San Francisco – The California Public Defender’s Association announced that San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi will receive the organization’s annual Program of the Year award on Friday, April 17, 2009.  Adachi is receiving the award for his office’s innovative work though the “The Children of Incarcerated Parents” program, which provides assistance and services to children of a parent who is incarcerated.

The program focuses on addressing urgent needs of children through facilitating contact visits, connecting clients and families with social services and improving ability of clients to participate in family life upon their release.

The statewide “Program of the Year” award was established in 1988 to recognize defender offices that have developed special services that serve as examples of important services for clients and staff.

Adachi said, “I am extremely honored to receive this award on behalf of office. This special program assists incarcerated parents in maintaining a relationship with their children and ensures that children are cared for and supported while the parent is away.”  Adachi credited the early support of the Zellerbach Family Fund, which helped start the program through a grant in 2004.  The office’s Children of Incarcerated Parents program is the only defender program of its type in the nation.

The award will be given to Adachi at the organization’s annual conference in Lake Tahoe.  Over 400 public defenders and criminal defense attorneys are expected to attend.  The California Public Defender’s Association is a statewide organization of over 4,000 public defenders and defense attorneys.