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Make Them Hear You: Participatory Defense and the Struggle for Criminal Justice Reform

36 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2015 Last revised: 6 Nov 2015

Janet Moore

University of Cincinnati College of Law

Marla Sandys

Indiana University Bloomington - Department of Criminal Justice

Raj Jayadev

Albert Cobarrubius Justice Project, Silicon Valley De-Bug

Date Written: March 23, 2015

Abstract

This Article introduces participatory defense as a powerful new model for improving public defense and challenging mass incarceration. This grassroots movement empowers the key stakeholders — people who face criminal charges, their families, and their communities — to become change agents who force greater transparency, accountability, and fairness from criminal justice systems. After introducing the model’s core principles and goals, the Article offers innovative analyses from doctrinal, theoretical and empirical perspectives. First, the Article connects participatory defense with the crisis-ridden history of the constitutional right to counsel, including that doctrine’s roots in the Due Process right to be heard. Second, the Article frames participatory defense within a new theory of criminal justice that emphasizes equality in the generation and administration of law. Finally, core principles of participatory defense are applied in cutting-edge empirical research that amplifies the voices of the key stakeholders in system assessment and offers new support for reform litigation and policy advocacy.

Keywords: public defense, criminal justice, grassroots advocacy, democratic theory

JEL Classification: K4, K14

Suggested Citation

Moore, Janet and Sandys, Marla and Jayadev, Raj, Make Them Hear You: Participatory Defense and the Struggle for Criminal Justice Reform (March 23, 2015). 78 Albany Law Review 1281 (2015); U of Cincinnati Public Law Research Paper No. 15-09. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2594926

Janet Moore (Contact Author)

University of Cincinnati College of Law ( email )

Post Office Box 210040
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0040
United States
513-556-0126 (Phone)
513-556-1236 (Fax)

Marla Sandys

Indiana University Bloomington - Department of Criminal Justice ( email )

Bloomington, IN
United States

Raj Jayadev

Albert Cobarrubius Justice Project, Silicon Valley De-Bug ( email )

701 Lenzen Avenue
San Jose, CA 95126
United States

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