The Office of Alternate Public Defender, also known as “APD” for short, was created by the Board of Supervisors during the fiscal crisis of 1993 to handle cases in which the Public Defender has a conflict of interest—a move that continues to save millions of taxpayer dollars every year.
Our efforts last year primarily focused on implementing new laws and initiatives. Those include: Proposition 47, the Reduced Sentencing Initiative; Proposition 36, the Three Strikes Initiative; SB 9, the Resentencing Project for Youthful Offenders, and AB 109, the State’s Realignment Plan. Implementing these laws and initiatives will continue to be a focus for the APD in the year ahead.
Our efforts also will include collaborating with other county departments and local agencies on mental health initiatives, including: the Criminal Justice Mental Health Project, which is District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s pilot project for mental health diversion; the Third District Diversion and Alternative Sentencing Pilot Program, designed to assist those who are chronically homeless and mentally ill; and the HALO program, which provides mentally ill or developmentally disabled misdemeanants alternatives to incarceration.
Our commitment to quality service was underscored by our Judicial Survey, in which 167 judges countywide rated our performance at an average of 3.8 out of 4 in categories reflecting quality of representation, responsiveness and efficiency.
I offer my heartfelt thanks for the valued support of our Board of Supervisors, Chief Executive Officer Sachi Hamai and the extraordinary women and men of the APD family.