Carlijn van Baak (M.A., LL.M.) completed her Bachelor’s degree in Law at Avans-Fontys University in Tilburg, the Netherlands in 2014. During her Bachelor’s program, Carlijn moved to Huntsville, Texas to study Criminal Justice for a semester at Sam Houston State University. This experience, which raised a great interest in the American criminal justice system, led Carlijn to go back to Texas for two years to get her Masters in Criminal Justice & Criminology (M.A.) at Sam Houston State University. Carlijn visited the Walls unit in Huntsville on several occasions and conducted interviews with inmates as part of a research project, during which she became aware of the harsh circumstances incarcerated individuals often face. After completing her Master’s degree in 2016, Carlijn returned to the Netherlands, where she worked two years as a legal advisor for an oversight committee. In 2020, she received her Master’s degree in Criminal Law (LL.M.) from Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. Since 2020, Carlijn is working as a PhD fellow at the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law enforcement (NSCR) and the University of Amsterdam, focusing on the behavior of bystanders in violent conflicts between men and women.
After watching the documentaries ‘Code Red: The Death Penalty’ and ‘Deal with Death’, Carlijn was immediately captivated by the injustices in Clinton’s case and has been following his case ever since. Determined to help Clinton and other death row inmates, she joined the Foundation as a team member in June 2019.