VISTA: Learn about the Sites

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 Maricopa County Office of the Legal Defender - Phoenix, AZ

The mission of the Maricopa County Office of the Legal Defender is to provide quality legal representation to indigent individuals assigned to us by the court, thus safeguarding the fundamental legal rights of each member of the community. The Maricopa County Office of the Legal Defender is excited to have the opportunity to bring community stakeholders together, change lives, and redefine quality legal representation by demonstrating the efficacy of holistic defense through data driven practices.

Apply to serve with the Maricopa County Office of the Legal Defender:

 Alameda County Public Defenders - Oakland, CA

The mission of the Alameda County Public Defender’s Office is to zealously protect and defend the rights of our clients through compassionate and inspired legal representation of the highest quality, in pursuit of a fair and unbiased system of justice for all. The Alameda County Public Defender's Office is honored to work with NLADA and AmeriCorps VISTA to enhance and strengthen their ability to collect and analyze data about the representation they provide, to both improve the quality of their services and to demonstrate the impact of their work.

Apply to serve with the Alameda County Public Defenders:

 Santa Barbara Public Defender's Office - Santa Barbara, CA

The mission of the Santa Barbara Public Defender's Office is to responsibly use community resources to provide the finest legal representation in the cases entrusted to them through compassionate and innovative advocacy with care and respect for their clients.  It is the Santa Barbara County Public Defender’s goal to assemble, train, and implement a team of the most competent attorneys in the indigent defense community to fulfill their duties to their clients while leading the way in public defense standards.  Their vision is to build an innovative model for community-oriented and holistic public defense, supported by their team of legal professionals and social workers, by advocating for a fair and just process within the criminal justice system, partnering with their clients to help them increase self-sufficiency and integration into the community, and ultimately improving the quality of life in Santa Barbara County. The Santa Barbara Public Defender's Office is excited and honored to be chosen to participate in the pilot year of this program because it will provide them with the resources to incorporate evidence-based decisions to the benefit of the community based, client-centered, holistic defense model that they are looking to establish in Santa Barbara County.

Apply to serve with the Santa Barbara Public Defender's Office:

 City of Atlanta, Office of the Public Defender - Atlanta, GA

The mission of the Public Defender's Office is to provide a zealous legal defense to persons charged with offenses before the Atlanta Municipal Court. Legal representation includes expert analysis of the charges, development of effective defense strategies, and holistic attention to collateral issues that can influence unlawful conduct. They seek partnerships with community-based providers to ensure that accountability in the criminal justice system includes restorative measures that can improve the quality of life for the client and public safety in the community. City of Atlanta Office of the Public Defender is extremely excited to have been selected to work with NLADA and AmeriCorps VISTA to enhance the capacity to collect and analyze data about the holistic representation of their clients, to both measure outcomes and improve systems of quality indigent defense.

Apply to serve with the City of Atlanta, Office of the Public Defender:

 Public Defender Service Corporation - Sinajana, GU

As public servants, the Guam Public Defender Service Corporation exists to provide effective legal assistance to those unable to afford private counsel. It believes that  every client is someone’s Father, Mother, Brother, Sister, Son or Daughter and they all deserve equal representation whether they can afford it or not.  As such, the Guam Public Defender Service Corporation is extremely excited to participate in the pilot year of Defending Communities in Service-VISTA Program because it will help them to develop their approach to evidence-based practices, data management and community partnerships that will help them provide the best possible holistic services for their clients.

Apply to serve with the Public Defender Service Corporation:

 Orleans Public Defenders - New Orleans, LA

The Orleans Public Defenders’ mission is to fight for their clients by providing excellent client-centered representation, reforming the system and partnering with the community.  Through Defending Communities in Service-VISTA, OPD is thrilled to build meaningful and guiding data and information, strategies and partnerships to better serve our clients, expand our representation and advocate for equal justice for our community.

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 Maryland Office of the Public Defender - Baltimore, MD

The Maryland Office of the Public Defender provides superior representation to indigent defendants in the State of Maryland. As their Social Work Division was modeled on a community oriented defense approach, the Maryland Office of the Public Defender is excited to establish data that will be used to address roadblocks and bring systemic reform to this important work in Maryland and around the country through their participation in Defending Communities in Service-VISTA.

Apply to serve with the Maryland Office of the Public Defender:

 Tribal Defenders for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes - Pablo, MT

The Tribal Defenders are dedicated to strong advocacy and the protection of civil liberties while working with clients and their families to address underlying issues that bring them into the justice system as well as the collateral consequences to criminal charges. Since adopting a holistic method of public defense, the Tribal Defenders for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are always looking for new ways to improve services to their clients and contribute to their success.  The Defending Communities in Service Program fits perfectly toward those goals and the Tribal Defenders believe that the VISTA program will assist them in implementing restorative principles and better serving their native population. 

Apply to serve with the Tribal Defenders:

 Office of the Appellate Defender - New York, NY

The Office of the Appellate Defender (OAD) is New York City’s oldest provider of appellate representation to poor people convicted of felonies, and the City’s second oldest institutional indigent defense office.  OAD recognizes that people in the criminal appellate process have pressing needs beyond the filing of a compelling legal brief and the presentation of a powerful oral argument. Indeed, during the pendency of an appeal, significant challenges associated with incarceration, the parole process, and reintegration into the community often impede our clients’ ability to provide meaningful assistance to counsel.  Thus, OAD was the first indigent appellate defense office to incorporate social work into its legal program.  OAD also created a Reinvestigation Project to identify potential cases of wrongful conviction and file petitions for relief where appropriate. By dedicating itself to innovation and remaining flexible and responsive to emerging criminal justice needs, OAD has set itself apart from traditional appellate defender offices and established itself as a national model for indigent appellate defense representation. 

Because OAD has always recognized that an effective appellate defender is informed by and grounded in a concrete understanding of the ways in which criminal justice laws and policies impact individuals and communities, they are honored and excited to serve as a host site for NLADA’s inaugural year of the Defending Communities in Service VISTA program.

Apply to serve with the Office of the Appellate Defender:

 Still She Rises: A Project of the Bronx Defenders - Tulsa, OK

Building on two decades of experience at The Bronx Defenders, Still She Rises knows that holistic defense achieves better results for their clients. The mission at Still She Rises is to bring this model and expertise to the women of North Tulsa by defending mothers involved in the criminal justice system from incarceration, the painful and unnecessary removal of their children, and housing instability. Still She Rises is thrilled to be a pilot site for NLADA's first ever VISTA program and they look forward to working with their VISTA member on thinking creatively about how to structure a public defender office exclusively focused on representing mothers.

Apply to serve with Still She Rises:

Montgomery County Public Defender - Norristown, PA

Serving our Whole Community to make our Community Whole. The Montgomery County Office of the Public Defender prioritizes a holistic, client centered, and community oriented practice with the ultimate goals of securing the best possible dispositions in their clients’ cases, ameliorating the conditions that led to their involvement in the criminal or juvenile justice system, and improving the overall outcomes for their lives. This partnership with NLADA and AmeriCorps VISTA is a significant step towards the launch of a re-reentry component to their organization’s holistic representation model.

Apply to serve with the Montgomery County Public Defender:

 Lubbock Private Defenders Office - Lubbock, TX

The Lubbock Private Defenders Office, a 501(c) non-profit corporation, administers and promotes quality, ethical, and effective criminal defense and mental health services to indigent adults facing a loss of liberty, thereby protecting the fair administration of justice. Their vision is to support superior criminal defense services for Clients, who know their rights are defended; Attorneys, who thrive with experience and mentorship; Courts, who trust us for effective and conscientious management of their appointments; Employees, who are proud to be involved; and Lawmakers, who look to us as the gold standard for court appointment management. The Lubbock Private Defenders Office is on the cutting edge of criminal defense with the first and only office in the state of Texas fully independent of the judiciary. As a result, they have unique opportunities to provide an aggressive defense to clients. A key component of their work within the office is to provide a holistic approach of services to their indigent clients. They are extremely honored to be given the opportunity to further advance what could be ground breaking effective practices in mental health criminal defense in the state of Texas and across the nation.

Apply to serve with the Lubbock Private Defenders Office:

 Wisconsin State Public Defender's Office - Madison, WI

The Wisconsin State Public Defender's mission is to promote justice throughout Wisconsin by providing high-quality legal services, protecting individual rights, and advocating as a criminal  justice partner for effective defender services and a fair and rational criminal justice system. The Wisconsin State Public Defender is looking forward to partnering with NLADA through the AmeriCorps VISTA project to do an in-depth analysis on the impact of public defender participation in treatment courts and collaborative justice projects and build capacity for the replication of innovative solutions across Wisconsin.

Apply to serve with the Wisconsin State Public Defender's Office: