Dear Family and Friends of incarcerated individuals,
While Michigan has many excellent public defense attorneys, the system they work in fails both them and their clients. Many public defense attorneys have enormous caseloads, are denied funding for experts and investigators, and/or aren’t provided sufficient training or time to do their jobs.
The State of Michigan does not have any statewide standards for public defense attorneys, nor does it provide adequate funding to ensure your constitutional rights are upheld. Michigan also does not oversee performance of public defense attorneys. You may have paid a high price for those systemic failures.
The Campaign for Justice is working to change this system and we need your help!
First, please sign up to join the Campaign, get our mailing list to receive frequent legislative updates, and to volunteer. Your help is invaluable in the fight for reform.
Second, the Campaign needs the stories of ineffective criminal or juvenile defense representation to show legislators and the public the human and fiscal impact of our broken public defense system.
When we share a story that highlights the failures of the system with the media and lawmakers, it puts a human face to the problem. The stories help convince them to support reform.
We screen stories carefully for accuracy and may use only a few with the media to highlight the problems. However, your story may be used in a number of ways to assist the Campaign, should you agree to let us use it.
FOR FAMILY MEMBERS:
Speaking out about the problems with Michigan’s public defense system is an opportunity for you to speak on behalf of your loved one. If a family member or loved one has had a negative experience with the public defense system, we need to hear about it. At this time, we are only seeking criminal and juvenile delinquency cases.
We will need concrete details about the representation the individual received to see if your loved one’s case will be appropriate to use with media and lawmakers. Click here for a screening form that should be filled out and sent to us at Campaign for Justice, 403 Seymour, Suite 201, Lansing, MI 48933.
If you are a part of a family support group, we would be interested in presenting at your next group meeting and hearing people's stories. Please contact us at (517) 372-3050 or email@example.com.
We do not provide legal representation in criminal or civil cases. Our goal is to change the laws so that every person charged with a crime or as a juvenile delinquent has constitutionally adequate defense representation in the future. Please read below.
IF YOU ARE CONTACTING US ABOUT YOUR OWN CASE:
Please be aware that we won't be able to help you in your individual case, but if our effort succeeds, it will help others.
The Campaign for Justice does not provide criminal defense lawyers to individuals, and cannot provide you with legal representation in any on-going criminal or civil matter. Instead, we are working to ensure that adequate public defense services are provided in the future.
If you choose to share your experience, we will need detailed information from you. Please complete the information form (click here for a form) and return to us at the Campaign for Justice, 403 Seymour, Suite 201, Lansing, MI 48933.
Important: if you are currently represented by counsel, you may wish to talk to your attorney before providing us information or speaking with us. You have no obligation to speak with us, and if you proceed you do so voluntarily. To avoid any prejudice to you, we are not asking you, nor should you tell us, about the content of any discussions you have had with your public defender or appointed counsel.
If you are seeking a lawyer referral, please visit the State Bar of Michigan's Lawyer Referral Service website at http://www.michbar.org/programs/lawyerreferral.cfm.