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The Public Defender Running To Change San Francisco’s Justice System From The Inside

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Holly J. McDede
/
KALW

Chesa Boudin is running to be San Francisco’s next District Attorney. Both of his parents were arrested when he was just fourteen months old. That began a lifetime of involvement in the justice system — first as a young person visiting his parents in prison, then as a public defender and advocate for reform. 

"A lifetime of going through steel gates, and getting searched by prison guards, just to see my parents, just to give them a hug, taught me really hard lessons about how dysfunctional our criminal justice system is."

Now, Boudin is running on a platform of sweeping change. He wants to eliminate racial bias, start a unit to defend immigrants, and end mass incarceration.