Policy and Partnerships
Fighting for fairness and compassion
DPD's mission is not only to provide high-quality representation but to also challenge the practices and policies that keep DPD's clients entangled in a harsh and unfair system. DPD's goal is to work with partners to dismantle the systems that oppress our clients. Where traditional systems remain, DPD is partnering with the community, litigating, and drawing upon the expertise of its staff to make those systems less harmful and more restorative.
Read more about our policy work on our blog, For The Defense.
DPD in the news
New Plan for Dealing with 'Prolific Offenders' Substitutes Punishment for Harm Reduction, Advocates Say, The C is for Crank, Sept. 17, 2019
10 Critical Reforms Local Prosecutors Should Embrace, NW Lawyer, June 2019
Controversial Seattle judge sees flurry of cases pulled by public defenders, Crosscut, May 17, 2019
Jailing runaways does not keep them safe, commentary by Anita Khandelwal, Seattle Times, March 17, 2019
Public defenders to help some in King County remove 'scarlet letter' of criminal conviction from their record, Seattle Times, March 11, 2019
Washington handles runaway foster kids with handcuffs, shackles and jail. Is there a better way?, Seattle Times, Feb. 17, 2019
Combat Seattle's street crime with treatment and housing, not jail, commentary by Anita Khandelwal, Seattle Times, Nov. 16, 2018
Statements, reports, and position papers
Letter about in-person family visits during COVID-19 concerns
DPD and several partners sent a letter to the Governor and the Secretary of the Department of Children, Youth & Families on March 23, 2020, calling on DCYF to ensure children who are in state care and their parents can stay in contact via in-person family visits, even during this time of COVID-19 concerns. Such contact is in keeping with state law and is critical to children, who need consistency and connection during this time of upheaval and isolation. Read the letter.
Statement about strategies proposed by High-Barrier Individuals Working Group
DPD Director Anita Khandelwal issued a statement on Sept. 13, 2019, expressing concerns about the four pilot strategies released by the High-Barrier Individuals Working Group. The pilots largely fail to address what DPD knows our clients need -- long-term housing and community-based services -- as opposed to more involvement in the criminal legal system. Read her complete statement.
Study by UW on racial diversity of jury pools
The Under-Representation of Blacks in the King County Jury Pool, by Katherine Beckett, University of Washington, May 2016
DPD's 2019 Annual Report
DPD's 2018 Annual Report
DPD's 2017 Annual Report
DPD's 2016 Annual Report
DPD's 2015 Annual Report