In Defense Of

A multimedia platform for public defenders and their clients to share stories and drive action.

Brand Strategy, Visual Identity, Organizational Website, Campaign Website, Visual Essay, Print

The challenge

Black Lives Matter, The New Jim Crow, the bipartisan reform bill–we are in a cultural moment that is acutely aware of how broken our criminal justice system is. In Defense Of is a criminal justice civic action platform that leverages multimedia to illuminate what is broken within our criminal justice system and inspire citizens to take targeted actions that make a difference.

Issues at the forefront of today's criminal justice reform

As the attorneys, social workers, investigators and other staff representing the vast majority of people processed through the criminal legal system, public defenders know what is going wrong. They are the witnesses, the advocates, the attorneys dedicating to fighting injustice for individuals and for everyone. In order to take their work out of the courtroom and lobby for policy change they need the public to understand the issues. The central column of In Defense Of is a series of issue-specific visual explainers that break down in layman's terms the origins of our broken system and the way forward in fixing it.

Jailed While Innocent

On any given day, 1/4 of everyone incarcerated in America is jailed pre-trial.

Justice is Blindfolded

In New York, people accused of crimes are denied access to important information in their case.

Power of Prosecutors

Who are the real decision makers in the criminal justice system?

Separated and Deported

Immigrants are especially vulnerable when they end up in the legal system for any reason.

Rich storytelling

Issue explainers on IDO are full of visual elements that help guide readers through each narrative. Custom maps, data visualizations, videos and illustrations are used throughout each to help build a deeper understanding of the issues.

A dynamic platform for action

Each issue explainer is accompanied by concrete, time-limited actions the public can engage with to be part of the change that is needed to advance justice and change policy. IDO is built around an ethos of partnership and with agility and urgency in mind. With the ability to create co-branded action pages, the platform makes it easy for IDO to join forces with like-minded partners and stakeholders and amplify their voice in the landscape. The IDO team has the tools to react quickly as events arise, formulate petitions, and push to a broad audience for immediate visibility and impact.

Centering the stories of affected people

IDO was born of a belief that art, design, storytelling, and new media are the most powerful mediums for shining a light on injustice and inspiring change. The stories public defenders are trying to elevate are the real stories of their clients. IDO supports issue explainers with client profiles that demonstrate the effects of injustice in real people's lives.

Project Credits

Project Team
  • Caley Ostrander
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