Safe & Just Michigan
Scott Tompkins, Fund Development Fellow
Scott Tompkins is a Safe & Just Michigan Fund Development Fellow who joined our team in the fall of 2022. With a background as an educator, journalist and community organizer, Scott is eager to learn more about fundraising and grant writing in order to help the nonprofits he works with achieve their goals of helping others successfully return home after prison.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in photography from Southern Illinois University, Scott worked in advertising and journalism before becoming a VISTA volunteer and then a community organizer in Stockton, Calif. He later earned a master’s degree in education and returned to Northern Michigan to raise a family.
His life took a turn when he was convicted of assault and sentenced to 18 months in prison. After being a valued member of the community, he was now viewed with suspicion. The experience made him realize how the criminal justice system damages so many lives.
“Everybody has been impacted by someone being incarcerated,” he said. “Whether it’s a family member, a good friend, a colleague, a classmate, or whoever, it touches so many people. We just don’t realize how prevalent it is.”
He continues to work for his community since returning home, but his focus now is on helping others thrive after release. He works with the Before, During and After Incarceration program based in Traverse City, as well as the Prison Creative Arts Project and the ACLU.
He lives in the Traverse City area.