Latest from VISTA

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Pietro, the VISTA member at the Center for Appellate Litagation, interviewed Molly Schindler on how Books Beyond Bars got its start. Read on to see how VISTA and books fit into their office's mission.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Amanda, a second year VISTA in Santa Barbara, California interviewed S.E. Ballard on how justice, poverty, and VISTA connect in their community. 

I spoke with Chief Trial Deputy S.E. Ballard out of the Santa Barbara Office about how they got hooked on indigent defense and what role they see a VISTA playing in the office now and in the future. Ballard is actively licensed in four states and prior to their current role, they worked out in Juvenile Defense for the County of Santa Barbara and as Chief Trial Deputy in Santa Maria.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The Guam Public Defender Service Corporation (GPDSC) has partnered with NLADA and AmeriCorps VISTA for two years to build up their data system. Read below to see how the partnership has impacted the office with an interview by Tommy Bacher, Guam VISTA member.


Friday, February 21, 2020

Our VISTA members come from diverse backgrounds but all share passion and conviction that holistic indigent defense matter. Below, Breonna Hendricks, VISTA member in Atlanta, Geogria, shares why it matters to the block where the City of Atlanta Public Defender’s office is.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Our VISTA members are embedded in offices leading the way for holistic defense. Below, Wan Qi interviews a staff member at the Orleans Public Defender who exemplfies the importance of quality defense and support for clients in all stages of the criminal justice system.

An interview with Robert Jones, Director of Community Outreach and Lead Organizer

By Wan Qi Kong, New Orleans Community Partnerships VISTA 

Monday, January 27, 2020

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

             - Martin Luther King, Jr.

As a part of Defending Communities in Service, NLADA’s VISTA members serve to advance justice by building capacity in public defender offices every day. From VISTA members improving case management systems to coordinating know your rights trainings for people experiencing homelessness to connecting people to resources at bail review, VISTA members get things done.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Tyler, our VISTA member in Connecticut, writes below on the individuals behind the big numbers of the criminal justice system.

When I sat do with Joe* I was struck by the size of him. At 6’3” and built like a linebacker his hand enveloped mine when he shook it, introducing himself like an old friend. But what was even more compelling was the way he possessed the room. He had a quick melodic voice that tended to slip into Spanish when he talked about his family and a way of laughing that made even the Court Marshal chuckle along.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Lizzie Sluchak, the Community Partnership VISTA member in Baltimore, Maryland is developing partnerships with local nonprofits and community organizations to serve people pre-trial. Below, she explains why the work that public defenders and their partners for people who have been arrested.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Our Strategic Expasion VISTA focused on the Opioid Epidemic, Hari, explains as I walked down 19th St. NW on my first day of work at the NLADA office, I passed by the mural “Women Who Will” and immediately loved it. The absolutely huge and bright and unapologetic burst of color, the pop art style, seemingly random location, and its juxtaposition against the surrounding grey concrete are just so fun to me.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Right now, what is motivating Yamilex, serving in Lubbock Texas, are the images and footage that came out after lawmakers visited the detention centers in Texas a few weeks ago. The fact that human beings are in a facility without adequate attention and care is inhumane. Whether or not someone agrees in restrictive or nonrestrictive immigration policies, it should still disturb someone to see those images and footage from the detention centers. yamilex has been feeling stuck in this feeling of guilt and shame to be living in Texas during her service and not being able to take action.