• Gideon's Promise

  • A Public Defender Movement to Transform Criminal Justice
  • By: Jonathan Rapping
  • Narrated by: Frank Gerard
  • Length: 8 hrs and 49 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Gideon's Promise

By: Jonathan Rapping
Narrated by: Frank Gerard
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Publisher's Summary

A blueprint for criminal justice reform that lays the foundation for how model public defense programs should work to end mass incarceration.

Combining wisdom drawn from over a dozen years as a public defender and cutting-edge research in the fields of organizational and cultural psychology, Jonathan Rapping proposes a radical cultural shift to a “fiercely client-based ethos” driven by values-based recruitment training, awakening defenders to their role in upholding an unjust status quo, and a renewed pride in the essential role of moral lawyering in a democratic society. 

Public defenders represent more than 80 percent of those who interact with the court system, a disproportionate number of whom are poor, non-White citizens who rely on them to navigate the law on their behalf. More often than not, even the most well-meaning of those defenders are overworked, underfunded, and incentivized to put the interests of judges and politicians above those of their clients in a culture that beats the passion out of talented, driven advocates and has led to an embarrassingly low standard of justice for those who depend on the promises of Gideon v. Wainwright.

However, rather than arguing for a change in rules that govern the actions of lawyers, judges, and other advocates, Rapping proposes a radical cultural shift to a "fiercely client-based ethos" driven by values-based recruitment and training, awakening defenders to their role in upholding an unjust status quo and a renewed pride in the essential role of moral lawyering in a democratic society.

Through the story of founding Gideon's Promise and anecdotes of his time as a defender and teacher, Rapping reanimates the possibility of public defenders serving as a radical bulwark against government oppression and a megaphone to amplify the voices of those they serve.

©2020 Jonathan Rapping (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Useful reading for anyone interested in helping to change a deeply flawed system." (Kirkus Reviews)

"[Gideon’s Promise] is very much a manual for public defenders, at all levels, who want to end mass incarceration. But this is not just a book for public defenders. If you have any interest in the civil rights movement of our time, this book is for you." (Gideon’s Soldiers)

"Jonathan Rapping is a true freedom fighter, heroically championing the rights of the condemned and the accused for more than two decades. His courageous and visionary leadership at Gideon’s Promise is helping to build a movement of public defense lawyers determined to fight for those who have been discarded in the era of mass incarceration and to transform our criminal punishment system into a justice system - a transformation that is long overdue." (Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow)

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Excellent!

Amazing to learn about the incredible work Jonathan and Illy are doing. Very moving. Excellent read, highly recommended!!