Day two of the Annual Alternative Sentencing Worker Conference!
Day two of the Annual Alternative Sentencing Worker Conference!
Western Regional Manager, James Chamberlain and Murray Directing Attorney, Cheri Riedel visited the School of Law at the University of Memphis.
Twenty-two students signed up to learn more about DPA, and we look forward to future conversations with these amazing students.
DPA is now hiring lawyers and 3Ls!
Day 3 of New Attorney District Court Training!
Tonight there is a free expungement clinic and resource fair in Lexington! You can get a free background check, and there will be free food and music as well!
Tonight, there is a free expungement clinic and resource fair in Lexington! You can get a free background check, and there will be free food and music as well!
We (the defenders) honor, celebrate, and recognize Juneteenth as we reflect on the continual fight for freedom by fighting against mass incarceration.
“The truth is, no one of us can be free until everybody is free.” –Maya Angelou
As Juneteenth approaches, here's what to know about the holiday's history and how you can celebrate.
The Kentucky Career Center in Covington will be hosting an expungement, resource, and career fair on June 14th. Registration is not necessary, and you can receive a free background check and discuss expungement opportunities with attorneys.
More than 5 million people are under supervision by the criminal legal system. Nearly 2 million people, disproportionately Black, are living in jails and prisons instead of their communities, a 500% increase since 1973. We lock up more of our population than any other country.
Public defenders provide a vital check on governmental abuse of power and corruption, as well as on law enforcement and prosecutor misconduct.
The core concept reverberates through centuries and across cultures around the globe: It’s worse to punish innocent people than to let the guilty go free. Today, a majority of Americans may not agree.
Globally, potential innocence has long outweighed potential guilt. That philosophy of justice may not be one that the majority of Americans endorse.
The fork in the road that our nation faces is not imaginary: Our criminal legal system is destroying millions of lives as we speak, lives that are disproportionately Black and brown.
When it comes time to negotiate a plea bargain, it is prosecutors who hold all the power. Our criminal legal system is destroying millions of lives.
This Memorial Day, we remember the women and men who have given their lives in service to our country.
"If you follow the sentencing guidelines, the idea is that there's not supposed to be a huge amount of discretion left … Yet perceived ethnicity still mattered," Erik Girvan, the study's co-author and a law professor, told Axios Latino.
About 40% of Latinos had been identified not by their ethnicity but as white in state records.
“Though all 50 states have post-conviction DNA laws, many of these laws are so restrictive or limited in scope that few people can actually access DNA testing after being convicted.”
DNA — or deoxyribonucleic acid — is in every cell of every living organism and contains the “blueprint” for building and maintaining living beings. And even though humans share 99.9% of their DNA with one another, the 0.1% of DNA that varies from person to person can tell us a lot about each...
“These children have never been found guilty of anything,” Jenny Egan, a juvenile public defender, told The Baltimore Sun. “We are doing enormous damage to these children.”
The juvenile system forces many children and teens into long confinement in unsafe institutions.
“…lately, scholars and activists have also been talking about ‘mass supervision.’ There are almost two million people in U.S. prisons, but there are almost four million people on probation or parole.”
Part Five of the “Violation” podcast follows Jacob Wideman on home arrest and examines conditions faced by millions on parole or probation in the U.S.
Mercer County's Health & Resource Fair tomorrow will also feature an expungement clinic with DPA lawyers. The clinic will run 4:00 - 7:00 p.m., and no appointment is needed.
“The continued incarceration of a wrongfully convicted person, where there was a willful failure to test potentially exculpatory evidence, is a manifest injustice,” Miranda Hellman, DPA public defender, says in a motion filed at the state Supreme Court.
Kentucky judges involved in the case, along with Kentucky AG Daniel Cameron, say the tests wouldn't prove Hope White's innocence.
“More than 80% of defendants in our criminal courts can’t afford counsel. A direct consequence of excessive caseloads and policies that discourage zealous representation is the striking decline in the number of cases that go to trial.”
The mere presence of defense counsel lends our justice system the veneer of legitimacy, while the inability of defense counsel to do the job required of them makes it rotten at its core.
“Additionally, researchers found the added arrests that may occur when prison stays are shortened are unlikely to be for violent crimes or weapons charges, and the report concludes that many older people serving long sentences have ‘aged out’ of violent crime at the tail end of their sentences.”
Recent Council on Criminal Justice research suggests that reducing sentences of 10 years or longer by modest margins could significantly reduce prison populations without damaging public safety.
"'Fees undermine the purpose of the juvenile system — which should be to help support young people’s development and set them up for success,' Couture said."
In a recent study, researchers found that fees and restitution assessed against young people actually increased juvenile recidivism in Florida.
“While the struggle for gender equity continues in the legal field and beyond, it’s worth taking time to look back at some of the women icons and pioneers who, through courage and perseverance, have helped bring us to where we are today. From the first woman to become a lawyer in the U.S. to the first Black woman to become a judge, these women took the first steps to break down barriers we are still dismantling today.”
From the first woman to practice law in the U.S. to the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.
"'Incarcerated people who are deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, or who have a speech disability are in a prison within a prison,' wrote Jessica Rosenworcel, chairwoman of the FCC, announcing the new rule last September.'
The new rule, which goes in effect in January 2024, applies to phone companies serving prisons, jails and detention facilities nationwide.
On National Public Defender Day, DPA’s Tom Griffiths performed improv as part of the nationwide celebration of public defense. Public Advocate Damon Preston made a special appearance at the event, which was meant to “energize advocates, build power, and educate the public about the critical importance—and consistent neglect—of the constitutional right to a criminal defense lawyer.”
Happy National Public Defense Day!
March 18 marks the 60th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright, celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court 9–0 ruling that states are required to provide an attorney for indigent people charged with a felony.
“By almost any measure, women in prison are worse off than men, both leading up to and during their incarceration. Furthermore, the underlying causes of women’s criminal behavior are distinct from men’s and show that they would be better served in treatment programs in their communities than by criminal legal system punishments.”
172,700 women are behind bars in the U.S. See the report that shows where they are locked up and why.
The report “showed that 93% ‘paid’ their fines and fees exclusively through incarceration, while only 3% actually paid their fines and fees in full… Thus, in practice, New Mexico’s fines and fees system winds up depriving people of liberty while also costing the state more money through arrests and incarceration.”
CHICAGO, Feb. 23, 2023 — Nearly three years after announcing a national initiative to tackle pretrial justice issues, the public defense group of the American Bar Association issued a report today critical of how New Mexico treats indigent defendants
“Given that so many of the stories of people in prison are shaped by social and economic policies that have eroded safety nets and neglected entire communities, the most impactful policy changes to reduce incarceration and enhance safety will also begin outside of prison walls, addressing communities rather than individuals.”
Survey data shows mass incarceration has been used to warehouse some of the most disadvantaged members of society
5 Mill Creek
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