Steering Committee

The Steering Committee guides the organization, and is comprised of member-leaders who have risen to distinction through their contributions to the organization. During these initial years the steering committee provides much needed stability with the primary goal of shaping the organization into a self-sufficient and self-governing organization. The structure gives the NAPD an opportunity to grow and adjust organically prior to settling into a more formal structure, and ensures that the organization is true to its mission, vision, goals and values. The steering committee, working alongside the general NAPD membership, is working towards:

  • Securing necessary organizational funding/revenue;
  • Growing membership;
  • Reinforcing the overarching mission, vision, goals, and values;
  • Creating an institutional governance structure capable of sustaining NAPD; and,
  • Improving public defense throughout the country.

The Steering Committee is chaired by Mark Stephens and Paul DeWolfe is Vice-Chair. Stephen Hanlon is NAPD's General Counsel. Professor Norman Lefstein serves as a special advisor to the NAPD Steering Committee (non-voting). An Executive Committee serves NAPD, including members Alex Bassos, Dawn Deaner, Paul DeWolfe, Ed Monahan and Mark Stephens.

Committee Members:


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.