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Manchester student from Rochester has summer internship helping clients in West Virginia public defender’s office

Joshua-Troup“My favorite part of the internship is being able to help those who can’t afford to help themselves,” said Joshua Troup, a Manchester University student from Rochester. He has spent the past few weeks working remotely as an intern with Kanawha Public Defender Services (PDS) in Cabin Creek, West Virginia.

Kanawha PDS provides legal counsel to those who are not able to afford a private attorney. The office analyzes evidence against the defendant and handles client support, negotiations on bond hearings, and representation in court proceedings. Troup conducts remote interviews with clients and he is learning how to write detailed memos and coordinate the transfer of important information in cases. He can also shadow attorneys and investigators through remote court hearings as part of the internship.

A rising senior, he is working this summer through the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty internship program. Troup is working remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program lasts eight weeks and ends the last week in July.

“I’ve really learned how to treat people with respect and understand their situation without making them feel guilty for seeking help in the first place,” he said.

Troup is carrying a double major, criminal justice and peace studies.

“Not everyone has the ability to afford private counsel, so public defenders make it their job to provide assistance to these individuals, oftentimes at a cost to their mental well-being. Public defender’s offices are very overwhelmed with work, but they still make their clients their priority,” he said.

 “West Virginia is just like everywhere else in the United States. Their community has to deal with homelessness, domestic violence, lack of health care, and poverty, and I’m glad I’ve had the opportunity to learn about it and try to help,” Troup said. “This program has been a quality experience despite everything going on with COVID-19, and I am so glad I participated.”

After graduation, Troup plans to work in law enforcement in a position where he has the opportunity to enact and impact criminal justice policy changes that are for the good of everyone.

Manchester Mission: Manchester University respects the infinite worth of every individual and graduates persons of ability and conviction who draw upon their education and faith to lead principled, productive and compassionate lives that improve the human condition. 

For the media

Press release by Jennifer Wagner, student assistant in the Office of Strategic Communications.

To contact Joshua Troup:

Learn more about Kanawha PDS:

This is Manchester’s third summer with the Shepherd Consortium:

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July 2020