Himangi Ticku has spent a large part of her time in Canberra in its prison.
She has never served a sentence but knows the ins and outs of life behind bars and what plays on the minds of detainees better than most.
As a volunteer with Prisoners Aid ACT, Ms Ticku takes a two-hour bus ride from her north-side home every week to spend the day chatting with prisoners at the Alexander Maconochie Centre - checking in and helping them feel a little less alone.
"A lot of them are isolated so you are their only happy thing happening the whole week," she said.
It's a difficult task, the ANU law student said, but a rewarding one that has helped shape what role she wanted to play in the criminal justice system when her career began.
Ms Ticku was among several volunteers conducting welfare checks on prisoners to help ensure their life on the outside would not be lost.
What began as credit for a university course had become her passion.
Ms Ticku had one rule before entering any welfare check; she did not want to know what landed them in a cell.
"I'm not their lawyer. I just want to know what they want from us, how we can help them. Some of them just want a friendly face to talk to," she said.
"Some of them are very isolated ... whether their lawyer hasn't visited them in a while or they are just feeling lonely.
"Someone maybe got arrested at a random time and is worried where their car is parked, or is worried because they've been in remand for so long and haven't been able to contact anybody, they might get kicked out of their house because they haven't been able to pay rent."
The conversations could be tough and emotionally taxing. Ms Ticku said walking the line between her professional relationship with the inmates was challenging when they bared their soul.
"I was sitting there as a 21-year-old having a man in his 50s crying his eyes out, saying, 'My life has no meaning'. I don't know how to deal with something like that," she said.
"One of my first challenges at the start was to draw that line. I want to be empathetic but I want to retain my objectivity. At the end of the day they are there serving a sentence for crime.
"That's something I did struggle with, initially, especially if you are sitting in an hour-long welfare check. It wasn't easy because we're not trained psychologists.
"That is why we go through all that training and initially we have a supervisor with us."
Sometimes, she needed to take a step back - "because I'm going to be a disservice to the next person".
Ms Ticku saw an opportunity for vast change to the ACT's criminal justice system; reform she hoped to be a part of as she entered her legal career.
Her role with Prisoners Aid was a step toward that, pushing her to break down stigma in her own mind.
"I feel like there's so much potential for us to do really positive reform in the criminal justice system ... Canberra is far ahead in steps being taken," she said.
"I don't know what kind of lawyer I want to be, but I know what kind of lawyer I don't want to be.
"I don't want to be that person who is so one-tracked and just focused in my job I forget there's so much more I can do.
"I came here as this scared 17-year-old student from India who had no idea how anything works.
"My roots are in India but Canberra is responsible for making me who I am today, so I really wanted to do something that helps."