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Shepherd Internship Erin Walters. The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS) Mission : The Public Defender Service for the District.

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Presentation on theme: "Shepherd Internship Erin Walters. The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS) Mission : The Public Defender Service for the District."— Presentation transcript:

1 Shepherd Internship Erin Walters

2 The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS) Mission : The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS) provides and promotes quality legal representation to indigent adults and children facing a loss of liberty in the District of Columbia and thereby protects society's interest in the fair administration of justice. Community Defender Division (CDD): Juvenile Services Program (JSP) Community Reentry Program (CRP) Institutional Services Program (ISP)

3 Accomplishments of PDS Regarded as one of the best public defender offices in the country Represents up to 60 percent of individuals determined to be unable to obtain adequate legal representation in DC Other 40 percent are represented by private attorneys pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act (CJA) Consists of seven (7) legal services divisions to represent clients in as complete a way as possible Trial Appeals Mental Health Special Litigation Parole Community Defender Civil Legal Services

4 Institutional Services Program (ISP ) Serves as the PDS liaison to individuals convicted of DC Code offenses and held in Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) facilities Provides information to assist these individuals and monitor their conditions of incarceration Consists of two attorneys, Keisha Robinson and Almo Carter, and shares one investigator—Eddy McDermott—with the rest of CDD

5 Responsibilities/My Accomplishments  Worked primarily under both attorneys in ISP, and with the ISP law clerk  Answered letters from currently and formerly incarcerated individualsregarding any issues or questions they had about incarceration  Interviewed clients in the Central Detention Facility (DC Jail) inpreparation for Disciplinary Hearings within the facility  Interviewed currently and formerly incarcerated men in regard toconditions of confinement  Recreation  Medical Services  Food Services  Physical Abuse  Etc…  Drafted a Report outlining findings re conditions of confinement  When finished, it will be presented to the Warden

6 A Typical Day in ISP 9:30 am Arrive at the office and discuss work to be done for the day 10:00 am-1:00 pm Interview individuals at the Jail 1:00-2:00 pm Answer letters from clients and organize box of letters to be opened 2:00-3:00 pm Watch Jail Calls for a case represented by a lawyer at the main office 3:00-4:30 pm Write memos for the clients spoken to that day 4:30 pm Send daily report to all in the office and go home  When free, we court watched

7 Challenges  Bureaucracy  Getting information for cases was often difficult  PDS and the “government” (police officers, the DC Jail, and prosecution)have an adversarial relationship  Tense relationship between the DC Jail and my partner and I as a resultof our investigation  Progress was slow  Records can take weeks to obtain  Most cases (with the exception of juvenile cases) take months from startto finish  Thrown into the mix feet first  The Criminal Law Internship Program (CLIP) training the other three (3Shepherd Interns and I completed proved to be largely irrelevant to ourwork in CDD; the training was specific to the Trial Division  My partner and I were given a lot of freedom and little directionthroughout our internship

8 My SSLP, Summer 2013 The Share Foundation for the Handicapped (Sharing Meadows) Rolling Prairie, IN Summer Camp for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities/full-time residency for other-abled “villagers” who live in community with “stewards”

9 SSLP vs. Shepherd Internship Sharing Meadows  Lived in the camp dorms with my fellow counselors along with the campers during the week  Completed weekly readings and journals, and wrote a paper at the end of the experience  Worked with adults with disabilities (ages 18-78)  Rural setting (Rolling Prairie, IN) PDS  Lived on Catholic University of America campus with the other 13 Shepherd interns in DC  Lived under a $14 a day budget, which covered food and transportation  Worked with incarcerated individuals (ages 19-60)  Urban setting (Washington, DC)

10 Sharing Meadows Different from most SSLPs, as this was a disability SSLP Campers and villagers were not necessarily financially poor I learned a lot about love during my time at Share, so it was fruitful despite not placing an emphasis on economic poverty PDS All clients of PDS are indigent; however, I spoke with many non- PDS clients at the DC Jail who may not have been poor Still, percent of those at DC Jail are indigent Overall, the experience illuminated the connection between crime and poverty, and the related connection between race and poverty Understanding Poverty


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