Thomas B. Harvey
National Director of Strategic Relationships and Advocacy, The Bail Project

Thomas B. Harvey is the National Director of Strategic Relationships and Advocacy of The Bail Project, an unprecedented national effort to combat mass incarceration by keeping tens of thousands of Americans out of pretrial detention. Prior to The Bail Project, Thomas co-founded and served as Executive Director of ArchCity Defenders, a nonprofit civil rights law firm providing holistic legal advocacy to the poor and homeless in the St. Louis region and beyond. ArchCity Defenders uses direct legal services, impact litigation, and advocacy through policy and public relations as its primary tools to promote racial justice and protect civil and human rights. Thomas has overseen the growth and development of the organization from a volunteer staff serving 15 clients to a mid-sized, employed staff representing over 1000 cases. After years of addressing the legal needs of individuals, Thomas has expanded ArchCity Defenders’ role to address the failures of our legal system, by filing federal class actions to end debtors’ prisons and cash bail, to reduce revenue-based policing and unconstitutional court practices. To that effect, Thomas has forged partnerships with local and national law firms, to file over twenty federal and state lawsuits challenging these unconstitutional practices. Thomas is a 2015-2016 Harvard Law Wasserstein Fellow, the co-author of a chapter of Ferguson Fault Lines, a book detailing the systemic racism, for-profit policing, and unconstitutional procedures in the municipal courts brought to light by ArchCity Defenders’ paper on the topic published the week following the death of Mike Brown in Ferguson. In the aftermath of which, Thomas and ArchCity have actively represented people in the movement, defending and protecting individuals civil rights guaranteed under the Constitution. Thomas leads several national conversations about holistic legal defense, municipal court reform, indigent defense and leads the country in the area of poverty law. A St. Louis native, his work, his advocacy and his tireless dedication, paves the way for permanent and meaningful reform of the legal system in our region.