The Foundation for Criminal Justice preserves and promotes the core values of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the American criminal justice system. Ongoing and recent projects supported by the FCJ include an unprecedented study of obstacles to restoration of rights and status after conviction; a conference to identify concrete and easily-achieved solutions to racial disparities in the criminal justice system; an ongoing series of events to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark Gideon v. Wainwright decision; free trainings for lawyers on a variety of topics including representing juveniles accused of wrongdoing and individuals facing immigration-related collateral consequences of conviction; and efforts to improve indigent defense in federal and state courts.
Foundation - Highlights
The Task Force on the Restoration of Rights
The Foundation for Criminal Justice is funding NACDL’s Task Force on the Restoration of Rights and Status After Conviction. The Task Force is currently holding hearings across the United States to look at the legal mechanisms used to restore rights and status, such as pardons, expungements, and certificates of good conduct. Following these hearings, the Task Force will produce a report identifying best practices, and specific legislative and policy proposals to facilitate restoration of rights and status after completion of sentence.
Learn more about the Task Force.
Relief from Collateral Consequences of Conviction
With resources made available by support from the FCJ, NACDL offers, as a resource for its members and as a service to the public, a collection of individual downloadable documents that profile the law and practice in each U.S. jurisdiction relating to relief from the collateral consequences of conviction. The 54 jurisdictional profiles include provisions on loss and restoration of civil rights and firearms privileges, legal mechanisms for overcoming or mitigating collateral consequences, and provisions addressing non-discrimination in employment and licensing.
Learn more about this project.
Celebrating the Right to Counsel
To commemorate the Golden Anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright, the Foundation for Criminal Justice hosted a Gala at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, California, in conjunction with NACDL's 2012 Annual Meeting. All proceeds from this event will be used to fund NACDL projects designed to ensure that all those facing prosecution receive quality representation at every phase of a criminal case.
Read more about the gala celebrating the 50th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright.
Representing Juvenile Defendants
The FCJ is also funding a number of NACDL projects designed to address sentencing reform after the Supreme Court’s decisions in Graham v. Florida and Miller v Alabama. Both decisions are landmark events in juvenile justice; the Graham holding that no juvenile defendant can be sentenced to life without parole for a non-homicide offense, and Miller banning mandatory life-without-parole sentances for juvenile offenders. With support from the FCJ, NACDL has conducted multiple online trainings aimed at individuals who represent juveniles in adult court.
View recent trainings.
Representing Individuals Facing Immigration-Related Consequences
Following the Supreme Court's decision in Padilla v. Kentucky that lawyers must advise clients of possible immigration-related collateral consequences of conviction, the FCJ suppoted the creation of a series of free, live web trainings on implications of the decision. Sessions focused on an overview of current and emerging issues, drug offenses, and domestic and violence cases.
Additionally, and with support from the FCJ, NACDL and the National Legal Aid and Defender
Association (NLADA) co-hosted a convening of leading defense lawyers,
law professors, and other stakeholders to discuss the impact of the
Supreme Court's decision in Padilla v. Kentucky. The convening, whch took place in summer 2011, was documente in the Fordham Urban Law Journal. You can read more about the convening, read the table of contents the table of contents, or contact Daniel Weir for a copy of the journal documenting the convening.
Watch the trainings.