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NEWS:

1) 4/1/14 - Accepting applications for DPD I.

2) 3/25/14 - Now accepting application for Paralegal. Read more. . .

3) Defenders Mark A Century of L.A. Law

4) A New York Times Editorial -12/30/2013: The Slow Demise of Capital Punishment

5) New Parole Hearing Law for Juvenile Offenders. Read more......

6) Juveniles with LWOP (SB-9 Unit). Read more. . .

 

NOW HIRING

The Deputy Public Defender I examination is now open.  Applications are being accepted via online filing only.  There is no application filing deadline at this time, though the filing period may close at any time without advance notice.

Applications are also being accepted for Paralegal positions. See Employment page.

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ASSISTANT PUBLIC DEFENDER WINSTON A. PETERS

Defenders must address underlying causes of criminality

Over the course of my long career as a public defender I have come to realize that many of the underlying causes that bring troubled adults and children into the justice system remain largely unaddressed or even ignored. These public health issues include mental illness, drug and alcohol dependency, co-occurring disorders, developmental disability, homelessness, and abuse and trauma. Clients in the justice system are often undiagnosed, untreated and unassisted as they attempt to navigate social and medical services. Immigration problems and English proficiency may further complicate matters.

There are approximately 33,000 mentally ill adult prisoners in California state prisons - close to 30 percent of the total prison population. A 2005 final report prepared for the Chief Probation Officers of California and the California Mental Health Directors Association estimated that 50 to 75 percent of youth in juvenile detention facilities have diagnosable mental health disorders.

Today, with the passage of recent legislation, public defenders and other defense counsel must not only prepare and litigate the legal aspects of cases in the courtroom, they must also be prepared to address the underlying causes of criminal behavior. Competent defense representation therefore includes addressing adult re-entry eligibility and suitability criteria, as well as cultivating extensive knowledge of mitigation evidence and community resources to address rehabilitation.

Click here to read the entire article

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