American Council of Chief Defenders

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The American Council of Chief Defenders is a national community of public defense leaders dedicated to securing a fair justice system and ensuring high quality legal representation for people facing loss of life, freedom, or family. Its mission is to:

  • Train and support chief defenders
  • Speak as a national voice for public defense
  • Promote best practices in the leadership, management, and administration of justice
  • Support development and reform of public defense systems

ACCD is a practice section of NLADA. It draws from NLADA’s network of defenders to bring together chief and deputy chiefs of diverse indigent defense programs, including public defender offices, assigned counsel systems, and contract systems. ACCD members collaborate through a listserv and annual conferences.

ACCD makes its voice heard to public defense systems, policymakers, and the public through advocacy, position papers, and resolutions. Its most recent publications include: