What We Do

The Louisiana Public Defender Board was created on August 15, 2007 to serve the public, support practitioners across the criminal justice field and advocate for clients in Louisiana to ensure that Louisiana provides equal justice for all as guaranteed by the Constitution.

The Louisiana State Constitution guarantees that when any person has been arrested or detained in connection with the investigation or commission of any offense, he shall be advised fully of the reason for his arrest or detention, his right to remain silent, his right against self incrimination, his right to the assistance of counsel and, if indigent, his right to court appointed counsel. At each stage of the proceedings, every person is entitled to assistance of counsel of his choice, or appointed by the court if he is indigent and charged with an offense punishable by imprisonment. It is the responsibility of the legislature to provide for a uniform system for securing and compensating qualified counsel for indigents. (Article 1, 13)

  • LPDB administers the Public Defender Fund, which supports all 42 judicial districts and covers expert witness fees and a limited number of DNA tests to prove possible innocence

  • LPDB contracts with eight 501(c)3 non-profit organizations which provide appellate representation, capital representation at the trial level when a conflict exists in the district, capital post-conviction representation and representation of claims of innocence for persons serving life sentences in Louisiana

  • LPDB collaborates with agency partners, particularly within the criminal justice field, but also social service providers, faith-based groups and community advocates, to improve the fairness and efficiency of the criminal justice systems in Louisiana

  • LPDB supports the defender community by providing training, public education, outreach and technical support to improve the delivery of public defense services across the state

  • LPDB supervises the public defender system through on-site evaluations, intensive financial reporting requirements, relevant and accurate data collection, and monitored compliance with approved policies and performance standards

  • LPDB provides juvenile-dedicated staff and resources to support the specialized needs of juvenile clients and the unique practice of juvenile law

  • LPDB works with public defender offices across the state to maximize the investments in juvenile justice made by the Anne E. Casey and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundations

  • LPDB conducts research to inform policy discussions and support advocacy efforts

  • LPDB represents the state of Louisiana on the national level, through participation with Department of Justice subcommittees, American Bar Association Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defense, the Community Oriented Defender Network and other national criminal justice agencies/organizations

  • LPDB prepares for the seamless administration of justice in times of state or local emergencies by supporting all affected criminal justice agencies to deliver timely, competent service to clients

  • LPDB promotes the fundamental values of fairness, compassion and client-centeredness to ensure the respect of each practitioner and the dignity of every client by improving the delivery of public defense services in Louisiana

For a Chart of the Louisiana Public Defender Board Programs, click HERE

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