Space, equipment, communication and supporting services for public defense must be professional for meaningful representation of clients
NAPD has adopted a Policy Statement on Proper Professional Space, Equipment, Confidential Communications with Clients, Supporting Services for Public Defense. The meaningful representation of public defense clients requires proper professional space, adequate supporting equipment, ability to conduct confidential communications, and adequate services. These factors directly affect the number of clients an attorney can ethically and competently represent and the effectiveness of the work that the attorney can do for the clients.
The Policy makes clear that it is especially important for public defense providers to have space that ensures the ability to have confidential communications in courthouses, jails, prisons, public defense offices and other places where clients must confer with counsel, and must be able to communicate confidentially with incarcerated clients.
“A number of factors influence the work an attorney can competently and ethically perform on behalf of clients who face the loss of liberty or life. There must be an adequate number of lawyers and an adequate number of support staff. These staff must be supervised and trained according to national standards. Likewise, Public Defense attorneys cannot provide meaningful representation to their clients without proper space, equipment, confidential communication and services,” said NAPD Steering Committee Chair Derwyn Bunton. “We urge all public defense leaders and those who fund their work to provide the professional space, equipment, communication and supporting services for public defense.”
The NAPD Policy Statement on Proper Professional Space, Equipment, Confidential Communications with Clients, Supporting Services for Public Defense is found HERE