How are Public Defenders Trained?
We received a message from Gideon’s Promise on our Twitter @hiddensentence account. We hadn’t heard of them before and checked out their website and we were impressed! This organization trains Public Defenders to see our loved ones as people and not just numbers going through the legal system. From what we’ve read and spoken to their PR manager about, they provide training and tools for Public Defenders to provide better defense for those going through the legal process.
Please take time to visit their website and learn more about their program. If you are working with a Public Defender, you can talk to him/her about this program to see if it’s something that could help them if they are not already involved.
Gideon’s Promise: Building a Movement of Public Defenders
In America we have lost sight of the humanity of our most vulnerable communities. As a result we have become indifferent to the injustice they experience in all walks of life. Our collective indifference to poverty, sub-standard education, mental health challenges, and substance abuse, drives a criminal justice system that is devastating low-income communities. Rather than deal with these issues, we criminalize those who fall victim to them. Public defenders are on the front lines to address these issues. Society’s mistreatment of its own citizens in the criminal justice system is a reflection of its lack of commitment to equal justice. The job of the public defender is to show the value in saving the lives of the men, women and children who are increasingly entering the system. By interrupting routine injustice every day, public defenders serve as the conscience of our criminal justice system and the first line of defense to reclaim our democracy!
Gideon’s Promise is the only organization that solely trains public defenders. We are a non-profit organization that provides programs for free or minimal cost because most public defender offices do not have budgets to train and support their indigent defense providers. In 2017, Gideon’s Promise will celebrate its 10th year highlighting that public defenders are the engine to drive justice reform from within the system. By driving all of us to see the humanity of our most marginalized community-members, our public defenders impact individual lives; transform our criminal justice system; and drive a more equitable society. Gideon’s Promise offers 6 unique programs that empower participants to:
- Provide critical context to fashion fairer outcomes
- Challenge assumptions, humanize clients, and rewrite their narratives
- Change individual lives by identifying needs and providing an onramp to the services and skills necessary to change perceptions and outcomes
Jonathan Rapping, the President and Co-Founder of Gideon’s Promise, believes that, “the greatest civil and human rights abuses of our time continue in the American criminal justice system,” and the role of public defenders is to infuse humanity into the broken justice system through client-centered advocacy. Gideon’s Promise is building a movement of client-centered public defenders and advocates. Our mission is to transform criminal justice by building a movement of public defenders who provide equal justice for marginalized communities. Together, we will create a more humane justice system.
For more information visit: www.gideonspromise.org. You can also following them on Facebook @GideonsPromise and Twitter @Gideons_Promise.
Note from the Editor: If you know of any other organizations that are out there assisting families dealing with loved ones going through the legal system, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share the information with our readers.