Systems Builders

NAPD, through its Systems Builders Committee, works to strengthen the quality of public defense delivery systems throughout the country. The Systems Builders Committee is comprised of current and retired defender leaders, public defender board and/or commission members, and system advocates representing a range of experiences and perspectives on public defense issues. 
 
Our mission is to assist leaders who are building excellent, client-centered public defense programs, through training, consultation, collaboration, and on-site technical assistance.

You can see the following reports from the Systems Builders Committee below:

Assessment of the Texas Office of Capital and Forensic Writs (April 2018)
RPDO: Making a Difference in Texas (January 2017)
Louisiana's 16th JDC Public Defender's Office: Technical Assistance Report (July 2016) 

Members of the committee have provided intensive work in a number of jurisdictions, including several statewide systems and numerous county-based programs. Additionally, the Committee has developed a four-part webinar series oriented towards training boards and commissions. These webinars, scheduled between May-November 2016, are available in archive in MyGideon. The series includes the webinars:
 
The State of Indigent Defense
Using the American Bar Association's Ten Principles of a Public Defense Delivery System to Build a Quality Public Defense Organization
Practical Pointers and Principles for Boards and Commissions 
Creating Statewide Minimum Standards for Indigent Defense 
 
Systems Builders recognizes the needs of an organization are often unique and varied depending on the design of the public defender delivery system as well as the constitution of its staff. As such, the Systems Builders Committee approach is to tailor its support to a wide range of audiences, including boards, commissions, defender offices, state defender associations, practicing lawyers, investigators, managers, leaders, community groups and funding authorities.

The Committee has published two position papers: "Qualifications of those Selecting Public Defense Leadership" and "Qualifications of those Serving as Public Defense Leadership". Further, the Systems Builders Committee is prepared to offer technical assistance for the "Merit-Based Selection of a Public Defense Leader." 

As part of our overall efforts to strengthen the quality of public defense delivery systems, the Systems Builders Committee has established a Mentors Program for Executive and Manager Leadership. This program is available to any new or veteran public defense leader who seeks a mentor to address professional and personal challenges in creating or enhancing a client-centered best practice public defense program. Mentors will be arranged after consultation regarding office size, structure, delivery system and challenges to address. If you are interested, please send an email to Systems Builders Chair William Ward.

Systems Builders also supports a "Virtual Cup of Coffee with a Colleague" which is an informal opportunity to get together brainstorm, seek advice, vent or offer assistance.  
 
For more information on resources available from NAPD or to discuss the availability of in-person or virtual  support, please contact William Ward, Chair of the Systems Builders Committee or Ernie Lewis, Executive Director of NAPD.

Committee Members:


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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