R2C National Campaign: April 2016 Newsletter


South Carolina Summary Courts Report

On April 4, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the ACLU of South Carolina released a new report, Summary Injustice: A Look at Constitutional Deficiencies in South Carolina’s Summary CourtsThese courts often fail to inform defendants of the right to counsel, refuse to provide counsel to the poor at all stages of the criminal process, and force defendants who cannot afford to pay fines to instead serve time in jail. 

American University's Justice Programs Office hosts Remote Townhall on the Role of Public Defense in Reentry

As part of DOJ's National Reentry Week, American University in collaboration with public defense national partners hosted a remote townhall on the role of public defense in reentry on April 28. Check out the archived webinar here.

In The News

Poor may face trial without attorneys: Study points to flaws in S.C.’s lowest courts, by Andrew Knapp, Charleston Post and Courier (April 3, 2016)

Inside the New Orleans public defenders office, where attorneys are so overworked they’re turning down new clients, by Casey Tolan, Fusion (April 6, 2016)

Opinion: Why I refuse to send people to jail for failure to pay fines, by Ed Spillane, The Washington Post (April 8, 2016)

Opinion - Marcia Morey: When traffic court becomes debtors’ prison, by Marcia Morey, The News & Observer (April 24, 2016)

Expanding the Role of Public Defenders in Reentry: Improving Public Safety, Protecting the Rights of Formerly Incarcerated People, by Ernie Lewis and Alex Bassos, HuffPost Politics (April 26, 2016)

Consortium Members Update

National Association for Public Defense (NAPD): The group published several blog posts for DOJ's National Reentry Week. One entry was by Aleksandra Chauhan, a Fifth Circuit public defender. 

National Association for Court Management (NACM): Jon Rapping, President and Founder of Gideon’s Promise, will deliver the opening plenary remarks at the Annual Conference on July 11, 2016 in Pittsburgh, PA.

Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI): The group is encouraging public defense professionals to share their stories for a planned social media campaign highlighting the need for bail reform and earlier access to representation: “Nothing makes a stronger case for pretrial reform than real-life examples of pretrial injustice. PJI invites defense attorneys and others to send us examples from their own experience. We hope to use these cases in a social media campaign aimed at underscoring how the use of money bail can lead to serious cases of injustice. To learn more and share your story with us, click here.”

National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA): At their upcoming regional pretrial meetings, the June 8 session on public defense on will be moderated by Leah Garabedian, Sr. Program Manager at Justice Management Institute (JMI). It will be held at the University of Baltimore School of Law in Baltimore, Md. This workshop will focus on importance of appointing counsel at the pretrial stage and highlight a jurisdiction for State Administering Agencies looking to utilize a systemic approach when developing a comprehensive criminal justice strategic plan. Learn more here.

Save the Date

The next R2C quarterly webinar will be on Thursday, June 16 at 2pm ET.

New R2C Consortium Members

Please join us and become a consortium member and/or help us spread the word about R2C!

Call for Blogs and Shareable Content

If you are interested in blogging for R2C or have other published pieces that the Campaign should know about, please contact Ivan Dominguez (idominguez@nacdl.org) or Ezra Dunkle-Polier (edunkle-polier@nacdl.org).