Profile: violeta.chapin

Professor Violeta Chapin joins the Colorado Law faculty after serving for seven years as a trial attorney with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS). Professor Chapin has represented both adult and juvenile indigent defendants charged with serious felony offenses at all stages of trial. Prior to her work as a public defender, Professor Chapin had clinical experience performing appellate litigation in a capital case on behalf of a death row inmate, working together with attorneys at the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama. Professor Chapin also worked with incarcerated youth in Louisiana and monitored the state's compliance with a consent decree to provide a safe and rehabilitative environment to children imprisoned in detention centers across the state. Professor Chapin brings a wealth of experience of working with indigent populations outside of the United States as well, as she previously worked with poor farmers and families in rural El Salvador in an internationally funded water project. Born in and having lived in Central America, Professor Chapin brings a rich cultural background and a firm commitment to justice for all people to Colorado Law.




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.  


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.