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Matthew Caldwell


After fifteen years as a public defender — in Miami, The Bronx, and Brooklyn — Matt Caldwell has come to believe that the concept underlying the criminal justice system — that social problems can be effectively addressed with chains and cages followed by legal process modeled after civil court — is wrong. He believes that public defenders’ communities expect more of them than a vigorous defense; while public defenders do provide urgent and crucial assistance to their individual clients, on a structural level their work fortifies the cycle of poverty and incarceration. As Caldwell has written, releasing public defender data will not assure that structural change will follow, but he believes that it is a necessary step in that direction. He may be reached via email and on Twitter.

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