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Profile: paul.dewolfe

Mr. DeWolfe has practiced in the area of criminal defense for 33 years, 23 years as a public defender in the State of Maryland. In 2009, Mr. DeWolfe was appointed Public Defender of Maryland, the fourth attorney to hold this position in the agency’s 40 year history. In this capacity, he leads an office of 570 attorneys and 344 support staff. He first joined the Montgomery County office in 1980 as an Assistant Public Defender before leaving the office for private practice in 1989. He returned to the office in a leadership role in the year 2000 serving as District Public Defender for Montgomery County, Maryland. During his career, Mr. DeWolfe has tried criminal jury trials in cases ranging from misdemeanors to capital murder in both state and federal court. A Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers since 2005, Mr. DeWolfe is currently on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He is a former President of the Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys Association, and a former President of the Bar Association of Montgomery County Maryland. Currently he is Chair of the Criminal Law Section Council of the Maryland State Bar Association. Mr. DeWolfe is a 2008 recipient of the Joseph P. Curran Award for Distinguished Public Interest Lawyers from the Maryland State Bar Association.

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NAPD News

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

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On March 2, 2017, NAPD released its Statement on Reducing Demand For Public Defense: Alternatives to Traditional Prosecution Can Reduce Defender Workload, Save Money, and Reduce RecidivismThere are more than 2 million people in jail and prison in the United States. This is a four-fold increase since 1980. This increase and the racial disproportionality among incarcerated people has led to alliances across the political spectrum to address the impact on people and on budgets.  As the new Coalition for Public Safety has put it, “Our country has an ‘overcriminalization’ problem and an ‘overincarceration’ problem — and it’s getting worse." NAPD authored this statement because there is a great opportunity to make transformative changes that can improve justice and save money.  A variety of organizations representing a wide spectrum of political views have joined together to end the systematic problem of overcriminalization and narrow the net of incarceration by reforming criminal codes.