The NAPD Fund for Justice Launched to Help Public Defenders and Public Defense Organizations across the Nation

The NAPD Fund for Justice has been started by a group of national leaders in order to advance the right to counsel and public defense in the United States. The NAPD Fund for Justice is a nonprofit organization with an application for tax exempt status pending with the IRS.

(Lexington KY October 8, 2018)   -- The NAPD Fund for Justice has been started by a group of national leaders in order to advance the right to counsel and public defense in the United States. The NAPD Fund for Justice is a nonprofit organization with an application for tax exempt status pending with the IRS.
Nationally, The NAPD Fund for Justice is working to fund technical assistance to local defender programs on reducing workloads, obtaining education for staff, procuring resources, offering scholarship opportunities for leadership and skills programs, and providing student loan repayment assistance.
The NAPD Fund for Justice Directors and Officers are prominent national public defense leaders:
Jim Bethke - Lubbock, Texas
Cait Clarke - Washington, DC
Stephen Hanlon – St. Louis, Missouri
Norm Lefstein     - Indianapolis, Indiana
Mark Stephens - Knoxville, Tennessee
Ernie Lewis - Frankfort, Kentucky
Edward Monahan - Lexington, Kentucky
“For the sake of clients and just outcomes, we have to make structural progress on excessive defender workloads,” said Steve Hanlon. “The need is compelling and this nonprofit will spur progress.”  
Norm Lefstein said, “The nonprofit will fund technical assistance to organizations working to reduce excessive workloads, the preeminent defender problem. The Fund's charitable activities will better equip overworked and underpaid public defenders and conflict attorneys with more knowledge through educational scholarships. This education will increase their ability and capacity to provide quality representation to clients.”
The National Association for Public Defense Steering Committee Chair, Maryland Chief Defender Paul DeWolfe, said that “charitable foundations like The NAPD Fund for Justice are a way to make progress on the structural needs of public defense organizations and individual needs of their staff. On behalf of our clients, we have to have this type of help. I hope many donate to its charitable works.”
The Board of Directors and Officers of The NAPD Fund for Justice ask for your support of the constitutional right to counsel with a financial contribution at one of these levels:
  • Gideon's Trumpeter:  $5,000 or more
  • Thurgood Marshall Advocate:  $1,000 - $4,999
  • Freedom Fighter:  $100 - $999
  • Sixth Amendment Litigator:  $25-$99
Make your electronic donation at the Fund's web page: 

Jim Bethke, Board Member, Director, Lubbock Private Defenders Office, Lubbock, TX
Cait Clarke, Board Member, Chief Defender, Administrative Office of US Courts, Washington, DC
Stephen F. Hanlon, Board Member, General Counsel,
National Association for Public Defense, McLean, VA
Norman Lefstein, Board Member, Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Indianapolis, IN
Mark Stephens, Board Member, District Defender, Knox County Public Defenders Community Law Office, Knoxville, TN
Ernie Lewis, Executive Director of NAPD, Assistant Treasurer and Secretary, Former KY Public Advocate
 Edward C. Monahan, Executive Director & Board Member, Former KY Public Advocate

The NAPD Fund for Justice web page is at:



December 15, 2018: Registration is now open for NAPD's Spring Events:
  • Executive Leadership Insitute (Frankfort, KY)
  • Train the Trainer (Frankfort, KY)
  • "We the Defenders" Investigators Conference (Biloxi, MS)
  • "We the Defenders" Social Workers/Sentencing AdvocatesConference (Biloxi, MS)
  • Team Mitigation Institute (Atlanta, GA)
Click on Events Tab for more info and to register.

October 30, 2018: NAPD releases a video about its achievements over the 5 years since forming in November in 2013. This films was coordinated by NAPD Steering Committee Member and San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi and debuted at the Racial Justice Training and 5 Year Celebration in Baltimore, Maryland. You can watch the video HERE

July 1, 2018: General Registration opens for the “WE THE DEFENDERS” TRAINING CONFERENCE,  November 26-29, 2018, Indianapolis, IN

You can watch a video about the event HERE 

Due to overwhelming demand, NAPD will again offer this comprehensive Investigator and Social Worker/Sentencing Advocate training experience! The program will include one track for Investigators and a separate track for Social Worker/Sentencing Advocates.  Hear from nationally recognized experts who will share their knowledge on a wide range of topics relevant to the work you do each and every day.  Network with other criminal defense practitioners from around the country and find your tribe. 

January 23, 2018: In response to US Attorney General Jeff Session's reversal of prior policy on the imposition of fines and fees for criminal defendants, NAPD submitted the following letter on behalf of the public defender community. You can read the letter HERE