In Philadelphia, A Community-Based Program Teaches Defendants How to Help Themselves

By Annette John-Hall, WHYY | October 5, 2018

Stoneleigh Fellow Raj Jayadev is featured by WHYY for his work with the Defender Association to bring a model of participatory defense to Philadelphia.

The participatory defense program, which meets weekly, teaches [defendants] how to present themselves as a whole person, by, among other things, tapping the resources of the community of people who know [them] as more than a criminal.

That package includes training defendants about the facts of their case; teaching them how to write a biography; obtaining letters of support; and identifying friends and loved ones who will vouch for them in court.

Philadelphia Chief Defender Keir Bradford-Grey collaborated with Raj Jayadev, coordinator of the Albert Cobarrubius Justice Project in Silicon Valley, to bring the idea to Pennsylvania.

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