The National Association for Public Defense is an inclusive and collaborative grassroots movement of public defense professionals dedicated to bringing meaningful access to justice for poor people.
NAPD pools the intellectual capital of our members by compiling practical, relevant resources and bringing local justice issues to the national stage. Member benefits include:
- Articles - NAPD articles chronicle experiences, legal developments, news stories, challenges, and successes in the field, providing insight into both the common goals and the diverse circumstances of public defense work.
- Education - NAPD organizes conferences on workloads, leadership and trial skills.
- Webinars - NAPD hosts webinars almost weekly, on topics such as, “Internet Secrets and Social Media Intelligence Revealed”; “Using Mental Illness to Get a Jury to Not Guilty”; “Cross–Examination of a Complainant in a Sex Case”; “Defending Confession Cases”; Spotting & Challenging Prosecutorial Misconduct”; and, “Language Impairments.”
- MyGideon - MyGideon is NAPD's library of public defense resources and information, continuously curated for quality and recency. All past webinars and hundreds of other training videos are archived on MyGideon. The resources at MyGideon grow daily.
The Voice for Public Defense
NAPD works with local offices and national partners in order to set and focus the national public defense agenda. Activities include:
- Amicus Briefs - NAPD stands ready to join other organizations in attacking injustice by filing amicus briefs to support diverse justice reforms.
- Ethics and Policy Papers - NAPD tackles diverse issues through published ethics opinions and policy papers.
- IT Support - NAPD provides guidance on case management systems, data/database development, and related technology for organizations that lack IT support staff.
- Juvenile Justice - NAPD works to ensure that juvenile defense is supported and resourced by the national defense community.
- Public Education and Outreach - NAPD creates resources, recruits communications assistance and provides direct support to members to promote public defense values.
- Strike Force - NAPD mentors, shares resources, and lends NAPD support to local jurisdictions when zealous advocacy leads to risk or sanction.
- Workload Advocacy - NAPD is developing resources, analyzing data, creating workload standards, and supporting offices litigating excessive workloads.
- Systems Builders - NAPD lends tailored support to systems undergoing structural, financial or leadership transitions, including Board and/or Commission training.
- Fines & Fees Advocacy - NAPD addresses how court costs and other fees assessed to indigent clients threaten clients' rights, illegally restrict their liberty and subjugate entire communities - disproportionately, communities of color.
The substantive work of NAPD is undertaken by our volunteer members – the public defense experts. Annual individual membership is $25; organizational membership is $20/person. NAPD currently has more than 65 member organizations and 9,500 members across all fifty states.