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NAPD Releases 2015 Annual Report

NAPD's 2015 Annual Report “All Day, Every Day, Public Defense” features the day-in, day-out advocacy that public defenders provide in jails, courts and communities across the country. NAPD is an association of 12,500 practitioner-members focused on public defense reform and achievement. The release coincides with the first annual Public Defense Day, a day organized by NAPD members to celebrate and highlight the work of defenders around the country.
Today, NAPD releases its 2015 Annual Report, “All Day, Every Day, Public Defense,” featuring the day-in, day-out advocacy that public defenders provide in jails, courts and communities across the country. NAPD is an association of 12,500 practitioner-members focused on public defense reform and achievement. The release coincides with the first annual Public Defense Day, a day organized by NAPD members to celebrate and highlight the work of defenders around the country.

NAPD's exclusive focus on public defense does not mean the fight is restricted to courtroom struggles. This report chronicles the scope of services that public defenders provide and the incredible impact that the public defense function has on individual lives and the community at large. While criminal justice news dominated public consciousness and there is sustained community mobilization to address injustice, public defenders are at the very center of America's increasingly public confrontation with racial prejudice, poverty, and the deeply dehumanizing experience of mass-incarceration.

Throughout 2015, public defenders articulated the dramatic differences – time and time again - between prosecutors in grand jury proceedings against poor people (disproportionately people of color) and those against police officers accused of killing poor people (almost always people of color). Public defenders led the movement to end the imposition of fines, fees, unconstitutional bail and debtor's prisons. When Baltimore rioted and hundreds of people were denied both lawyers and bail, public defenders were there. When the media so aggressively vilified James Holmes to threaten his right to a fair trial, public defenders were there. They were at the South Carolina statehouse when the Confederate flag was removed after 9 black people were killed in a Charleston church. Public defenders are fighting to end the solitary confinement practice that led to the death of Kalief Browder, who killed himself after spending 2 years in isolation in pre-trial detention on Riker's Island before his case was dismissed, and to raise the age so that no child is subjected to prison's harshest environments. Without public defenders in Orange County, the District Attorney's and sheriff's wide-ranging ethical breaches would have continued to deny justice to thousands of poor people just as they had for the last 30 years.

In most jurisdictions, 85-90% of all criminal defendants are represented by a public defender. In this relationship so many of America's socio-economic ills are exposed. The public defense professionals who daily deliver the right to counsel in the courts, jails and their client's communities are criminal justice experts, and the most committed and qualified entity to lead the movement to bring justice to a broken system.

Today is the 53rd anniversary of the Supreme Court's Gideon decision and the first annual Public Defense Day; a day to acknowledge the enormous value of the right to counsel as well as the many obstacles that interfere with its meaningful implementation. NAPD is proud to highlight the talent and innovation occurring in jurisdictions throughout the country, particularly in light of extreme underfunding, political interference and limited opportunities for public recognition.

You can access the report online and/or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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NAPD News

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.
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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

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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. 
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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
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