Gideon's Promise: A Public Defender Movement to Transform Criminal Justice

Gideon's Promise: A Public Defender Movement to Transform Criminal Justice

by Jonathan Rapping

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Overview

A blueprint for criminal justice reform that lays the foundation for how model public defense programs should work to end mass incarceration.

Combining wisdom drawn from over a dozen years as a public defender and cutting-edge research in the fields of organizational and cultural psychology, Jonathan Rapping proposes a radical cultural shift to a “fiercely client-based ethos” driven by values-based recruitment training, awakening defenders to their role in upholding an unjust status quo, and a renewed pride in the essential role of moral lawyering in a democratic society.

Public defenders represent over 80% of those who interact with the court system, a disproportionate number of whom are poor, non-white citizens who rely on them to navigate the law on their behalf. More often than not, even the most well-meaning of those defenders are over-worked, under-funded, and incentivized to put the interests of judges and politicians above those of their clients in a culture that beats the passion out of talented, driven advocates, and has led to an embarrassingly low standard of justice for those who depend on the promises of Gideon v. Wainwright.

However, rather than arguing for a change in rules that govern the actions of lawyers, judges, and other advocates, Rapping proposes a radical cultural shift to a “fiercely client-based ethos” driven by values-based recruitment and training, awakening defenders to their role in upholding an unjust status quo, and a renewed pride in the essential role of moral lawyering in a democratic society.

Through the story of founding Gideon’s Promise and anecdotes of his time as a defender and teacher, Rapping reanimates the possibility of public defenders serving as a radical bulwark against government oppression and a megaphone to amplify the voices of those they serve.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807064627
Publisher: Beacon Press
Publication date: 08/18/2020
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 272,396
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Jonathan Rapping is the founder and president of Gideon’s Promise, an organization dedicated to changing the culture and practice of public defense in America. He is a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant, which recognized him for his work as a criminal justice innovator. Rapping is a Professor at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School and Harvard Law School and lives in Atlanta, GA with his wife and their two children. Connect with him and his organization at gideonspromise.org and on Twitter (@Gideons_Promise).

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION
A Shared Vision

PART I: VALUES

CHAPTER 1
Voice for the Voiceless

CHAPTER 2
The Evolving Narrative of Justice

PART II: CULTURE

CHAPTER 3
Routine Injustice

CHAPTER 4
A Mighty Stream

CHAPTER 5
The First Step Is Resistance

CHAPTER 6
David’s Slingshot

PART III: TRANSFORMATION

CHAPTER 7
Closing the Gap

CHAPTER 8
Until the Lion Learns to Write

EPILOGUE
The System’s Conscience

Acknowledgments
Notes
Index

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