Florida’s first Participatory Defense Hub

The Legal Empowerment and Advocacy Hub is the first Participatory Defense Hub in the State of Florida. LEAH launched Participatory Defense in Gainesville, FL on March 15, 2019. In addition to community organizers, Florida’s first PD hub was also launch in partnership with students from the University of Florida and the Alachua County Public Defenders office. Through Participatory Defense, LEAH assists families with incarcerated loved ones in the local Alachua County Jail and Florida State Prisons with court navigation, building relationship and communication with defense attorneys, social bio’s to humanize their loved ones in the criminal justice system, and weekly emotional support groups. Participatory Defense organizers at LEAH are not attorneys, but they are trained and dedicated in helping family members get the best outcome for their loved ones while keeping them safe during incarceration.

In addition to the above resources, our families are offered the following support:

  • PreEntry Services to support individuals who sentenced to incarceration transition into the Florida Department of Corrections
  • Family Reunification that starts as early as the time of arrest and throughout the incarceration of a loved one. This process is designed to help families heal, restore broken relationships, build accountability and plans of healthy living
  • Reentry Circles, starts with the incarcerated loved one from the time of commitment into FL DOC. Reentry circles offers peer counseling, direct connections to community resources, and personal development and mentoring
  • Narrative Counseling and Coaching
  • Personal development, Social Emotional Learning, and Life Success programs available for incarcerated loved ones who are incarcerated
  • Weekly emotional support groups for families who are dealing with the trauma, stress, and grief of having a loved one who is incarcerated.

Families with incarcerated loved ones who are serving life are not excluded from receiving services

If you are currently facing charges or have a loved one who is currently incarcerated in the Alachua County Jail or a Florida State prison and are interested in learning how you can get support for yourself or your loved one, please complete an Intake Form, or email us at: participatorydefensegville@gmail.com