Check out the inspiring sights and sounds of our Time Saved Party — a unique gathering of families who prevented, or reduced, their loved ones incarceration through participatory defense and partnerships with public defenders. Together, they represent 1,862 years saved from incarceration! It was an incredibly powerful night with people who had beaten life sentence, deportations, and more in attendance. We also launched our Time Saved Documentary Series, starting with our premiere episode featuring Lisa Coulter, we have uploaded it here as well. Below her documentary is a special lenticular print accompaniment that is now installed at the Santa Clara County Public Defender’s Office, that visually shows that family realities are dynamic, rather than static, and illustrates how time served can become time saved. Also, check out the write up of Time Saved which ran in this week’s Silicon Valley Metro. And click here to read the Mercury News coverage of our installation of Time Saved media and our partnership with the SC Public Defender in this powerful article called “Bay Area Public Defender’s Speak Out for Justice.” Both articles note the exciting national expansion of our participatory defense model. And click here to see the beautiful Time Saved Photo Booth slideshow — sharing the faces and incredible stories that make up our movement. See you at the Time Saved 2,500 Party!
Time Saved: The Lisa Coulter Story (Premiered at the Time Saved Party) The Time Saved Lenticular Print, Installed at the Santa Clara County Public Defender’s Office, and Profiled in Mercury News Silicon Valley Metro Weekly By the Numbers: 1,862
Six years ago, community organizer Raj Jayadev formed the Albert Cobarrubias Justice Project
(ACJP)—named after an aspiring lawyer killed in a drive-by shooting—to help families caught up in the criminal justice system. As he began taking on more cases, he grew frustrated when, despite all the services he connected them to, they relinquished so much control once the case went to the courtroom. To affect real change, Jayadev thought, he would have to bridge the divide between the legal establishment and the community. That realization grew into a methodology called “participatory defense.” The idea is to work with public defenders and connect them with a client’s family and community, so they can more effectively tell their full story in court. Through this model, families become extensions of the legal defense team by scouring police reports, reading transcripts, offering defense strategies and speaking up for the defendant. About 80 percent of the 2.5 million Americans behind bars have relied on public defenders to represent them in court and influence the outcome of a case. By facilitating participatory defense in more than 400 cases, the ACJP has won acquittals, had charges dismissed or reduced, changed prison terms to rehabilitation sentences and even knocked life sentences off the table. When accounting for the original maximum sentences and subtracting what the defendant actually received after community intervention, the justice project has saved people a combined 1,862 years of incarceration. Last week, a group of former inmates, their families and friends, ACJP volunteers and public defenders all met at Zero One Garage in downtown San Jose to celebrate the time saved. Jayadev says the plan is to hold a celebration every 1,000 years saved from now on as the program expands into communities around the nation.