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.
Cesar's family came to De-Bug almost at their wit's end. Their son was nearing the end of his 9 year prison sentence and was facing imminent deportation. During the 9 years, his family had searched for a lawyer, only to be told it was too complicated. However, we helped find a fierce immigration lawyer and advocate in Helen Lawrence to complete our team. "Team Cesar" -- his family, church, and community support -- put together an almost 200 page mitigation packet of Cesar's life; helped find experts for his case; organized community support at hearings; conducted fundraisers for his legal defense. His entire community bonded together to help push for Cesar's release, which resulted in a habeas release granted in criminal court, re-sentencing, and a bond hearing in immigration court that freed Cesar from almost 10 years in custody (almost 9 years in prison, and over a year in immigration detention).