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County celebrates National Public Defense Week
March 15, 2017
SOLANO COUNTY – This Saturday, 54 years after the landmark Supreme Court decision in Gideon v. Wainwright, the Solano County Public Defender's Office, along with Public Defenders Offices across the country will celebrate National Public Defense Week.
National Public Defense Week serves as an important reminder to the community of the important role Public Defenders play in society. Public Defenders stand up for the dignity of their clients, representing them through all phases of the legal system. As appropriate to each client, Public Defenders research legal issues, conduct investigations, write motions and represent their clients in court – serving to protect the client’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel, whether they can afford it or not.
Solano County opened the doors to the first County Office of the Public Defender on November 4, 1968. For the past 48 years, the department has worked to defend the poor, the friendless, the abused, the down-trodden and the mentally ill with compassion, respect, creativity and determination.
In 2016, the Solano County Public Defender’s Office, including a staff of 57 attorneys, 9 investigators and 19 clerical staff, represented more than 14,000 clients in new and ongoing cases. In addition to helping clients navigate the criminal justice system, Solano County Public Defenders pride themselves on helping connect their clients to the programs and services they need to help them avoid the system altogether. This is accomplished by partnering with the County’s Health and Social Services department and community and faith based organizations.
Today, as we celebrate National Public Defense Week in Solano County and across the nation, we are reminded of the American tradition of providing a zealous defense, event for unpopular defendants goes back to one of the Nation’s founding fathers, John Adams.
It is the tenacity of the investigators, the astuteness of the paralegals, the steadfastness of the clerical, the creativity of the social workers, the dedication of the brilliant lawyers and the contributions of many other public defense professionals defend the right to counsel and the democratic value that justice is available to all people in America – not just those who can afford representation.
A temporary display honoring Public Defenders is set up in the Solano County Administration Center lobby, located at 675 Texas Street in Fairfield. The public can view the exhibit during normal business hours between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday.
For more information on the Solano County Public Defender’s Office or National Public Defense Day please call (707) 784-6700 or visit www.SolanoCounty.com/Depts/PubDefender.