2017-2018: April Clayton
2017-2018: Underserved Scholarship Awardee
Clinical Psychology PsyD
“Injustice anywhere is athreat to justice everywhere.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
April is originally from Troutdale, Oregon. She is a wife and a mother to six children, ages 7-20. Since 1999, April has worked within the criminal justice system in numerous capacities, ranging from juvenile corrections to hospital security. In those positions, she had the opportunity to complete risk assessments, participate in treatment groups for offenders, implement treatment plans, and testify in criminal and civil commitment hearings. She also volunteered for several organizations such as the Pregnancy Resource Center, Clackamas County Youth Gang Taskforce, and the Oregon Department of Corrections. April is a survivor of numerous childhood traumas. Her father spent 19 years in prison for the crimes he committed against her. April stated,
“Participating in the legal process as a victim of crime enabled me to gain a deeper understanding of how the system works. I became increasingly interested in victim advocacy and providing community protection... I developed a desire to help put an end to mass incarceration in this country. I want to advocate and provide clinical services to those who receive inadequate defense, disproportionately long sentences, or those who are otherwise unable to aid in their own defense. Providing these services will help drive down recidivism rates, enabling us to keep our communities safe and intact. I want to be an advocate for social justice, especially as it relates to those in contact with the legal system (victims, offenders, and everyone impacted by crime).”
As a graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Program at WJC, April plans to work at training sites where she can serve the most vulnerable members in our community. She seeks to increase her knowledge about psychology and the law, participate in social justice initiatives, and organize events on civil and human rights. Her long-term goals are to work within the legal system, be an advocate and a voice for reform, and influence policies that help reduce recidivism. “It has been my life goal to be a voice for those who have none,” said April. “I understand what that feels like in a deeply personal way.”