VIDEO: How Public Defenders Can Help Advance Decarceration Policies

a graphic shows a photo of former chief defender of philadelphia  keir bradford grey with text that reads 'the importance of public defenders in advancing decarceration policies

The criminal legal system is a labyrinth that is deliberately constructed to be confuse everyday people. When you are trapped within it you need a legal professional to interpret the law and help you find your way through the process. If you can’t afford a private attorney for the most part public defenders are tasked with helping you navigate this system.

Here in Philly the Defender Association has incubated participatory defense hubs that are run by community members in different parts of the city. These innovative projects are places where people can go and get help from others in the community and volunteers with a knowledge of the system. They help people workshop their cases, understand the process and find useful ways for their family members to show up and support them.  It was a helpful intervention that has provided a much needed resource. But what other ways do public defenders trying to change the system and advocate for decarceration policies so that it harms our people less?

On Monday, February 20th former Chief Defender of the the Defender Association of Philadelphia Keir-Bradford-Grey joined Amistad Law Project, 1Hood and Abolitionist Law Center in conversation to discuss how we push for public safety policies that don’t default to incarceration. Dr. Autumn Redcross of Abolitionist Law Center, Miracle Jones of 1Hood Media and Amistad Law Project’s Executive Director Kris Henderson took a general legal educational forum and transformed it into a vibrant dialogue about how we can radically transform the current set up so that it is focussed on healing our communities rather than breaking them apart.

Click the video above to check out this powerful conversation. Sign up on the form below to get involved with others in abolishing mass incarceration so we can make our communities whole. 



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