News Release ~ 07/31/2014

Maureen Cain Awarded Champion of State Criminal Justice Reform Award by Nation’s Criminal Defense Bar

Philadelphia, PA (July 31, 2014) – Attorney Maureen Cain, Policy Director of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, was honored today by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers' (NACDL) Champion of State Criminal Justice Reform Award at NACDL’s 13th Annual State Criminal Justice Network conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The award honors those whose exceptional efforts have led toward progressive reform of a state criminal justice system.

Ms. Cain was recognized for her diligent efforts in promoting criminal and juvenile justice reform in Colorado and through her advocacy for the rights of the accused. NACDL State Legislative Affairs Director Angelyn C. Frazer said of Maureen's work and dedication, "Since my tenure at NACDL began, Maureen has always been a leader I could call upon for guidance in addressing the ineffective criminal justice penalties faced by convicted persons in Colorado and elsewhere. She possesses a wealth of information about the issues and is a zealous advocate for the rights of the accused. I am honored to present her with this award."

Ms. Cain is often a major driving force in guiding bills through the state legislature, and many advances in Colorado's criminal defense policy are a direct result of her work. She achieves this through her tireless efforts to gain consensus on legislation, and she challenges leaders and policymakers to view criminal justice issues in a comprehensive way. In the 2013 and 2014 legislative sessions, she led the effort to pass bills that transformed Colorado's bail statutes, introducing a more risk and evidence-based system as opposed to a money-driven system. She was also a key player in the effort to obtain funding for a major evaluation effort which resulted in a substantial overhaul of the sex offender treatment program within Colorado prisons.

Through her involvement with the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice (CCJJ) Drug Policy Task Force, she has aided in the drafting of many drug reform bills that have been signed into law, including a comprehensive drug reform bill designed to decrease penalties, increase treatment dollars, and require that drug offenders be given multiple and ongoing opportunities to succeed and avoid the adverse consequences of a criminal conviction.

Currently, Ms. Cain serves as an appointee by the Colorado Supreme Court on the Colorado Attorney Disciplinary Board. She has also served as a member of the Board of Directors of Denver Academy, a school for children with learning disabilities and as President of Adoption Alliance, an adoption agency specializing in international adoption. She also serves on NACDL's Board of Directors.

In 2004, she received the Gideon Award from the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar for upholding the principles of Gideon v. Wainwright.

Upon hearing of the award Maureen stated, "I am honored to receive this award from NACDL's State Criminal Justice Network. The criminal defense community must be involved in public policy and I am grateful to NACDL for supporting this vital work for so many years."

Cain received her bachelor’s degree from Manhattanville College and her law degree from the University of Denver College Of Law.

Contact Information

Ivan J. Dominguez, Director of Public Affairs & Communications, (202) 465-7662 or idominguez@nacdl.org.

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's approximately 10,000 direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal justice system.

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