SWLAW Blog | Awards & Honors

Image - Mass Incarceration Awareness Law Society

April 28, 2021

And the 2021 Student Organization Volunteer Achievement Award Goes To… Mass Incarceration Awareness Law Society!

The Public Interest Law Committee's Student Organization Volunteer Achievement Award honors a selected student organization that, as a whole, has demonstrated the most significant contribution to public service activities and engagement both on- and off-campus during the academic year.

Southwestern's Mass Incarceration Awareness Law Society was selected from several organizations nominated due to its demonstrated record in developing initiatives and programming devoted to educating Southwestern students on mass incarceration's effects on the criminal justice system.

In the past year, Mass Incarceration Awareness Law Society (MIALS) has launched Southwestern's Virtual Mail Night Project in partnership with Initiate Justice, a grassroots prison policy advocacy organization. Approximately 50 students attend the monthly Mail Night Project to respond to letters from incarcerated Californians seeking information on COVID-19, sentencing laws, and other policy efforts. Over the past year, MIALS has also partnered with Pages & Time, a nonprofit organizing book drives to respond to incarcerated individuals' educational needs. Most recently, MIALS has partnered with ACLU of Louisiana's Justice Lab Project, conducting remote legal research and assisting ACLU of Louisiana attorneys in assessing and identifying cases where community members have been subjected to violations of Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendment rights.

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MIALS students at a virtual Mail Night Project event

MIALS Co-President Brittany Butler shared, "The Mass Incarceration Awareness Law Society (MIALS) is honored to receive the Southwestern 2021 Student Organization Volunteer Achievement Award. MIALS was formed last year by a small group of SCALE students and has now grown into one of the most active student organizations on campus with over 50 active members. MIALS would like to thank all of the students who made MIALS what it is today. All of the involvement in our events this past year has meant so much to us." 

Image - Brittany Butler"MIALS is excited to have a great leadership group taking over the club next year. We know that MIALS will continue to be a staple organization at Southwestern, educating students on the importance of understanding mass incarceration and how it affects incarcerated individuals."

- 3L Brittany Butler, MIALS Co-President


 In taking action through volunteer efforts, MIALS dedicates its mission and membership to expanding service and educational opportunities for all Southwestern students with a clarity of objective in highlighting systemic issues and inequities leading to mass incarceration and the community need for criminal justice reform.

Congratulations to the Mass Incarceration Awareness Law Society on these achievements in an extraordinary year and for being selected to receive this year's Student Organization Volunteer Achievement Award!

Image - MIALS Award
(Bottom Left & Right) Co-Presidents Gonzalo Villanueva and Brittany Butler accepting the 2021 Student Organization Volunteer Achievement Award from the incoming PILC Board at the virtual PSP Award Luncheon