Our attorneys and staff live and work in Maricopa County. As citizens of the County we serve, we prioritize responding to our community’s needs. We do this through organized participation by our office in events and through our own workers’ independent involvement in their local communities.
As part of the Office of Public Defense Services (OPDS), we, along with the Office of the Legal Defender and Office of the Legal Advocate are available to use our skillsets to serve you! To see what sorts of services we offer and to request we come, select the Community Service Portal tab below to learn more!
Throughout the year we participate in a number of Veteran’s StandDown events, offering free legal aid and assistance to military veterans who are engaged in the criminal justice process. During these events we represent veteran clients in their matters, help fill out legal paperwork, provide legal advice to them, and refer them to other resources available at the event and in the community. In 2018 alone, 895 veterans registered and received legal services at the event.
- What is setting aside judgment?
- Where can I get an application?
- Where do I get a copy of my Absolute Discharge?
- Once I complete the application to receive a copy of my Certificate of Absolute Discharge, then what?
- My Felony was dropped to a Misdemeanor, but background checks are still showing that I have a felony. Why?
Our office is committed to serving our surrounding community—to this end we have created the Service Committee, which organizes monthly volunteer activities for employees and their families to participate in. In the past year, we have:
- Donated a truck load of books to Perryville Women’s Prisons in our first annual Prison Book Drive
- Created an office team for the National Alliance on Mental Illness Walks and raised $500 for the organization
- Donated two carloads of items including gift cards, stuffed animals, toys, games, home décor, jewelry, clothing, kitchen items, blankets, and backpacks to Dunbar Elementary School for their Holiday Drive
- Taught children about logic using board games and crafts at the Arizona statewide SciTech Festival at the Bret Tarver Learning Center in Phoenix
- Volunteered at our local St. Vincent de Paul in Phoenix, spending time packing lunches and writing positive messages on water to be delivered by those served by the Hearts & Hands program
Our attorneys and staff are not only exemplary advocates in the courtroom, but have also been recognized outside of the office for their community involvement. Recently, Deputy Public Defender Jamie Jackson was recognized for his heroic actions at the October shooting in Las Vegas. There, he helped save the life of a young woman, Addison, after turning a belt into a tourniquet to help control the bleeding. Speaking of Jamie’s heroism, Supervisor Bill Gates from District 3 said, “During a time when tragedy struck and adrenaline was running high, Jamie Jackson took action...He is a hero…”
News Release from Maricopa County’s Office of Communications
CNN story Opens a New Window. on Jamie and Addison’s reunion in the hospital
Jamie named as Rose Law Group Hero of the Week Opens a New Window.
The Office of the Public Defense Services branches, including our office, the Office of the Legal Defender, and the Office of the Legal Advocate are available to serve the community in a variety of ways.
First, we have a range of legal experts available to speak to outside groups on the criminal justice system, criminal defense, and systemic criminal justice issues. This is a free service to residents of Maricopa County, and both our experienced Deputy Public Defenders and our support staff make presentations. Possible topics include:
- Smart Justice initiatives
- Careers in Public Defense and Criminal Justice
- Death Penalty
- Restorative Justice
- Knowing Your Constitutional Rights
- Specialty Courts
- Families & the Criminal Justice System
- Community-oriented Justice Initiatives
- Restoration of Rights & Set Aside
If you’d like to request a speaker, please fill out the Community Speaker Request Form and allow at least four weeks’ notice before the event.
We are also available if you are at a school, non-profit, or other organization and would like us to prepare a workshop or participate or host another event related to the work we do in our office. Some ideas for possible workshops and events are listed below:
- Wrap Around Public School Services - We are available to meet with students, staff, and/or parents on understanding the impact of a criminal charge, past conviction, or current incarceration on students and their families. We can offer possible help with understanding what it’s like to visit a jail or prison, to helping parents with convictions apply for set asides or restoration of their rights, to workshoping with teachers how to respond to a child whose parent is engaged in the criminal justice system.
- Mock Trial - We are available as judges for already-planned mock trial events, as well as available to host mock trials for kids of all ages in their schools while teaching them valuable lessons about the US legal system, deductive reasoning, and logical analysis.
- School to Lawyer Pipeline - Planned in advance, we are available to meet on a regular basis to provide after-school programming to children who have a higher risk of entering the criminal justice system and instead providing them an opportunity to learn about the US legal system. These programs provide a basis in constitutional law, Arizona law, criminal justice, and oral advocacy, among other topics.
- Career Days - We can attend career days to let students know what it’s like to be a criminal trial lawyer, an appellate lawyer, or a capital offense lawyer. For law students, we can provide information on the benefits of public service and government work and do on campus interviews for externships and clerkships.