Deason Center & the ABA present Webinars on the Impact of Hurricane Katrina on the Criminal Justice System

Jails and Prisons, and Public Defense


To mark the 15th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defense (SCLAID) together with the Deason Criminal Justice Reform Center at SMU Dedman School of Law, the ABA Criminal Justice Section and the ABA Section on Civil Rights and Social Justice present webinars on the impact of crisis on two key components of the criminal justice system: Jails and Prisons, and Public Defense. The programs will consider what happens to people trapped in the criminal justice system during times of extreme systemic stress and whether such times of crisis can be catalysts for reform.

These programs are free, open to the public, and may be of interest to scholars, lawyers, and students interested in public defense, prisoners' rights, human rights, criminal justice reform, or social change.

Monday, August 31, 2020: 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm ET

Left to Die: Incarceration from Katrina to COVID

Introduction – Judy Perry Martinez, Immediate Past President, American Bar Association
• Eric Balaban, National Prison Project of the ACLU
• Meghan Garvey, New Orleans Public Defender
• Brendon Woods, Public Defender Alameda County, California
• Moderator: Malia Brink, ABA SCLAID


Tuesday, September 1, 2020: 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Public Defense Reform from Crisis: Katrina to COVID

Introduction – Judy Perry Martinez, Immediate Past President, American Bar Association
• Derwyn Bunton, Chief Public Defender, Orleans Parish, LA
• Frank Neuner, Managing Partner, NeunerPate
• Jason Williamson, Deputy Director, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project
• Moderator: Pamela Metzger, Deason Center, SMU Dedman School of Law

For more information or to register, click on the individual program links above or visit the ABA SCLAID website.