Reveal Truth.
Demand Justice.

The Adachi Project is a storytelling initiative created by the San Francisco Public Defender with Compound and Even/Odd that illuminates timely stories and unseen perspectives of the US criminal legal system through seminal documentary film, videos and photojournalism.

Our goal: inform understanding of the human impact of “justice” on our communities, and influence our vision for an equal and just society.


The Adachi Project was created in honor of the late Jeff Adachi, San Francisco‘s elected Public Defender from 2002 until 2019. It was under Adachi’s leadership that the San Francisco Public Defender rose in prominence to be one of the most effective and influential public defender offices in the US, with an unparalleled record in and outside the courtroom.

Adachi was a visionary advocate of the people, both as an accomplished attorney and an award-winning documentary filmmaker. He often compared shooting a film to preparing for trial, and frequently found a way to merge both of those talents into compelling stories for the public, as well as the justice system. The Project is born from this inspired history.

In February 2021, the Adachi Project launched with approval by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, making it the first project of its kind by a US public defender office – and one of only a handful of initiatives to remember the life and work of a San Francisco public official through a project that represents the work, and community, of the office in which they served. Read the announcement.


Inaugural works of the Adachi Project include original films and media created with clients of the San Francisco Public Defender that will be presented through DEFENDER — a digital publication launching in February 2021.


Public defenders ensure that all people are afforded their right to defense within the criminal legal system; it is our responsibility to balance the narrative in and outside the courtroom, and make certain those with means aren't the only ones who have the opportunity to be heard, but that all people are given a fair and equal chance to tell their story.  

This is the duty and spirit by which the Adachi Project is created. The San Francisco Public Defender sees a human side of justice overlooked by the public, and ignored by the courts. And we often ask “what would be the impact if everyone had access to the stories we hear?” How different would our justice system be if policies were based on people, not just stereotypes and statistics.

The Adachi Project brings that vision to life with a goal to re-humanize a system that has evolved to inherently dehumanize people it affects. We believe that powerful storytelling can begin to change that reality and our hope is that via the seminal efforts of this Project, we inspire people to look not just at criminality, but how we can promote our collective humanity.

Founding Partners

The Adachi Project is created through a visionary collaboration between the San Francisco Public Defender, Compound and the award-winning cultural creative studio Even/Odd. Our goal is to produce compelling media that not only changes how we perceive justice in society, but also how stories of justice are discovered, told and experienced in culture.


Change the way we see the world.
Support the Adachi Project.

Photo courtesy of Robert Gumpert


SF Public Defender, Founding Partner
Hadi Razzaq, Managing Attorney
Carolyn Goossen, Local Policy Director
Valerie Ibarra, Public Information Officer

Compound, Founding Partner
Santhosh Daniel

Even/Odd, Founding Partner
Mohammad Gorjestani
Malcolm Pullinger