Chief public defenders from throughout the country will be meeting in Washington D.C. on April 14 - 16, 2010. The American Council of Chief Defenders (ACCD) is a national community of public defense leaders who are dedicated to securing fair justice systems and ensuring high quality legal representation for people facing loss of life, freedom or family. Together they: provide tools, strategies, mutual support, training and information to chief defenders; speak as a national voice for public defense; promote best practices in the leadership, management, and administration of justice; and support development and reform of public defense systems.
While in D.C., the ACCD will be taking many important steps toward the achievement of their goals. ACCD representatives will be meeting with high-level officials within the Department of Justice, to continue the national discussion about how the federal government can help to achieve properly funded, standards-based defense representation throughout the country. They will also be bringing information to share about the result of their visits with their congresspersons, held both in their home jurisdictions during the congressional spring break and in D.C. during the conference. Experts at the conference will be teaching the fundamental tools that public defense leaders need to effectively work with local, state, and federal policymakers in ensuring the right to counsel for every client. And, there will be a special focus on representing clients with mental illness. The ACCD is looking toward the future, and during the conference they will be making plans for how they together can continue to work toward the achievement of justice for all.
If you are the head of a public defense system or agency that represents clients facing loss of life, freedom, or family, you can get more information about the ACCD, its work, and how you can join, by contacting Ed Burnette and visiting the ACCD webpages. Learn more about and register for the 2010 ACCD Conference here.