How community transforms the courts – Raj Jayadev – TEDxBinghamtonUniversity

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Participatory defense is a new, national community organizing approach for families whose loved ones are facing the criminal court system aimed at impacting the outcome of their loved ones’ cases and transforming the landscape of power in the courts. The methodology was created in San Jose, Calif., by the community organization Silicon Valley De-Bug, which now trains organizations nationally on how to implement the practice. Currently, over 20 cities nationwide have been trained in participatory defense, and are using the framework to win dismissals and acquittals and significantly reduce sentences. As of 2018, participatory defense communities have accounted for 2,418 years of time saved from incarceration through the work. De-Bug organizer Jayadev will explain the story and possibility of participatory defense, and how the work is part of a larger aim to end incarceration. Raj Jayadev is co-founder of Silicon Valley De-Bug, a community organizing and advocacy organization based in San Jose, Calif. Through De-Bug’s Albert Cobarrubias Justice Project, De-Bug created “participatory defense,” a methodology for families whose loved ones are facing the criminal court system aimed at impacting the outcome of the cases and changing the landscape of power in the courts. De-Bug has incubated participatory defense hubs across the country and is building a National Participatory Defense Network of community organizations to partner with public defender offices and make systemic change in the courts. Jayadev’s community organizing and writing have been featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic, and media outlets across the country. He is an Ashoka Fellow, Rosenberg Leading Edge Fellow and a Social Entrepreneur in Residence co-teaching a course on social innovation at Stanford University. In 2017, he was also listed on the Nonprofit Times “Power and Influence” Top 50 List. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at