Get Involved

There are several ways to get involved: become a court watcher, volunteer with the data team, or join ENJAN. For the first two ways, please email us stating how you’d like to help.

Become a Court Watcher

Court watchers—ideally working in pairs—attend and document sessions at one of our local courts. We have the following expectations for Court Watch of Dutchess County volunteers:

  • Attend a training session to learn about the court system, the way that data is captured and used, and the forms that we use.

  • Sign up in advance to attend a court session. Ideally, there will be two watchers for each court session.

  • Commit to attending the full court session, typically 3 hours in the morning, with a few afternoon options.

  • Arrive on time for each court session in order to log full quantitative and qualitative data including important narratives.

  • Complete court watch forms during the court session.

  • Let team leaders know as soon as possible if you are unable to make a session for which you signed up.

  • Communicate with the court watch team if any issues arise.

Volunteer with the Data Team

Help us share the observations being recorded in the courtroom through data entry and analysis. There are two types of data team shifts: input shifts and analysis & publication shifts. Data input shift volunteers enter data that court watchers have collected. Data analysis shift volunteers analyze the qualitative and quantitative data for key themes and stories, which they prepare for our blog.

If you are interested in volunteering with the Data Team, sign up for shifts here. Please read through the expectations before signing up:

  • Be available to offer time for three-hour shifts at a local site (see sign-up sheet).

  • Arrive on time for all shifts in order to ensure coordination with other data team members.

  • Let team leaders know as soon as possible if you are unable to make a session for which you signed up.


If you don't want to participate in the Court Watch project (or even if you do), but you'd like to contribute to our broader work against mass incarceration, consider joining the Poughkeepsie Chapter of ENJAN. We always welcome new members. All you have to do is show up at one of our semi-monthly meetings in the African Roots Library of the Family Partnership Center, 29 North Hamilton St., Poughkeepsie. Our meetings are usually held on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at 6:30 PM, but you should consult the ENJAN website for changes around holidays.