
Among Jayne’s contributions to PeaceWorks in 2018 were taking breakfast to Urban Ranger Corps students on a summer’s day when they received conflict resolution training, and trouble-shooting at the cashier’s desk during the UNplaza Art Fair in September. Thanks, Jayne!