Prisoners’ Rights Office

Montpelier, VT

Originally hailing from Everett, WA, Annie Manhardt graduated from Harvard Law School in 2018 after receiving her undergraduate degree in Sociology from Willamette University in 2015. For all three years of law school, Annie participated in the Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project (PLAP), and served as co-Executive Director of the program during her final year. Annie was first introduced to the issues facing incarcerated elders when she began representing aging prisoners in their disciplinary hearings and parole hearings, and her understanding of the unique challenges facing this population was further informed by her summer internships at Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts and the Prisoners’ Rights Office in Vermont.

Annie’s experience of living with her grandparents during law school allowed her to see the stark contrast between aging in the free world and aging in prison. With the support of the PSVF Fine Fellowship, the Borchard Fellowship in Law and Aging, and the Initiative for Public Interest Law at Yale, she hopes to reduce this disparity by returning to the Prisoners’ Rights Office in Vermont, where she will implement a project addressing the needs of the state’s growing population of elders under penal supervision. She will pursue decarceration strategies for incarcerated elders, petition for the release of elders from terms of probation and parole, litigate cases to improve prison healthcare and age-related accommodations, and work closely with local providers to bridge the gap between elder services and re-entry services by creating a resource guide designed specifically to meet the needs of formerly incarcerated elders.