CIC Team

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Chelli Riddiough interned with CIC in 2018 and returned full-time in 2022 to manage its family program. She received her MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from the University of Minnesota and her BA in Philosophy from Williams College. Her projects at CIC include connecting families with free opportunities for youth, working with the YMCA and the Loppet Foundation on summer camps, and seeking out new partnerships to grow and strengthen our community.

STUDENT RESEARCH FELLOWS

Since its inception in 2015, CIC has hired talented student fellows to conduct research on parental incarceration. These fellows guide the work of CIC and have provided some of our best ideas. Many come back and extend their work with us. Others pursue careers involving social justice or the criminal legal system. Our student fellow program not only creates a community at CIC, it impacts the community at large.

David Smith is an experienced music producer, sound engineer, film scorer, and musician from Woodbury, MN. He is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota studying Business and Marketing Education. He has worked on music for Billboard-charting and Grammy-winning artists, as well as producing podcasts for a variety of clients. Driven by his strong passion for greatness, he takes pride in being there to serve in any way you ask, with excellence and enthusiasm.

Elyse Hatch-Rivera is a rising senior at Macalester College, majoring in Political Science with a concentration in Legal Studies. At Macalester, she is a member of the Women’s Soccer team and organizes a BIPOC student athlete collective. In addition, at Macalester Elyse has been researching the 100-Mile Border Zone and its carceral logic. In 2021, she also worked with COPAL to implement a media initiative for the 100-mile border zone. Through this project and her time at Macalester, Elyse has developed interest in the contradictions between critical carceral studies and traditional theories of securitization and their effects on Latinx personhood. This summer Elyse will be working as a legal research intern for CIC on their Prison Nursery Project.

Jessy Rehmann is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities, majoring in Journalism and Global Studies with minors in Spanish Studies and Teaching English as a Second Language. She has a long history of working for children of all ages. For six years she was an instructor for summer theatre classes, and for one year she was an assistant teacher at a daycare. She also has been a volunteer assistant teacher for adult ESL classes at Open Door Learning Center in Minneapolis. Her main academic interest is human rights and justice in Latin America. In the fall of 2022, she plans to intern at a grassroots human rights organization in Ecuador. After graduating, she hopes to pursue a career in journalism, reporting on social issues.

Julia Lucas is a junior Sociology and Fine Art major at Northwestern University. She has a background in healthcare advocacy with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and has spent time working with children in after-school arts programs and as a camp counselor. She is passionate about providing young people with opportunities to express themselves and find community. She will be working as an intern with the family program this summer.

McKenna Haas graduated in May of 2021 from the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities with a B.A. in Biology, Society, and Environment and minors in Spanish, Public Health, and Health Psychology. She started working with CIC in the spring of 2021 and is helping to produce the soon-to-come international prison nursery podcast. McKenna’s personal experience with parental and familial incarceration helps to fuel her commitment to and compassion towards children impacted by caregiver incarceration. In the fall of 2022, McKenna plans to continue pursuing her passion for health and well-being advocacy by getting a master’s degree in public health with a focus on environmental health sciences and global public health.

Olivia Hudson is a senior at Macalester College majoring in Political Science and Sociology with a concentration in Human Rights and Humanitarianism and a minor in Environmental Studies. Olivia has been at CIC since the summer of 2021 and has been working on the upcoming International Prison Nursery podcast. She worked alongside a New York based organization that provided reentry support and shelter for those formerly incarcerated, influencing her interest in helping those impacted by the carceral system. Throughout her time at Macalester, Olivia has developed interests in social work, childhood studies, and energy justice. After graduating, Olivia hopes to continue working with nonprofits that support incarcerated individuals.

Socorro Topete is a Masters of Human Rights candidate at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota- Twin Cities. She is studying Crime, Law, Justice & Migration and is passionate about social justice, equality, and freedom. She often spends her time doing research on issues such as gender-based violence, prison/detention center reform/abolition, migrant rights, and human rights. Socorro has worked on several awareness projects for a domestic violence, sexual assault, sex trafficking and gender based violence crisis center she was employed at during undergrad where she also worked on outreach, research, and prevention strategy projects. Socorro is devoted to encouraging community led activism and keeping wrongdoers in power, accountable. She hopes to bring light to the realities that marginalized communities face each day. After graduation Socorro hopes to continue her career as a researcher and journalist and persuade policy that will support transcendent change in our communities.

UC IRVINE INTERNS

Brittany Emsais is a law student at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. Brittany has worked on several pro-bono projects during her time in law school, learning more about the impact of contact with the criminal legal system as well as different paths to relief. Brittany plans to work in post convictions criminal defense work or criminal legal policy work upon completion of her law degree.

Zoe Vikstrom obtained her undergraduate degree from UCLA and is currently in her last year at the UC Irvine Law. Her interest in criminal law and restorative justice began with her internship at the Orange County Public Defender’s Office during her senior year of college. In law school, Zoe has primarily worked in public interest employment law, fighting discrimination in the workplace and unfair working conditions. She has also volunteered with organizations such as the Mississippi Freedom Project and the Transgender Legal Assistance Clinic.