Student Profile: Riley

The Bridge of Hope Innocence Initiative thrives off the work of our students and volunteers. This series will profile some of the students involved in reviewing claims of factual innocence. Want to get involved? Read this.

How did you get involved in the Innocence Initiative?

I became involved with the Innocence Initiative through my studies of a Bachelor of Criminal Justice at RMIT. I started working here as part of my 50 day placement because it was highly recommended to me by my fellow classmates and other teachers at RMIT.

What do you do?

My role within the Innocence Initiative is to review new applications and to evaluate whether these case fits within our ambit. I am also involved in the reinvestigation of the cases that we are working on as well as other various projects.

What are the most enjoyable aspects of reviewing cases?

There are so many enjoyable aspects in reviewing our cases, the first of which is the investigative work and using our critical thinking to come up with other potential possibilities. Working together as a team has also made it quite enjoyable as we all get to share all our own thoughts and theories. Reviewing new cases is also exciting because we get to use our “gut feeling” and is a good way to break up our work by looking at a fresh case.

What are the most difficult aspects of reviewing cases?

The most difficult aspect of reviewing cases is the amount of reading required to evaluate all of the case material. Sometimes there can be hundreds of documents, some of which can be quite boring and lengthy. Finding a way to break up this work is the best way to overcome its repetitiveness.

Has undertaking this internship changed your view of the criminal justice system?

Working at the Innocence Initiative has definitely challenged my own assumptions about our criminal justice system. It has taught me not to take everything at face value and to apply my critical thinking skills to evaluate thing more deeply. It has also emphasised the importance of integrity and open mindedness in all aspects of the criminal justice system such as investigations and the courts.