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Public Defense Week 2017

March 18, 2017 marks the Second Annual Public Defense Day and the 54th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright! Between the tenacity of our investigators, the astuteness of our paralegals, the steadfastness of our administrative assistants, the creativity of our alternative sentencing workers and social workers, the insight of our mitigation specialists, and the brilliance of our lawyers there is just too much awesomeness in the defender community to be contained in one day. This year, join us in celebrating Public Defense Week.

March 18, 2017 marks the Second Annual Public Defense Day and the 54th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright! Between the tenacity of our investigators, the astuteness of our paralegals, the steadfastness of our administrative assistants, the creativity of our alternative sentencing workers and social workers, the insight of our mitigation specialists, and the brilliance of our lawyers there is just too much awesomeness in the defender community to be contained in one day. This year, join us in celebrating Public Defense Week.

Every day during the week leading up to the March 18th anniversary we'll focus on a different issue or theme that highlights the injustices public defenders fight every day in court:

Friday is a day for celebration. Last year, offices celebrated with pizza parties, taco parties, cake, and drinks after work. We hope offices to take some time to pat each other on the back for the often thankless and exhausting job of confronting the ordinary injustices that face our clients every day, and challenging judges and prosecutors to see the humanity in each of our clients.

Saturday is a day of rest.  Or rock and roll. Defenders around the country will host or attend Concerts for Indigent Defense. In New Orleans, six bands are lined up to play a concert showing their support for our work and the head of the New Orleans Office of the Public Defender will present! There will also be a concert in Denver, Colorado featuring defender musicians. If you're interested in attending or even hosting a Concert for Indigent Defense in your town email Stephen Saloom (Stephen@ConcertsforIndigentDefense.org).

Just in case your office lacks the communications expertise of Beyonce's publicist, NAPD has your back.  We have prepared a series of tutorials to help spread the message that public defenders are on the frontlines of today's top criminal justice issues.  Go to MyGideon.org, click on How to Run a PD Office Icon, and select Events for examples of press releases, OpEds graphics and videos. You'll also find tutorials on publishing OpEds and crafting tweets. More tutorials will be added soon!

We've developed a series of graphics to which you can add your agency's logo and then use as a banner on your Facebook, Twitter or homepage. And, yes, there's even a tutorial on how to use Canva to add your logo to a pre-made graphic.

Additionally, there are fact sheets for each of the four issue days, with sample tweets and actions your office can take.

In the meantime, get excited to #CelebratePublicDefense as we #DefendGideon everyday by #TippingTheScales of justice towards our clients!

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NAPD News


July 1, 2017: NAPD announces Save the Date for 2017 Workloads Institute, to be held at SLU Law School (St. Louis, MO) on November 10-11, 2017. More information coming soon!
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April 16, 2017: 60 Minutes' Anderson Cooper features the Orleans Public Defenders and NAPD General Counsel in a substantive segment about public defenders' excessive workloads, pervasive injustice, and the obligation of defenders to resist the "conveyer belt" of mass-incarceration. You can watch the compelling segment HERE 

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On March 18, 2017 - the 54th anniversary of the Gideon v. Wainright decision - NAPD published its Foundational Principles, which are recommended to NAPD members and other persons and organizations interested in advancing the cause of equal justice for accused persons.