All Resources

Ten Principles for Creating Sustainability in Public Defense

Public defenders need to start from a strong base of overall wellness to best represent their clients under what are frequently challenging circumstances. Employee wellness is multi-layered, and best practices toward sustainability can be woven into organization operations, policies, procedures, […]

Policy on Active Supervision of the Representation of Clients

All public defense systems – full-time, assigned counsel, contract – must actively supervise performance to ensure clients are properly represented. Effective supervision provides the safety net for clients and systems. This policy sets a standard of supervision that expands on […]

Policy Statement on Proper Professional Space, Equipment, Confidential Communications with Clients, Supporting Services for Public Defense

“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 […]

Policy Statement on Public Defense Staffing

Meaningful representation requires proper staff assistance. Public defense clients are constitutionally entitled to an adequate opportunity to present their claims fairly within the adversary system. To receive this representation, clients must be provided attorneys who have the basic tools of […]

Statement on Independence of Public Defense Leaders and Programs

“Jurisdictions provide structural and actual independence for public defenseprograms that thrive and provide meaningful representation to clients according to national standards of practice. These Independent programs add value to communities at a high level. Tragically, in many jurisdictions, the public […]

Position Paper on Qualifications of those Selecting Public Defense Leadership

“The responsibility of selecting quality leadership in a jurisdiction that does not elect its public defender should fall on a board or commission in order to guarantee the independence of the public defense function. NAPD believes that those responsible for […]

Foundational Principles

We firmly believe that that the following foundational principles are essential to help guide all of us in the public defense community as we move forward together not only to address systemic failures of our criminal and juvenile justice systems […]

Statement on Reducing Demand For Public Defense

NAPD makes eight recommendations to reduce defender workload, save money, and reduce recidivism.

Statement on the Necessity of Meaningful Workload Standards for Public Defense Delivery Systems

“NAPD believes the time has come for every public defense provider to develop, adopt, andinstitutionalize meaningful workload standards in its jurisdiction.”