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Defense of the Accused
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As the first Public Defender of Santa Cruz County, I am honored to lead a team of defenders who are fiercely committed to client-centered representation. In all that we do, we strive to dignify our clients' experiences, amplify their voices, and honor their humanity. We understand that exceptional defense is not “one size fits all.” Our defense teams combine aggressive courtroom advocacy with holistic representation to reduce recidivism, reduce incarceration, and offer real solutions to the root causes of system involvement. We are working together with our clients and community to build a model defense agency that promotes equal justice for all. Thank you for your support!


Bending the Arc of Justice (SC)
Start Date/Time:
Thursday, February 23, 2023 5:00 PM
End Date/Time:
Thursday, February 23, 2023 9:00 PM
Recurring Event:
One time event
Normal Priority
Santa Cruz
Bending the Arc of Justice: Reimagining the Criminal System

Resource Center For Nonviolence
612 Ocean Street Santa Cruz, CA 95060

About this event:

Just in time for Black History Month, Santa Cruz Black is partnering with the Santa Cruz County Office of the Public Defender to kick off Santa Cruz County’s Strengthening The Sixth: Building Cases and Community Through Holistic Defense training.

This evening celebration at the Resource Center for Nonviolence will bring together national criminal defense leaders from around the country, local leaders, activists, and organizers, defenders, and a broad swath of community members interested in transforming the criminal legal system to elevate justice.

Criminal justice reform advocate Keeda Haynes will give the keynote address. After being incarcerated for over 5 years for a crime she did not commit, Ms. Haynes became a Nashville public defender and served as a Voting Rights Campaign Strategist with the Sentencing Project and a Legal Advisor to Free Hearts. In 2020, Ms. Haynes campaigned with hopes to become the first black congresswoman to represent Tennessee, receiving 40% of the vote against an entrenched incumbent. Ms. Haynes’s recent book, Bending the Arc: My Journey from Prison to Politics, is a “searing exposé of the profound failures in our justice system, told by a woman who has journeyed from wrongfully accused prisoner to acclaimed public defender.”

Come join us for a night of inspiration, including food, drink, poetry, music, and insightful conversation, as we celebrate Black History Month, reimagine the criminal legal system, and work together to end mass incarceration, embrace second chances, and place humanity and community first.

Owned by superuser 2 On Thursday, February 2, 2023