Philadelphia’s participatory defense hubs use a process-oriented model to prepare and empower people navigating the criminal justice system and offer community support to help clients achieve just outcomes. In 2018, the city’s first three participatory defense hubs began hosting weekly meetings. The hubs help clients achieve better outcomes in coordination with attorneys and informed, engaged volunteers.
Participatory defense received national acclaim in 2018. Raj Jayadev, creator of program who currently works with the Defender Association as a Stoneleigh fellow, received a MacArthur Genius fellowship to expand participatory defense to cities across the nation. Jayadev believes Philadelphia’s efforts to create a community of hubs will serve as a national model.