NAPD Awards 1st Annual Thurgood Marshall Award
A decade later, client-centeredness is the cornerstone of the Office. Most of her staff have been trained at Gideon's Promise and are committed to a client-centered representation model. The Office now has full workload control. They have a Client Advisory Board that communicates to staff how clients see the office and the criminal justice system. They have developed representation standards that define the quality of representation clients should expect from their attorney. They have created a community bail fund and have launched the 'Defend Nashville' campaign where staff regularly share with the Nashville community what defenders know to be true about the criminal justice system. The 'Defend Nashville' campaign has started a grassroots movement powerful enough to bring about meaningful criminal justice reform in Nashville.
NAPD's Thurgood Marshall award goes to one of our members who best exemplifies the NAPD Vision Statement “Eradicating injustice by fostering high-quality client-centered advocacy for those who cannot afford counsel.” That description perfectly describes Dawn's work for the last 10 years.
As I served on NAPD's Award's Committee for our 5-year celebration, I can tell you there were many qualified nominees for the inaugural Thurgood Marshall Award. None, I respectfully maintain, are better qualified than Dawn Deaner. We would all be well-served to familiarize ourselves with her work and, I suggest in this case, we should follow the leader.