All Blogs

 Sometimes to Fix a Public Defender System, You have to be Willing to Let it Fail w/James McDermott and Paul Chambers

Today, Hunter is once again joined by James McDermott and Paul Chambers from the Far West Texas Regional Public Defender Office. This time, James and Paul are discussing how they utilized the new National Workload study to double their attorney […]

234 | Stephen Hanlon: Case Withdrawals, Federal Funding, and the Five Year Plan to Fix Public Defense in Oregon

Today, Hunter is joined once again by Public Interest lawyer Stephen Hanlon. This time, Hunter and Stephen are breaking down the five year plan that he hopes will fix Public Defense in Oregon. While it is surely an ambitious plan, […]

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 […]

From a 25% Vacancy Rate to Nearly Zero, How the Montana Public Defender System Came Back from the Brink w/Brett Schandelson

Today, Hunter is once again joined by Brett Schandelson, the Director of the Montana Office of the State Public Defender. Last time he was one, we discussed his efforts to make Public Defense policy in Montana driven by data. Today, […]

How Moral Injury, Stress, and Trauma Impact Public Defense with Jenny Andrews

Today is a re-release of my conversation with Jenny Andrews. It comes as a right before two episodes covering the ceasefire resolution put out by the UAW ALAA 2325 union that represents Public Defenders and Legal Aid Workers at the […]

Letter to ABA Litigation Journal: Defender Workloads are Unethical

We are now generating the reliable data and analytics (not just anecdotes and generalizations) that will provide the factual predicate for systemic case refusal as a remedy for such systemic Sixth Amendment and ethical violations all over the country.

Letter to Fresno County, California, Board of Supervisors

It is our strong belief that under the current situation, clients whose constitutional right to counsel is being provided by the dedicated men and women who work in the Fresno County Public Defender’s Office are having that right compromised as […]

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 Maryland House Judiciary Committee

We, the undersigned officers of the National Association of Public Defense (NAPD), write in support of HB 1119. This legislation addresses the issue of excessive workloads which, along with insufficient resources, has been identified as the primary problem in public […]

Letter to U.S. House Judiciary Committee Supporting National Criminal Justice Commission and the National Center for the Right to Counsel

“We are submitting this letter in support of both the National CriminalJustice Commission Act and the National Center for the Right to Counsel Act.Passage of both of these bills, in our view, will be important in view of themany major […]

NAPD Changemakers Forum Tackles Public Defense Challenges

The NAPD’s Changemakers Forum sparked innovation and collaboration in Salt Lake City, Utah. This creative event brought together a diverse group of public defense leaders for a dynamic exchange of ideas focused on tackling the most pressing challenges in the […]

NAPD Publishes Policy Statement on Workloads

Since its founding ten years ago, NAPD has been a leading national voice on reducing public defense workloads. In light of new research and developments in public defense, NAPD has updated its previous guidance from 2015 and 2017, and adopted […]

Open Letter to Judge Sean C. Gallagher, Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth Appellate District

Instead, you maintain, despite considerable evidence to the contrary, that our criminal justice system is “overwhelmingly fair” and that we must “find an acceptable balance between efficiency and justice.” Finally, you rather cynically urge all of us to “accept the […]

Oregon’s Plan to Reduce Workloads and What it Means for Our National Workloads Strategy: A Reflection by Stephen F. Hanlon

Stephen F. Hanlon is a leading national advocate on public defense workloads and Founding Co-chair of NAPD’s Workloads Committee. Read more about him at Oregon’s Six-Year Plan to Reduce Public Defender Deficit A new report, prepared by Moss Adams, […]

Policy Statement on Workloads

In light of new research and developments in public defense, NAPD adopts this statement: Public defense workloads must be reasonable, ensuring that public defense counsel is able torepresent each client according to prevailing national professional norms. Public defense leadersshould work […]

Press Release: ‘Milestone’ Study Released on National Public Defense Workload Crisis

“Until now, public defenders have relied on standards from 50 years ago to ask for the relief we desperately need. Times have drastically changed, and this new study provides proof of just how serious this Constitutional crisis has become for […]