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1300 Broadway St., Ste 330
Denver, CO 80203
303-515-6920

About Us

Background

The federal and state constitutions provide that an accused person has the right to be represented by counsel in criminal prosecutions.  This constitutional right has been interpreted to mean that counsel will be provided at state expense for indigent persons in all cases in which actual incarceration is a likely penalty.

The Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel (OADC) was established pursuant to §21-2-101, C.R.S. (Senate Bill 96-205).  The OADC is funded to provide representation for indigent persons in criminal and juvenile delinquency cases in which the Public Defender’s office determines that an ethical conflict of interest exists.

Statutory Mandate/Directive

The Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel is mandated by statue to "provide to indigent persons accused of crimes, legal services that are commensurate with those available to non-indigents, and conduct the office in accordance with the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct and with the American Bar Association Standards relating to the administration of criminal justice, the defense function."  Section 21-2-101(1) (emphasis added).

Mission Statement

The mission of the Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel (OADC), through the practice of holistic public defense, is to help adults and children who the government has charged with criminal and delinquent offenses. The OADC's holistic practice model fosters ethical, informed, and standard-driven best practices in public defense. The OADC allocates resources in a manner intentionally designed to rebalance the disparate power wielded by the government in the criminal legal system. We advocate for every client's inherent worth and dignity by centering the client's experiences and voice to achieve the best legal outcome.

The OADC is dedicated to zealous, client-centered advocacy rooted in social justice, integrity, and humility. We recognize that we are working within a broken and racist criminal legal system. Public defense advocates play an essential role in challenging bias and disparity within the courtroom, within our offices, and within ourselves. There is a disparate presence of violent policing, over-charging, and harsher sentencing outcomes for Colorado's people of color and other vulnerable populations. The OADC is unwavering in its support of decarceration, the decriminalization of youth, and equity within the criminal legal system.

Blog

25 June 2021
We recently received the article "The Qualified Immunity Litigation Machine" by David Maxted and wan...
26 April 2021
We know that our criminal legal system is infused with racism. While last week’s verdict in the Dere...

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