Families and communities can change the outcome of cases, and transform "Time Served" into "Time Saved" through their involvement in the court process. And we have the numbers to prove it. Below are the stories that make up the years of Time Saved. As we continue to promote community engagement in the criminal court system, we will update this site with a new running total, and accompanying picture//audio pieces. See their pictures, hear their voices, and transform the courts.
Rudy B., 19 YEARS
Rudy, then 15, was accused of being the mastermind behind a planned felony strong armed robbery. Rudy is developmentally delayed, requires 24 hour care, and doctors say he is mentally at an 5 year old child's level. It was impossible for him to have committed what he was accused of. After being detained by officers at school, he was denied contact with his mother Blanca, even after he asked for her. He was taken to the police station and interrogated for several hours. Officers did not know of his mental challenges, and when Rudy was having trouble answering questions, they asked him if he was using drugs. Blanca and the family secured and reviewed the video with the attorney, pointing out the attempted coercion, and Rudy's difficulty to understand and verbalize.
Given Rudy's special needs, the family was deeply concerned with Rudy's stay in juvenile hall during his court proceedings -- it was the longest he had been away from his family. The family packed the courthouse during his first appearance, and made a strong presentation why Rudy should be released. Once home, Blanca worked with the Public Defender's Office to ensure they were fully equipped with background on Rudy's history, and collectively they advocated for the allegations to be dropped. Rudy no longer faces criminal charges.