Leigh Goodmark Calls for Fair Representation for Criminalized Survivors

Leigh Goodmark (’95), director of the Gender, Prison, and Trauma Clinic at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, co-authored an article for Truthout on the need for careful scrutiny of the work of defense attorneys who represent criminalized survivors (“Criminalized Survivors Face Judgement and Abuse From Their Own Defense Attorneys,” June 19). “Criminalized survivors routinely encounter defense lawyers who don’t explain their options, who urge clients to take pleas they don’t understand (pleas that play a significant role in perpetuating mass incarceration), who don’t meet with their clients before trial, who are skeptical of survivors who are not ‘perfect victims,’ who belittle and disbelieve their clients, who are dismissive at best and abusive at worst. ... For the most part, defense attorneys still don’t have the information or experience they need to represent criminalized survivors effectively.”