Kalamazoo Defender was created through the insights and hard work of local attorneys, former judges, mental and public health experts, and community advocates working with the under served of Kalamazoo County. We are dedicated to recruiting and training attorneys who possess the requisite passion for defense work and demonstrated abilities to become outstanding in their profession.
The model in which those attorneys will practice is often referred to as a “holistic” public defender. That term is used to define public defender offices that represent the whole client, including assessment and guidance in addressing collateral legal and other issues that impede a client's abilities to grow beyond a life on the margins.
Criminal defendants from impoverished communities don't end up facing charges in a vacuum. Racism and barriers to safe housing, mental health services, education, nutrition, banking, and other basic needs put those living in impoverished communities at substantially greater risk of confronting criminal charges. Kalamazoo Defender will work with its clients to ensure they have the resources and community support to overcome barriers to a more stable and rewarding life, regardless of the disposition of the criminal charge.