2025 Design-Your-Own Fellowship Applications are Open

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Headshot of Kevin Muench

Kevin Muench

  • Hosted by American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky
  • Sponsored by AIG, Anonymous
  • Service location Louisville, Kentucky
  • Law school New York University School of Law
  • Issue area Criminal Justice Reform, Voting Rights/Electoral Participation
  • Fellowship class year 2022
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Kevin (he/him/his) advocates on behalf of incarcerated people in Kentucky and communities affected by prison gerrymandering to stop the use of the criminal justice system as a means of disenfranchising voters.

The criminal justice system is often used as a tool to disenfranchise voters. Incarceration-based disenfranchisement occurs in many forms, including impeding people in pre-trial detention from voting and shifting political power away from communities through prison gerrymandering. There are an estimated 21,000 pre-trial detainees in Kentucky, each of whom has the constitutional right to vote, but many are nevertheless unable to vote due to poor jail administration. Moreover, the Kentucky legislature has continually used prisons to egregiously gerrymander the state.

These forms of political disempowerment are under scrutinized but must be addressed. Kentuckians need a comprehensive program that will integrate direct services, policy advocacy, and litigation to make jailhouse voting more accessible and end prison gerrymandering.

Kevin is motivated by his many family reunions in Kentucky, his childhood in the South, and the overwhelming need to expand the right to vote at this critical, historical moment.

Fellowship Plans

During his Fellowship, Kevin will work directly with incarcerated people in pre-trial detention to register incarcerated voters and help them vote absentee. He will engage in advocacy to improve jail practices, advance prison gerrymandering policy, and publish policy reports. Finally, he will commence litigation to end prison gerrymandering in Kentucky and ensure jails comply with their constitutional duties.

The right to vote is sacred, and nobody should be disenfranchised because of their wealth or zip code.

Kevin Muench /
2022 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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