Public Defenseless Interviews Zealous’ Scott Hechinger
This week on the Public Defenseless Podcast, I spoke with Scott Hechinger, Founder and Executive Director of Zealous. Pulling on his experience working as a Brooklyn Public Defender, Scott and I explore the difference between what is actually happening with criminal justice in New York vs what is being reported. At the heart of this episode is understanding the role that Public Defenders need to play in helping the media present the whole truth about criminal justice reform. As long as there has been a media covering criminal justice issues, there has been a strong slant towards the narrative that the police and prosecutors present, and in large part, that is because public defenders have not leveraged the necessary relationships with the media.
As Scott puts it, it is essential that Public Defenders better learn how to utilize traditional and non-traditional forms of media if those interested in criminal justice reform hope to see it reach its full potential. Despite what the more pessimistic person may believe, public opinion can and does drive policy. Without the media presenting the Public Defender's take on criminal justice policy, advocates for change will continue to be disheartened as criminal justice policy is shaped by prosecutors and police.
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