Our Campaign

What is the Right to Counsel National Campaign?

R2C is a public awareness initiative that uses value-based communication tactics to inform policymakers, criminal justice stakeholders, and the public about: 

  • the importance of carrying out the Sixth Amendment’s right to counsel,

  • the ways in which the right to counsel is not being implemented,

  • the roles everyone from law enforcement officers to prosecutors to judges and court managers can play in ensuring that the constitutional right to counsel is upheld, and

  • how to reform the public defense system with low-cost or no-cost policy solutions.

R2C also seeks to elevate the defender voice in criminal justice reform conversations and provides new opportunities for citizens to become engaged advocates, ensuring effective public defense delivery systems in courts across the country.   

The campaign is led by the Justice Programs Office (JPO), a center in the School of Public Affairs at American University, and is comprised of a multidisciplinary, bipartisan consortium.