All Resources

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 […]

Letter to Atlanta Mayor

Letter relating to the removal of a chief public defender.

Letter to Aurora, CO, City Council

“By giving the City Manager the power to hire and fire the Chief Public Defender and his/her assistants, we believe the city would be acting is in direct conflict with the advice of the United States Supreme Court, and nationally […]

Letter to Harris County, TX, County Attorney

Letter relating to the proposed termination of a chief public defender. “NAPD is vitally committed to ensuring that governmental authorities do not encroach on or compromise the independence of the public defense function. It is because of this commitment that […]

Letter to Houston County, GA, Board of Commissioners

Letter relating to the termination of a chief public defender who raised ethical concerns about workloads.

Letter to Jefferson County, Alabama, Indigent Defense Advisory Board

“NAPD encourages the adherence to national standards when continuing to build the JeffersonCounty public defender’s office.”

Letter to Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors

Letter relating to the selection of an interim defender. “NAPD encourages LA County to step back and begin a process that will ensure the highest qualified person is selected to become the next LA County Public Defender. The process by […]

Letter to Louisiana House Judiciary Committee

Letter opposing proposed Capital Oversight Committee (LA HB 605).

Letter to Montgomery County, PA, Board of Commissioners

Letter relating to the termination of a chief and deputy public defender.

Letter to the Aurora, Colorado, City Council

Letter relating to a proposal to close the public defender office The Council is now considering if Aurora can outsource public defense to contractors to receive the same quality of services for a considerably lower cost. It cannot. This approach […]

Letter to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Oregon

Letter relating to the removal of indigent defense commission members “The success of Oregon public defense will rise and fall with independence of the defense function. We encourage you to do all in your power to help ensure that independence, […]

Letter to the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission

Letter relating to the termination of a chief public defender. “We write to express concerns and offer support concerning the recent termination of the Chief Public Defender in Chippewa County.”

Letter to the Orleans District Attorney

Letter relating to the prosecution of a public defense investigator. “Circumstances in Orleans Parish require us to speak out against your decision to use the full force of the criminal justice system to target an investigator at the OPD for […]

NAPD Partners with ABA to Launch Task Force for Public Defense Independence

From the ABA’s announcement: WASHINGTON, March 26, 2024 – The American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section and Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defense (SCLAID), in partnership with the National Association for Public Defense, today announced the creation of the Task Force for Public Defense Independence. […]

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 […]

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 […]