People are more than a criminal charge they are facing. Holistic defense acknowledges we are working with whole people that have their own stories and struggles. The challenges each person involved in the criminal law system face are complex and unique. By providing access to professionals with a wide range of skills and abilities, holistic defense seeks to help identify and address a client’s individualized needs, both inside and outside the courtroom.
Holistic defense involves a collaborative effort to seek out the best outcome for every client, guided by the client’s perspective and what matters most to the client. Appointed attorneys have access to our team of social workers. Our social workers assist clients and their families in accessing services to address a variety of needs.
Holistic Defense at the MAC also includes the services of an immigration attorney to assist appointed attorneys by ensuring they understand how certain case-related decisions will impact the client, given the client’s immigration status. The MAC also connects attorneys to trained, experienced investigators who gather information on behalf of the defense. Some of their investigation services include speaking to witnesses, reviewing evidence, and gathering background information for attorneys.
Some of the services offered to MAC-appointed attorneys to assist in the defense of their clients include:
- Immigration Services: To assist attorneys by ensuring they understand how certain case-related decisions will impact the client, given the client’s immigration status
- Investigation Services: To connect attorneys to trained, experienced investigators who gather information on behalf of the defense
- Resource Attorneys: To assist attorneys with training opportunities, case consultations, and case management needs
- Social Workers: To assist attorneys by advocating for clients both inside and outside of the courtroom and by helping clients navigate the complex social services and legal systems, with the goal of assisting in the client's legal defense and improving the client’s life situation
Clients represented by MAC-appointed attorneys can request access to these services through their attorney.
Take a look at the resources below to learn more about other holistic and participatory defense models.