#70: A Public Defender Talks Justice

Protests from the Black Lives Matter movement have dramatically changed public discourse. Those who have been advocating for a new vision for safety and justice are now finding their ideas discussed in the mainstream. We’re dedicating the next few episodes to bringing forward voices of those advocating for change.

Larry Jefferson is the lead felony attorney at the Thurston County Public Defense Office. Through his work, he has been involved in the Opioid Response Task Force, and also helps lead the Diversity and Inclusion Section of the Thurston County Bar Association.

Download this episode

One Reply to “#70: A Public Defender Talks Justice”

  1. Dale Marie

    Larry Jefferson’s discussion about justice and community care is a beacon for cities, counties and states. Hopefully, his message will radiate the love and concern he has shared. His words regarding prison and jail as a failure are so important. He does a brilliant job of referencing James Baldwin’s letter to his nephew. He speaks authentically about the importance of believing in children. Educators play a crucial role in encouraging children. He says that offenders should get a maximum of 20 years. Good ideas about reforming the justice system. Sentencing should be returned to the courts. He observes that there should be more funding for mental health. Corrections officers are not counselors. Increase our mental health capacity. His suggestion that decimalizing all drug laws makes sense. Many Americans feel this way. That we have not criminalized the use of substances is like saying that alcohol is illegal. We are engaging in prohibition-era values. He’s right. Let’s stop putting people in jail for using substances. Do we have a right to do that? No! We are in the dark ages there. Substance abuse is a mental health issue. It’s not a criminal issue. He suggests that accountability is important. Every community is made up of individuals. If each individual takes responsibility to look carefully at the criminal justice system, things could change.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Search for episodes by category

The Olympia Standard is produced by Olympia Pop Rocks!