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Profile: douglas.colbert

Professor Colbert joined the faculty in 1994 after directing the criminal justice clinic and teaching civil rights at Hofstra Law School and visiting at Northeastern and Utah Law Schools. In addition to teaching the Access to Justice criminal defense clinic, Professor Colbert also teaches Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Evidence, and Race and Criminal Justice seminar. He has written extensively about indigentsí right to counsel, bail reform, the Thirteenth Amendment, race discrimination in jury selection, affirmative action, police misconduct, politically sensitive trials, and legal scholarship. Professor Colbert was the lead counsel in the Napanoch prison rebellion and represents plaintiffs in civil rights litigation. Prior to entering teaching, he was a senior trial attorney in the criminal defense division of the NYC Legal Aid Society. Professor Colbertís recent scholarly activities have focused on reforming statesí pretrial release systems and guaranteeing counsel at the bail stage. He founded and directed the Lawyers at Bail Project, which represented 4,000 indigent defendants at bail hearings. Professor Colbert regularly contributes opinion articles and engages in public education about many criminal justice issues. Currently, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Public Justice Center and the Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys Association. He is a past chair of the Maryland State Bar Associationís Section on Correctional Reform.

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NAPD News

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 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.