Annual Report

We are proud to present our 2020 Annual Report.

If you would like a physical copy, please contact us with your mailing information and we will do our best to dispatch one to you.

See previous year Annual Reports here.

Our Mission Statement

The mission of the San Francisco Public Defender’s office is to protect and defend the rights of our indigent clients, through effective, vigorous, compassionate, and creative legal advocacy.

We aspire to provide the highest level of legal advocacy for each of our clients, and to be a nationwide model for the delivery of indigent defense services.

Racial Action Plan

Racial Equity Action Plan – Phase I: December 30, 2020
In response to the City’s growing racial disparities, and as a means to address the history of structural and institutional racism in San Francisco’s delivery of services to the public and its own internal practices and systems, San Francisco legislated the creation of the Office of Racial Equity (Ordinance No. 188-19) in July 2019. For more information, please visit the Office of Racial Equity’s website: https://www.racialequitysf.org/

The Office of Racial Equity has called for all City’s Departments to prepare and submit a 3-year plan for Phase 1. Like all City Departments, we have work to do to ensure that we examine racial disparities and develop effective changes, programs, initiatives, and policies to address them. Our Plan describes many of the steps to be taken in this first phase, to apply racial equity principles to inspect and dismantle unfair and harmful structural and institutional policies and practices, while creating an actively anti-racist workplace.

The Public Defender’s Office (PDR) has prepared its Racial Equity Action Plan –Phase I: December 30, 2020, and will submit it the Plan to the Office of Racial Equity. This is a working document and we anticipate updating during the 3-year period. We welcome this opportunity for continued growth while maintaining our ardent commitment to racial justice work.

Provide input on our office’s budget priorities for Fiscal Year 2021-2023

Racial equity is at the core of our work as public defenders. Both inside and outside the courtroom we fight for services, strong outcomes and freedom for our clients, who are vulnerable low-income people of color. Public Defender’s Budget Priorities align with Mayoral Policy Priorities:

  • Maintaining core services to enhance public safety in the City
  • Advancing racial equity and serving vulnerable populations
  • Supporting homelessness and mental health programs

We welcome any feedback you may have on our budget priorities for Fiscal Year 2021-2023.  Please email us your input at PUBDEF-Budget@sfgov.org with the subject line: “Public Input PDR Budget FY 2021-2023”.

Our office will be holding a virtual public meeting on February 4, 2021 at 11am to get input on our budget.  To join, please register at following link :  https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUqcOyvqz8pE9S4DjnT43XdrW5SsRpVggqd

A zoom meeting invite will be sent to people who register via the above link.

What Is A Public Defender?

A public defender is a lawyer appointed to represent people who otherwise cannot reasonably afford to hire an attorney. The Constitution guarantees everyone the right to an attorney, even if they cannot afford one.

Do Public Defenders Defend Criminals?

Public Defenders defend people. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

Even when a person is guilty of a crime, they still have rights that must be followed.

Can I Hire A Public Defender To Sue My Landlord?

Public Defenders practice criminal defense law. Rent related issues and lawsuits are considered civil matters and handled by civil attorneys. We can only provide our services to people who cannot afford a lawyer of their own as determined by Gideon v. Wainwright.

Learn More About Public Defenders

Read our FAQ for commonly asked questions regarding our office, our attorneys, and what we do and why we do it.

Partnerships

Bayview Mobilization for Adolescent Growth in our Communities (BMAGIC)

BMAGIC's vision is to create and maintain a deeper unified road-map to social change that advances the educational, health, economic, and juvenile justice of disadvantaged youth and their families in Bayview Hunters Point.

More Mobilization for Adolescent Growth in our Communities (Mo'MAGIC)

Mo'MAGIC aims is to enrich community resources through social and educational development; to create leadership and career opportunities utilizing programs and services for youth, that also serve as early intervention activities that help to reduce juvenile crime in the Fillmore/Western Addition.

Gifts and Donor Information

Donor Name Date Gift Value Financial Interest
Bar Association of San Francisco May 2012 Cash $1,451.98 None
Bar Association of San Francisco June 2012 Cash $1,883.46 None
Bar Association of San Francisco Jan 2013 Cash $2,624.48 None
Bar Association of San Francisco Mar 2013 Cash $2,698.27 None
Bar Association of San Francisco May 2013 Cash $2,538.18 None

Awards