There are only so many victories that can happen for Public Defense in a court room. Of course, we should the goal should be zealous advocacy and the best outcome for each client, but a single victory in a single case is not enough to stem the tide of Mass Incarceration. Real victories for the accused come at the policy level, and that is what this week’s conversation is all about. Joining Hunter this week is Brad Haywood and Bryan Kennedy, two public defenders in Virginia and members of the non-partisan policy advocacy group, Justice Forward Virginia!

Throughout the conversation, both Brad and Bryan highlight the importance of brining the public defender voice to the policy table. Without that voice, policy makers are often directed by the only criminal justice stakeholders in the room: Police and Prosecutors. Organizations like Justice Forward, while difficult to start and sustain, are an essential factor for those looking to zealously fight for public defense reform at the level where small changes make the most impact.