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Philadelphia PARTICIPATORY DEFENSE INITIATIVE Community Forum

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1750 Callowhill Street

Community College of Philadelphia

Center for Business and Industry Building (2ND FLOOR, ROOM C2-28)

Philadelphia, PA 19130

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It takes all of us to end mass incarceration. The recent efforts by the community in the Philadelphia District Attorney election show the power the people have to change the course of the justice system.


For the community to continue to use this power to reverse mass incarceration, they need to understand the system, know how to navigate the process, and identify opportunities that can change outcomes.


Participatory Defense is a community organizing model for people facing charges, their families, and their communities to impact the outcomes of cases and transform the landscape of the criminal justice system. Community members share firsthand knowledge and experience of the system to help create more successful defense strategies to bring their loved ones home.


Public defenders are an essential piece of reform, but we know that they cannot do it alone. On a case-by-case basis in an overburdened system, time is scarce for defenders to educate the family and community on the nuances of the system. But, on a larger scale, defenders can impart knowledge so that the community has the information to be effective change agents. The community can share their understanding to help expand the picture for defenders to help create better strategies for success. By tapping into community intelligence, we can bring humanity back into the system's process.


The tremendous impact of this process on outcomes has been extremely beneficial in reducing mass incarceration and preventing unjust criminal justice practices and policies. The Participatory Defense model was developed by a group of community organizers led by Raj Jayadev in San Jose, CA in 2007. We are excited to welcome Raj to Philadelphia for this event as a guest speaker, along with Ramon Vasquez from San Jose, Gicola Lane from Nashville's participatory defense hub, and Heather Lewis from Montgomery County's participatory defense hub at CADCOM.


Please join us on November 30 to shape what Participatory Defense will look like in Philadelphia!

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Date and Time

Location

1750 Callowhill Street

Community College of Philadelphia

Center for Business and Industry Building (2ND FLOOR, ROOM C2-28)

Philadelphia, PA 19130

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