Participatory Defense

Participatory Defense transforms the injustice system by empowering incarcerated people and their families to positively impact the outcome of court cases. Nationwide, participatory defense programs have helped to shave thousands of years off of people's prison sentences.

Alameda County Participatory Defense Hub

CURYJ is a proud member of the National Participatory Defense Network and a founding member of the Alameda County Participatory Defense Hub. Participatory Defense was developed and created by families of Silicon Valley De-Bug’s Albert Cobarrubias Justice Project. Our allies in the hub include All Of Us Or None, Young Women’s Freedom Center, and Urban Peace Movement.

All Of Us Or None logo
Young Womens Freedom Center logo
Urban Peace Movement logo

Participatory Defense in Action

Based on a community organizing model, families and communities work together to take an active role in their loved one’s defense and demand that their voices be heard in the court process. Through advocacy, court presence, and videos, letters, and testimonials families work to show the courts that these adjudicated and incarcerated folx are more than just cases— they are full, loving, and loved beings. Check out the videos below for more insight into how and why Participatory Defense works.

Get Involved

CURYJ’s Participatory Defense program is led by Daniela Guzman, with support from J Vasquez. Both have inside knowledge of the court and prison system due to their own incarceration. Daniela won her release from a life sentence through CURYJ’s Participatory Defense work. Together, along with the Hub, they work with families and incarcerated people as thought partners while providing emotional support through the long and arduous criminal legal process.

The Hub holds weekly strategy sessions with system-impacted families to get the best possible outcome for their loved ones. The Hub is currently meeting virtually and families are free to join at any time. Families learn together and support one another to win freedom for their loved ones. If you or a loved one would like to learn more about Participatory Defense, contact pd@curyj.org.

Other Programs at CURYJ

Tap on the image to learn more about the program.

    Back to top