i was on a zoom townhall today with Philadelphia Defenders Association learning about the future of court hearings. On this townhall were 90 plus concerned citizens who also advocate for justice reform. Chief Defender Keir Bradford-Grey and her staff shared some great information with us about what is taking place in the justice system of Philadelphia.
Many on the call are concerned with public access to the courtrooms during public hearings. Our concern is that court hearing held on monitors dont allow the judge to see the support the defendant has in the court room. So what does the future of court hearing look like, is really up to us the people to help shape video or teleconference court hearings. The Supreme court held its first remote hearing teleconference live via media outlets today. Hope Philadelphia court rooms can do the same.
These are changing times and we the people should be advocating for changes in the justice system that corelates with the must changes. We are asking for #covid19compassion in reexamining how we treat people who enter the justice system. Our city is going to start locking people up again because burglaries are going up. The petty targets on our backs will once again come to life while we currently have people in jail not convicted of any crime waiting on some type of release hearing because the courts shut down with no mechaism to address procedures during a pandemic.
Now more than ever our courts need to explore alternative justice models that work to end recidivism. Our city needs to fully fund the Defenders Association and we the people need to be the watch dogs holding all accountable. Please call and tweet the Mayors office and your city council members and ask them to fully fund the defenders association and the district attorneys office, both support restorative justice.
If you have concerns about a love one behind bars please visit https://phillydefenders.org/ and complete their Defender Association Covid19 information form.
If you know someone in prison with serious health concerns, please email us right away at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include the person’s name, date of birth, PP# and any important details, so our Prison Services Unit can look up their case.
Want to get involved? please consider joining or starting a Humanizing the Justice Process
Participatory defense hub providing insight, perspective, and support to those being charged and their families as they navigate the justice system.
Know Your Systems trainings
Hub facilitators receive a comprehensive training provided by the Defender Association that goes through each step of the criminal justice process from arrest to appeals, highlighting what participants and community supporters can do to support just outcomes at every stage.
Support at meetings
Hub participants gain a deeper understanding of the justice process, what is expected from them at each stage, and suggestions for what they should discuss with their attorney.
Hub facilitators and volunteers, in cooperation with defense attorneys, work with clients to produce social biography packets and videos for district attorneys, judges, and others to show a more comprehensive view of a defendant that goes beyond a case file.
Showing up to court
Hub volunteers track every case and every court date. Hub volunteers often attend hearings and trials to make sure that the client’s community support is active and visible throughout the process.
Participatory Defense HubLocations
The participatory defense hub movement is growing! There are currently seven active hubs across the city, with an eigth expected to start up in early 2020. Contact any of the locations below for more information.
Best Outcomes Hub
Tuesdays: 5:30-8:00 PM
Mothers in Charge
520 Delaware Ave #302
Philadelphia, PA 19123
Info: (215) 228-1718
South Philly Hub
Mondays: 6:30 – 8:30 PM
Circle of Hope Church
2212 S. Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19145
Info: (484) 440-9560
West Philly Hub
Thursdays: 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Kingsessing Recreation Center
4901 Kingsessing Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Info: (267) 766-0097
Wednesdays: 3:00-5:00 PM
Janes Memorial United Methodist Church
47 East Haines Street
Info: (267) 277-3117
Tuesdays: 4:30-6:30 PM
Youth Art & Self-Empowerment Project (YASP)
924 Cherry St, 5th Floor
Info: (267) 571-9277
North Philly Hub
Thursdays: 6:00-8:00 PM
Zion Baptist Church
3600 N. Broad Street
Info: (267) 422-4480; or
Mondays: 6:00-7:30 PM
Esperanza Health Center
861 E. Allegheny #200
Info: (267) 279-9373
Coming Soon in 2020!
West Philly Shepard-Haddington Hub
Shepard Recreation Center
5700 Haverford Avenue
Info: (215) 789-0335
VOLUNTEER WITH New Sanctuary Coalition REMOTELY:
NSC staff are working night and day to #FreeThemAll and to support our Friends outside of detention as well. Volunteers are the backbone of this effort, and there are many ways to help out from the safety of your home. Click here to explore and sign up!
Prisoners Being Released From City, State Prisons Are Not Being Tested for COVID-19
#EngagingPhl #PreEntry #Prevention #AlternativeJustice #FreeThemAll #PaVoterCourtWatch #Hov1and2 #PhillyDefendersAssociation #CourtWatching